At the heart of the ESS program is the study of how humans learn and how society, culture, politics, and the economy influence that learning.

Education is a complex challenge

Education - formal and informal, inside and outside a classroom - is a complex and challenging aspect of human experience. It's both an end in itself and a means to many personal, professional, and spiritual goals. Thus, understanding its history and traditions, analyzing its processes, critiquing its goals, and studying its outcomes is of great importance to all of us.

Turning a wide-angle lens on education, ESS is offered as a supplementary major consisting of eight courses, or as a 15-credit minor composed of an Intro course, 3 electives, and a senior capstone research project. The program is designed to help students understand education broadly defined and to view it from many liberal arts perspectives: political science, history, sociology, and more.

If you're interested in questions like...What is the purpose of education? Why aren't educational opportunities equitable for all? How does education contribute to the development of the "good" citizen and the "just" society?...become an ESS minor! To sign up or learn more, email Professor Andrea Christensen.

Study ESS, Prepare for Your Future

The program provides resources for students who will pursue a range of careers after graduation, from finance to film, law to medicine, philosophy to policy-making. Students who want to become certified teachers during their undergraduate studies may do so through our cooperative relationship with Saint Mary’s College.

Meet Some ESS Graduates

What Our Students Say about ESS...

"My ESS education...reaffirmed my passion for the dignity of the individual, the fundamental importance of communities, and the quest for life-long learning for all." Rachel Iverson, Psychology, Glynn Family Honors Program

"ESS pushed me to see the ways in which education extends far beyond the classroom..." Colin O'Neill, American Studies, Poverty Studies

“Whether you're interested in becoming a classroom teacher, human rights lawyer, or neuroscientist, through ESS you will discover your role in contributing to students' lives nationwide." Lindsay Baca, Psychology

Connect With Us

Prof. Andrea Christensen, ESS Director of Undergraduate Studies  |  Phone 574.631.3054
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