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Innovative Community Engagement with Vulnerable Populations in Los Angeles

Program Objectives and Details

Los Angeles Skyline during dusk

This course provides an interdisciplinary framework for increasing multicultural awareness with the goals of improved decision-making in practice, policy advocacy, and advocacy related to social justice issues affecting vulnerable populations. After completing this course, the student will be able to:

1. Describe how social and political dynamics impact the efficacy of community responses for those considered vulnerable and disadvantaged.

2. Analyze core elements of innovative services and their impact on the daily functioning and well-being of vulnerable clients.

3. Develop an action-oriented advocacy plan to alleviate the impact of social justice issues on those considered vulnerable.

This hybrid, service-learning, Study-in-America course will require students to identify, examine, and critically analyze social service programs in Central Texas and Los Angeles, California which provide services to vulnerable populations (persons experiencing poverty, homelessness, food insecurity, criminal justice issues, etc). Students will have an opportunity to interact and engage with organizations in Los Angeles, CA., that have developed innovative strategies for social problems. The field experience will offer students a unique experience of meeting with experts who have lead national and worldwide efforts in the field of social justice training/advocacy, gang rehabilitation, policy development, and violence prevention.

Admission is selective, and space is limited. Program is subject to change and pending approval from the Texas State Board of Regents.


Summer 2022 Term: July 5 - August 5, 2022

Program Travel: July 17, 2022 - July 23, 2022

Orientation Meetings: TBD

Course Meetings: Meets regularly during summer 2022

Required: Six-Day Field Learning Experience in Los Angeles, California

Course Options

SOWK 4300K  Innovative Community Engagement with Vulnerable Populations CRN TBD

Students may register for up to three (3) credit hours during this program.

Pre-trip orientation meetings will take place on the Texas State campus in San Marcos.

Online coursework will also be required. 

Tuition and Program Fee

3 Hours (1 Course) Undergraduate


The course tuition and program fee will be billed and paid through SBS Billing and Payment.

Additional Program Fee

The additional program fee includes the cost for lodging, on-site transportation, and admission fees: TBD

Important Note: Airfare, meals, and personal expenses are not included in the Program Fee. 

Drops and Refunds

All university policies regarding installments, course drops, and refunds apply to all billed and paid tuition and program fees.

Important COVID-19 Information

All participants in Texas State Study in America programs adhere to the health guidelines in the Texas State University Roadmap, including the Health and Safety Measures and Student Roadmap page. The guidelines provided for protecting health and safety on campus also apply to field locations and travel in this Study in America program.

The field/travel portion of the program is subject to change and/or cancellation. If the field portion of the program is cancelled, course instruction will continue virtually, but Texas State Study in America will refund the additional program fee (not course tuition).

Los Angeles COVID-19 Requirements

All participants are required to comply with Los Angele's City Ordinance which states that masks are required indoors and on public transportations. Vaccinations are not required indoors except at bars and nightclubs, although individual venues may require vaccination. Visit the County of Los Angeles Public Health webpage for more information.

Japanese American National Museum COVID-19 Requirements

Masks are required for all visitors regardless of vaccination status and all visitors 12 and older must show proof of full vaccination or a negative antigen or PCR test within 72 prior to visiting the museum, in either digital or paper format, in addition to one's photo ID. Visit the JANM Plan Your Visit webpage for more information

Applying to the Program

  1. Complete and submit the program application
  2. Complete and submit the Approval Request to Travel during an Ongoing Pandemic form immediately after submitting the program application
  3. Receive approval from Ms. Velez and the Office of Distance and Extended Learning
  4. Complete and submit the Health Information Form for Study in American form
  5. Register for your program's courses

Registering for Courses

Once approved and after submitting the required information, you must register for your course through the Student Information System/Catsweb during the regular university registration period.

For more information about the content of the course/program, please contact Lea Velez.

For questions about applying/registering, please contact the Office of Distance and Extended Learning.