Capstone Courses

“The notion of human right builds on our shared humanity. These rights are not derived from the citizenship of any country, or the membership of any nation, but are presumed to be claims or entitlements of every human being. They differ, therefore, from constitutionally created rights guaranteed for specific people.”

Amartya Sen, The Idea Of Justice

As a part of the PJHC minor requirements, students must complete an approved capstone course. Additional capstone courses can be used toward the General Elective (SWGS 494, 496, and 497 or PJHC 470) or Race and Ethnicity Elective (HIST 421 or SOCI 469 and 470)  requirements. Further information for each course is available below.

HIST 421: Race, Education, and Society in the Urban South

Offered in either fall or spring; 3 credit hours total. This course is not offered every academic year.
This seminar examines urban life and education since the decision in Brown v. Board. It focuses on the Brown cases, the development of the post war city in the context of American race relations, the course of court-ordered desegregation, and the impact of recent reforms on urban schools and neighborhoods.

SOCI 469/470: Community Bridges Training/Inequality & Urban Life

Training in the fall, course and internship in the spring; 5 credit hours total.
Founded by the Kinder Institute and the Center for Civic Engagement in 2011, the Community Bridges program is a collaborative initiative aimed at strengthening the relationship between Rice University and Houston’s Fifth Ward. Through an academic course and active fieldwork, Community Bridges Fellows develop and implement long-term projects focused on the sustainable reduction of poverty. Organizations with which Community Bridges Fellows have worked in the past include Covenant Community Capital, Executive Personnel Staffing Incorporated, Fifth Ward Enrichment Program, Pleasant Hill Leadership Institute, Small Steps Nurturing Center, and YES Prep Fifth Ward.

Students who are selected will be enrolled in a 1-credit course for the fall semester. In the spring, they will participate in a 4-credit course and on-site work at their placements as Community Bridges Fellows. Note: Successful completion of the course’s service requirements will earn 2 PJHC service credits.

PJHC 470: Advanced Seminar in Poverty, Justice, and Capabilities

Offered in the spring; 3 credit hours total.
Through interdisciplinary readings, this advanced seminar explores how global, national, and domestic structures and institutions influence the day-to-day lives and capabilities of different groups and individuals. The curriculum focuses on historical and contemporary efforts by activists and policymakers to confront social inequities. Formerly listed as SWGS 470.

SWGS 494, 496, 497: Seminar and Practicum in Engaged Research

Training in the fall, course and internship in the spring; 7 credit hours total; This course sequence also fulfills the general elective requirement.
Through the Center for the Study of Women, Gender, and Sexuality, the Seminar and Practicum in Engaged Research enable students to consider how concepts in feminist research methods are integral to practice and how practice informs and alters concepts. Students enhance their academic knowledge through research on issues of gender and/or sexuality in collaboration with a local non-profit organization. Organizations with which Seminar and Practicum students have worked in the past include Children at Risk, HATCH, Houston Area Women’s Center, Daya, Equality Texas, Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras, and the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault.

Students interested in participating in the Seminar and Practicum in Engaged Research should contact Brian Riedel no later than the year before they intend to register for it. Note: Depending upon the nature of your project, your efforts may count toward 1 to 3 PJHC service credits. Please inquire with the Program Director and Program Administrator well in advance to determine if your project is eligible.

(Last updated 3/23/2018)