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Fact Sheet:
Fact Sheet:
Language Prerequisite: No Housing Options: Apartment (shared), Student responsibility
Language of Instruction: English Program Including Multi-Country Travel: No
Program Type: External Providers' Program Internship/Service-Learning/Practicum Availability: Yes
Program Meets Bethel Residency Requirement: No Eligibility by Grade Level: 2-sophomore, 3-junior
Areas of Study: Business, Communication Studies, Economics, Education, Gender Studies, Media Studies, Missional Ministries, Philosophy, Political Science, Social Work, Sociocultural Studies, Sociology Program Name: HECUA
Open to all majors: Yes
Program Description:


Examine the growing gap between rich and poor in the United States. 
Gain concrete change-making skills through internships and discussion with effective activists. 


In America today, the top 1% earn nearly 25% of the nation’s income. Wealth and income gaps have reached levels not seen since the Great Depression, and are amplified by race. The median household wealth for a white family is $144,000; for Latinxs it is $13,700, and for African Americans, $11,200. Inequality in America delves into the complex causes and impacts of the gap between the rich and poor in the United States. Students examine the social systems that feed increases in poverty and inequality and study the roles racism, classism, trans- and homophobia, and sexism play in the creation of short-sighted and damaging public policy. They examine how institutionalized and intersecting oppressions play a role in forming shortsighted and damaging public policy.

Read more about Inequality in America on HECUA's website.

In a simultaneous internship with a local nonprofit students will begin to test and implement their own change-making skills. Past internship sites have included the Southside Family Charter School, Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless, and Take Action Minnesota. Students will meet local organizers, build professional networks, and spend 160-200 hours on site, working for organizations dedicated to social transformation. Everyone leaves the classroom with increased confidence in their own abilities to effect change in their communities, and a deep understanding of the local nonprofit landscape. 

This program consists of two courses, plus an internship.
  • Inequality in America: A Political Economy Approach (4 credits)
  • Political Sociology of Building Power, Change, and Equity (4 credits)
  • Internship and Integration Seminar (8 credits)
  • Minneapolis- St.Paul will be our classroom. The region is an ideal context for the study of poverty and inequality plaguing the nation's urban centers. The area is increasingly diverse and has a strong and vibrant economy, yet many people are not sharing in this vitality. As in most large, urban regions, there is a growing gap between rich and poor, increasing geographic and social segregation and polarization between these groups. Forty-five percent of the children in the "core" of the Twin Cities live at or below the poverty line, and an educational gap between racial groups worries many policymakers, parents, educators, and students.

    This area is also home to an exciting array of organizations that are addressing all of these issues. Many of these organizations are internship sites for our students and provide hands-on learning to make social change happen.

    Housing is provided through Augsburg University for those who do not attend an institution in Minneapolis or St. Paul.

  • Internship Types

    • Art/Fine Arts
    • Communications
    • Counseling
    • Economics
    • Interdisciplinary
    • Liberal Arts
    • Political Science/Politics
    • Social Sciences
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Urban & Regional Planning
    • Women's Studies
  • Languages

    • English
  • Subject Areas

    • Communications
    • Conflict Studies
    • Culture
    • Development Studies
    • Economics
    • Education
    • Geography
    • History
    • Humanities
    • International Relations
    • Internship Programs
    • Liberal Arts
    • Political Science/politics
    • Public Admin, Public Policy, Govt
    • Social Sciences
    • Social Work
    • Sociology
    • Urban & Regional Planning
    • Women's Studies
  • Program Fees:

    Member and non-member school use different fee structures. Check the HECUA website, here, for the most up-to-date information. 

  • Program Fees Include:

    Tuition, internship placement and supervision and all course-related field visits.

  • Experience Required


  • This Program is open to

    Undergraduate students enrolled in colleges and universities in the United States who have completed their first year of college.

  • Scholarships are Available

    HECUA provides Scholarships for Community Engagement, Scholarships for Social Justice and Scholarships for Racial Justice for semester-length programs each fall and spring. More information about the application process for either scholarship is available on the HECUA website, here, or by contacting the organization.

  • Application Process Involves

    • Online or Paper Application
    • Letters of Reference
    • Transcript

Dates / Deadlines:
Dates / Deadlines:
Term Year App Deadline Decision Date Start Date End Date
Spring 2021 12/01/2020 12/01/2020 TBA TBA