A multidisciplinary 30-credit Masters program addressing the foundations of community engagement and education.

Virtual Information Session

Join us for a virtual information session to learn more about this program on
Wednesday, October 21 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm.

Please RSVP by emailing Aaron Schutz at schutz@uwm.edu. He will send information on how to access the virtual information session.

Our Courses

  • Examine the ways social forces affect urban schools and communities
  • Teach skills for working in community-based organizations and schools*
  • Address challenges facing urban areas and schools
  • Help students develop creative solutions for social change
  • Draw from the fields of sociology, history, philosophy, and anthropology

Why Choose our Program?

  • Full online, face to face, or in combination
  • No GRE Required
  • Program designed for busy working adults
  • Rolling admissions: Join any semester
  • 30 credits—finish in one year full time, two years part-time
  • Online for more than a decade with experienced instructors

Alumni careers in the flourishing nonprofit sector, schools, and universities

  • Administrators in Community-based organizations
  • Teachers in public, private and alternative schools*
  • Supervisors of youth work programs
  • Community organizers and social activists
  • Program directors in higher education
  • Administrators and advisors in student services
  • Managers of social service programs
  • Analysts in educational and social policy
  • Community developers
  • Police officers
  • Doctoral students

*The Cultural Foundations of Community Engagement and Education MS program does not license teachers for public k-12 schools.

Contact Us

For more information or questions about the program

Dr. Aaron Schutz
(414) 229- 4150


Admissions is handled by UWM’s Graduate School. Individual faculty advisors are assigned after you are admitted. To learn more about the application process and start your online application to the UWM Graduate School Online Application page.

The Master’s Application Checklist (PDF) is a helpful resource.

Questions about admissions?

Dr. Aaron Schutz
(414) 229-4150


Optional Focus Areas in Cultural Foundations of Community Engagement and Education

  • Alternative Education
  • Community Engagement and Partnerships
  • Service Learning & Partnerships
  • Community Power & Participation
  • Educational Policy
  • Gender & Education
  • Race Relations
  • Youth Work
  • Many students create their own based on their interests

Core Courses & Electives

Course Requirements Checklist (PDF)

Planning Your Program of Study FAQ (PDF)

Core Courses

ED POL 702: Cultural Foundations of Education Graduate Seminar
ED POL 705
: Sociology of Education and Community Engagement
ED POL 710: Research Methods in Education and Community Engagement
ED POL 740: Philosophy of Education and Community
ED POL 750: History of Education in American Communities


You can choose from a range of electives within and outside of our department. In-department electives include:

ED POL 401: Foundations of Community-Based Organizations
ED POL 500: Sociology and Policy of Urban Communities and Schools
ED POL 533: Educating Black Males
ED POL 535: Educating Students Placed At Risk
ED POL 560: Education and Hispanics
ED POL 580: Overview of Child/Youth Care
ED POL 584: Early Childhood Programs and the External Environment
ED POL 610: Reproduction of Minority Communities
ED POL 612: Community Participation and Power
ED POL 625: Race Relations in Education
ED POL 711: Community Engagement and Social Change

Exit Requirements: After you successfully complete and orally defend a final paper, final project or master’s thesis under the direction of a faculty thesis chair and a second reader, the department graduate representative will give final approval for the inclusion of “Master of Science in Cultural Foundations of Community Engagement and Education” on your transcript.

Exit Requirements FAQ (PDF)


profile photoJulie KailinAssociate ProfessorEducational Policy & Community Studies(414) 229-6623jkailin@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 521
profile photoMarie SandyAssociate ProfessorEducational Policy & Community Studies(414) 229-1173sandym@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 539
profile photoRajeswari SwaminathanProfessorEducational Policy & Community Studiesswaminar@uwm.eduEnderis Hall 557


This list provides a sample of actual positions held by alumni of the Masters Program in Cultural Foundations of Community Engagement and Education. It gives a sense of the broad diversity of jobs our graduates have found with the background provided by the degree.

Sample of Nonprofit Organization and Government Careers

Position TitleOrganization
Youth Programs ManagerKellogg PEAK Initiative
Program and Policy AnalystDepartment of Children and Families
College Access & Success Services Mgr.Boys and Girls Clubs
Program CoordinatorLa Causa
Grants ManagerHoward Area Community Center
Manager of Community EngagementMedical College of Wisconsin
Program DirectorHolton Youth and Family Center
Assoc. Director, Instit. for Child Well-BeingMedical College of Wisconsin
Program CoordinatorMilwaukee LGBT Community Center
Director of ProgramsMilwaukee Christian Center
Executive DirectorWalker’s Point Youth and Family Center
Program Officer, Workforce DevelopmentBader Foundation
Director of Workforce PlanningAurora Health Care

Sample of K12-Education Careers

Numerous teachers and administrators have completed the program, working in a wide range of places, including:

  • Milwaukee
  • Kenosha
  • Racine
  • Wauwatosa
  • Oneida Nation
  • Auburn, AL
  • Brazil
  • among many other locations

Sample of Higher Education Careers

Position TitleOrganization
Student Advisors
UW-Milwaukee, Madison College, others
Director, Roberto Hernandez Center
Scholarship Program Director
Mount Mary University
Director of Multicultural Affairs
Carleton College
Assist. Director, MKE Scholars Program
Interim Co-Director, 4-H
UW Department of Extension
Administrative Manager Madison College
School Intervention Program Manager
Medical College of Wisconsin
Director of External RelationsUW-Milwaukee

PhD Programs

Students often go on from the Masters program to pursue PhD’s in a range of related fields.


We invite you to explore these brief interviews with Cultural Foundations of Community Engagement and Education MS graduates. Learn how the degree supported their careers and about the jobs they are doing now.

Alberto Maldonado
Graduation: 2010 Masters Degree in Cultural Foundations of Community Engagement and Education
Position: Director, Roberto Hernandez Center, UWM

Anna Gibson
Graduation: 2019 Masters Degree in Cultural Foundations of Community Engagement and Education
Position: Social Studies Teacher, Whitefish Bay School District

Millie Coby
Graduation: 2006 Masters Degree in Cultural Foundations of Community Engagement and Education
Position: Community Engagement and Strategic Initiatives Manager, Employ Milwaukee

Kevin Foley
: 2014 Masters Degree in Cultural Foundations and Community Engagement and Education
Position: Administrative Manager, Madison College

Angie Cervera
Graduation: 2005 Masters Degree in Cultural Foundations and Community Engagement and Education
Position: English Teacher, Racine Unified School District