Dec 11, 2023
Social innovation (SI) involves “the creation of new ideas that address social problems by reconceiving the status quo to create more sustainable and just systems that benefit marginalized groups and society as a whole” (Brown University). The Social Innovation major prepares Rollins students with the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills to solve social problems in innovative ways. It covers different vehicles of social change, such as non-profits, public policy advocacy, activism, public awareness, and community organizing. Skills highlighted in the SI major include human-centered design thinking (HCDT); critical analysis of social problems; data collection and analysis; impact assessment; creative problem-solving; public communication; organizational skills; empathy and emotional resiliency. The SI major prepares students to be global citizens and responsible leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
Students complete ten (10) courses from at least three different disciplines, at least five (5) of which must be at the 300-level or above. Students take four (4) core courses: SI 200 ; a core skills course; a core topics course examining a wide range of social problems; and an independent capstone experience. The capstone experience is a SI project that is pre-approved by a faculty sponsor and the SI program director. Students also select three (3) skills electives and three (3) topics electives. At least one of the courses that a student completes inside or outside of the major must be CE-designated. The Social Innovation major also includes an extensive experiential learning requirement. Students participate in three (3) activities, selected from a range of approved options that involve applied and immersive learning with communities external to Rollins.
This major is designed to allow students to build their curricular path around an area of passion, gaining the specific skills and knowledge that fit their interests. During the SI 200 course, all majors create their own curricular plan, identifying the core courses and electives that best address their substantive topic and career interests. Each plan is reviewed by the SI program director, then revised and approved in the junior year.
Students maintain an online portfolio throughout their major that provides evidence from their coursework and documents the completion of the experiential learning requirements.
Four (4) courses required. Courses marked with an asterisk (*) have discipline-specific prerequisites.
Skills Core Course
Topics Core Course
Choose one, subject to approval by the program director; all major courses must be taken before or concurrent with the capstone:
Choose three; a skills course may not count for both a core and an elective:
SI majors must complete at least one Community Engagement (CE) designated course inside or outside the major before completing the capstone.
Choose experiences from three (3) different categories. When in doubt, SI-related projects must be approved by the SI program director. It is suggested that all three experiential learning requirements are completed before capstone, but at a minimum, two must be completed before the capstone.
- Participation in one of the following field study or summer programs:
- CHM WaSH in the Dominican Republic
- EDU Rural Education in Rwanda
- ENV Environment and Development in Central America
- ENV Exploring the Everglades
- ENV Portland Oregon Field Study
- INB Live, Learn, Labor: Latin America
- POL Social Entrepreneurship in the Dominican Republic
- POL Health and Human Rights in South Africa
- POL Community Development in Tanzania
- REL India & the Infinite
- REL Jerusalem
- Other Rollins approved study abroad programs can be considered on a case-by-case basis.
- Participation in any SIT study abroad program
- Participation in any Rollins Immersion program
- Participation in a SE-related competition (e.g. Ideas for Good challenge)
- Participation in the Sullivan Foundation or Ashoka U Exchange conference
- Participation in Leadership Ally program (working on an SI-related project)
- Completion of a SI-related internship (interdisciplinary designation)
- Participation in the Student-Faculty Collaborative Research Program (SI-related project)
- Completion of an Edyth Bush Institute certificate program
Residency and Distribution
SI majors must take at least one-half of all courses for the major at Rollins (no exemption for transfer students), and at least one-half of all courses for the major at the 300-400 level. Courses earning credit for the major must represent at least three different disciplines.
Social Innovation Portfolio
The portfolio includes items such as the student’s curricular plan; reflection papers that link the experiential learning component to their coursework; and the capstone project and must be viewed and approved by the SI program director before graduation. Students should schedule a meeting with the SI program director for more details.