Pitzer in Ontario is a justice-oriented, interdisciplinary program in urban studies and community-based research. With theoretical foundations in the social sciences and a strong emphasis on experiential education, the program allows students to understand the local impacts of globalization and to engage in social change efforts. These efforts are informed by long-standing relationships with community organizations, city agencies, and non-profits in order to identify and address pressing community issues.
Current Projects. Ongoing projects include food justice (urban farming), transportation justice (the Wheelhouse bike co-op), labor organizing (temporary workers’ rights), education (college access), and civic engagement (voter registration).
The Ontario House. Pitzer in Ontario has one to two residential spaces available for student researchers. The Pitzer in Ontario House, where our core classes are held, is located six miles from the Pitzer campus at 132 East H Street. Double rooms cost 75% of Pitzer’s dorm rate, and meal plans are not included.
Course Load. Students must take the three core Ontario courses simultaneously: ONT 101 PZ -Critical Community Studies , ONT 104 PZ -Social Change Practicum , and ONT 106 PZ -Applied Qualitative Methods . Together, these course count for 4 credits. The rest of our offerings may be taken independently.
Major Credit. Courses in the Ontario Program count toward several majors. Sociology counts any two Ontario classes toward the major; Environmental Analysis, Organizational Studies, and International/Intercultural Studies also count the program as major credit. Please discuss your decision to take the Ontario Program with both Ontario staff and your major advisor before enrolling.
Launching Pad/Landing Pad. The Ontario Program is a fantastic way to prepare for, or return from, study abroad. Taking the program before studying abroad gives students solid grounding in ethics, critical inquiry, and methods that facilitates directed independent study projects. Returning students bring skills gained during the semester away and apply them to local issues, easing back into Pitzer life in a non-traditional, experiential setting. Students who do both Ontario and Study Abroad programs may be well positioned to write a Local/Global senior thesis, which takes a multi-sited approach to a topic of interest.