Part of the solution

Pub date April 7, 2010

CAREERS AND ED Just a thought. As our country becomes an economic-cultural stew fraught with problems so complex we don’t even know yet what they are, different approaches to education may be necessary for tomorrow’s good guys. Which is why it’s so positive that Bay Area higher ed institutions have developed unique degree programs that anticipate tomorrow’s issues today. From robot wars to social stratification — learn about this stuff and you’ve got the skills you need for the battles to come.



Rare is the program in our country that offers a concentration in the culture and history of the Philippines. But with 40,072 Filipinos in the Bay Area, that’s an oversight USF was happy to correct with this concentration, which can be paired with any of its undergraduate degrees to create a Filipino context within science, art, nursing, or the humanities.

University of San Francisco, 2130 Fulton, SF. (415) 422-5555,



This associate degree program focuses on giving working people the educational background they need to be effective in the world of labor union activism — collective bargaining, labor law, and workplace discrimination issues, among other things. The school also runs not-for-credit programs that link minority students and workers up with job training for careers in the trades. Kicking ass for the working class, and all that.

City College of San Francisco, Evans Campus, 1400 Evans, SF. (415) 550-4459



On the slightly less tangible end of the spectrum, the California Institute for Integral Studies offers an online master’s degree program for “personal transformation and creating positive change in the world.” Courses focus on group mediation, identifying one’s own strengths and weaknesses, and effective leadership. Let Your Love Shine 101 (for professionals).

California Institute for Integral Studies, 1453 Mission, SF. (415) 575-6100,



There’s no way an equitable educational system wouldn’t improve this crazy old country of ours. To that end, the future teachers and leaders in this concentration of the master’s program in education study historical/political perspectives of injustice in schools, with a mind to changing things about the way Americans learn.

San Francisco State University, 1600 Holloway, SF. (415) 338-1111,



A unique minor at Berkeley examines how the concept of disability has been shaped and created by our social constructs over time. Attention is also paid to how the interpretation of disability has been highlighted in law, art, and politics. The Web site on the study features a wheelchair basketball league open to all comers regardless of bodily capabilities.

University of California Berkeley, Berk. (415) 643-7691,



Look, not everything in the future’s gonna be heavy! We’re still gonna need people who are real good at making blood look realistic and keeping a step ahead of everyone’s World of Warcraft avatars. The students in this undergraduate major have seen the light: if we don’t master the machines, they master us.

University of California Santa Cruz, 1156 High, Santa Cruz. (831) 459-0111,