What is the Berkeley Changemaker?
At A Glance
* Since summer 2020, over 22% of lower-division students have enrolled in a Berkeley Changemaker course. * The Berkeley Changemaker minor is designed and should be approved within a year. * The Berkeley Changemaker Pre-College and Exec Ed Programs have launched. * The Berkeley Changemaker Program is over 20 courses involving 50+ faculty members drawn from 30 academic departments and eleven schools & colleges across UC Berkeley.
Berkeley Changemaker® is a program that codifies an essential part of what UC Berkeley has always stood for and provides a galvanizing narrative that our whole campus is rallying behind, humanists and scientists alike. Through its focus on i) critical thinking, ii) communication, and iii) collaboration, its curriculum activates undergraduates’ passions and develops a sharper sense of who they want to be and how to make that happen. The program has, in its first two years, enrolled almost fifteen percent of UC Berkeley undergraduates.
Berkeley Changemaker is inclusive
World-class researchers like Nobelist Jennifer Doudna are most certainly changemakers, as are our alumni founders of Apple and Tesla. Students, faculty, and staff across campus, from the Humanities to the hard sciences, from traditional entrepreneurs to social justice advocates, are seeing themselves as Berkeley Changemakers. Those with an agency for making society and our world better are drawn alike to this expansive definition and narrative.
Berkeley Changemaker has intellectual heft
All of our courses, workshops, and programs include a clear and consistent focus on the core pillars of critical thinking, communication, and collaboration. These are central to a great education, regardless of field of study. The Berkeley Changemaker program goes beyond a simple focus on functional "changemaking skills" or co-curricular activities — it delivers a robust curriculum of over 15 academically-rigorous courses in departments across our campus.
Berkeley Changemaker builds upon Berkeley's distinguishing values
There’s no better way to put a substantive signature behind a university effort than doing so with values. Berkeley’s values – like questioning the status quo and thinking and acting beyond ourselves – power our teaching, research, and service, and have done so for generations. These are not just “us too values.” Consider the President of an elite private university saying, “This university is about questioning the status quo.” Really? When mission – delivering positive impact – and values converge in this way, the result is powerful.
I came to Berkeley to work on planet scale problems with one-of-a-kind people. This course empowered me to do just that. When I first read the description, I couldn't help but sign up. Over the past few weeks, I've received an exciting and inspiring introduction into the magic of UC Berkeley. Beyond the changemaker skillset I have been able to develop, I've learned that Berkeley is a place without limits, and I have the power to shape it in my own unique way.Miles Nash, Class of 2025 and Berkeley Changemaker
So, as someone who had relatively little guidance as to how I could be a leader, changemaker, and effective teammate before this course, I am more than excited to instill the lessons I've learned into my everyday life. Since the course, I've started a project with a fellow changemaker, have set aside the time for an organization I'm hoping to develop and have begun planning for future endeavors!Cyn Gomez, Class of 2024 and Berkeley Changemaker
September 30, 2022
September 9, 2022
Berkeley Changemaker Highlights
- The 2021-22 Berkeley Changemaker: First-Year Experience cohort was the first of its kind at UC Berkeley since the 1970s.
- "The Berkeley Changemaker" gateway course is now offered all three semesters and consistently earns high course & instructor effectiveness ratings from our students.
- Our suite of Berkeley Changemaker includes 22 courses.
- Our fourth staff workshop, Berkeley Changemaker: The Conversation, focused on excerpts from the book, The Conversation – How Seeking and Speaking the Truth About Racism Can Radically Transform Individuals and Organizations, by Dr. Robert Livingston. We were joined by Dr. Livingston.
As a rising senior looking for a course to take during the summer...I decided to add this course was because of how many different leaders from various majors throughout the campus would be invited to be guest speakers and share their passions and experiences pertaining to leadership within their specific fields...In a sense we were given the honor to talk to the giants that paved a way and len[t] a shoulder to us evergrowing future giants.YeRin Jun, Class of 2021 and Berkeley Changemaker
I love the fact that changemakers do not need to be bounded by their areas of interest, be it public health, food activism, electronics, writing. All of us in our own respect and interest can make a difference, especially with these lectures to guide us.Berkeley Changemaker Student, Class of 2024