2020 Peace Conference - May 12, 2020
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Apply Now at GWC!

For more information, please contact:
Fran Faraz Peace Studies Coordinator

Dr. Alex Miranda, Dean
714-892-7711 x58180

Lindsay McNutt
Division Area Coordinator
714-892-7711 x58384

About the Program

As the world is becoming increasingly interdependent, diverse, and complex, there is a growing need for peace, justice, and sustainability. New leadership is required in today’s modern world to create communities that are just, compassionate, and sustainable. Golden West College is one of few institutions to provide this unique and pioneering experience in offering an A.A. in Peace Studies.

Our Vision

The vision of our Peace Studies Program is to provide students with an interconnected perspective essential to understanding the highly complex and integrated world in which we live. This interdisciplinary program teaches tomorrow’s leaders the skills of peacemaking and conflict management on a global, professional, and individual level so that they may be empowered with peaceful solutions in any circumstance.

Students will discover their distinct value in creating meaningful and sustainable change on both the global and local level, all while exploring their career pursuits. Through a wide offering of classes, students will learn about human rights, environmental awareness, social justice, mediation, and negotiation.

What Else Do We Do?

We offer a variety of cutting-edge events such as the Annual Peace Conference, lecture series, documentary screenings, workshops, as well as the Peace and Leadership Club, Peace Chronicle, and Peace Fellowships.

Associate In Arts Degree In Peace Studies

Required courses

Associate In Arts Degree In Peace Studies

The overall purpose of the program in Peace Studies is to provide formal training for students, including potential leaders, with peacemaking and conflict management skills they can apply to daily life situations, regardless of their academic disciplines or chosen professions. The program has been developed to provide an interdisciplinary perspective to the study of conflict, violence, war, and peace. Such an approach is essential in view of the highly complex, interconnected, interdependent world in which we live. This requires an understanding that allows people to respond creatively, rather than thoughtlessly, to conflict and violence at various levels.

Program Level Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this program, students will be able to:

1. Articulate an understanding of how the application of negotiation, conflict resolution and peace building tools can be used to achieve personal, communal, national and international goals.

2. Locate and critically evaluate educational materials concerning specific conflicts and their causes in at least two contemporary issues.

3. Characterize the value of peace and demonstrate theories related to both positive and negative peace.

4. Analyze and discuss issues related to peace, conflict and societal problems at all levels.

5. Critically think about their role in the world and demonstrate effective leadership skills by creating communities that are just, compassionate, and sustainable.

6. Apply theory in academic disciplines such as literature, communication, political science and philosophy to the field of peace studies.

Required courses

PEAC G100 – Peace Studies Intro – 3 units

PEAC G110 – Nonviolence and Conflict Resolution – 3 units

PEAC G150 – Social Justice and Peacebuilding – 3 units

PEAC G225/Communication Studies G225 – Negotiation and Mediation – 3 units

ENGL G110– Critical Thinking, Reading and Writing through Literature – 4 units

Choose three additional units from the following:

COMM G100 – Interpersonal Communication – 3 units

COMM G255 – Intercultural Communication – 3 units

PSCI G110 – International Relations – 3 units

PHIL G120 – Ethics – 3 units

PEACE G230 – Leadership & Peacebuilding – 3 units

Major Total: 19 units

GE Pattern GWC AA, CSU GE Breadth or IGETC Pattern: 21-39 units

DEGREE TOTAL UNITS (maximum): 60 units

View all GWC courses

PEACE STUDIES G100 – 3 Units

Course Outline

Peace Studies, Introduction

This course offers an in-depth examination of the internal and external components of peace and conflict, and how each affects individuals, as well as groups, nations, and the environment. A review of changes achieved historically through various philosophies and lifestyles. Through the study of the forces that influence human relations, students analyze how the world can be changed. Exercise, simulated conflict situations, role play, and examples from community partners are used to provide students opportunities to broaden their perspectives and develop self-awareness. This class is designed as a service learning course. Lecture. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU; UC.

PEACE STUDIES G110 – 3 Units

Course Outline

Nonviolence and Conflict Resolution

This course explores both the theory and the use of nonviolence as a means for waging and resolving conflict. The course explores Nonviolence Theory as it applies to issues of social change, alternative defense, and personal transformation. Writings from political, sociological, feminist, religious, and philosophical perspectives will be examined. Case studies will be used to demonstrate the use of nonviolent tactics and strategies, and to increase students’ understanding of how and when nonviolence has been used to resolve conflict. Lecture. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU; UC.

PEACE STUDIES G150 – 3 Units

Course Outline

Social Justice and Peacebuilding

This introductory course presents an inter-disciplinary study of race and ethnicity through the lens of peacebuilding. This course examines social justice movements as they relate to socioeconomic equity, food equity, environmental justice, metropolitan gentrification, the criminal justice system, and civil rights. Students will explore strategies to help contribute to social justice movements from local to global levels. This course includes a service learning component. Lecture. Letter grade only. Transferable to CSU; UC.

PEACE STUDIES G225 – 3 Units

Course Outline

Negotiation and Mediation

(Same as: Communication Studies G225)

Advisories: Communication Studies G100

This course presents theories and skills to address and settle conflict situations by utilizing the negotiation and mediation processes. The student will learn how to assess conflict situations and determine the appropriateness of negotiation and mediation. Students will learn theories and skills through lecture, role playing, dialogue and in-class simulations. Students will also examine different contexts for negotiation and mediation including family, school, community and business situations. Videos and student presentations of negotiation and conflict resolution topics complement the lectures, simulations and role playing. Lecture. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU.

PEACE STUDIES G230 – 3 Units

Course Outline

Leadership & Peacebuilding

This course teaches leadership concepts and skills, including psychological processes, conflict resolution and human development skills. It will help students become aware of their own leadership style and develop themselves to be innovators in their own life and the world at large. Psychological, physical and mental health aspects will be stressed. This course contains a required service learning component. Lecture. Optional pass/no pass grade. Transferable to CSU; UC.

Program Graduates may wish to transfer to a four year degree program such as:

  • Business
  • Communications
  • Criminal Justice
  • Economics
  • Education
  • Health Care
  • History/Political Science
  • Language and Literature
  • Law and Diplomacy
  • Negotiation, Mediation & Conflict Resolution
  • Peace Studies & Peacebuilding
  • Philosophy
  • Sociology

Academic Transfer for a 4 year Degree or a Minor in Peacebuilding in California

  • California State Dominguez Hills Negotiation, Conflict Resolution & Peacebuilding program
  • University of California Berkeley
  • University of California Irvine and Center for Citizen’s Peacebuilding
  • Chapman University Peace Studies Program
  • California State Polytechnic University, Pomona and Ahimsa Center
  • UPEACE (UN University of Peace in Costa Rica)
You may see yourself seeking careers in the following fields:

  • Social Services
  • International Diplomacy
  • Mediation and Law
  • Economics and Business Development
  • Law Enforcement
  • Justice and Healing
  • Education
  • Humanitarian work
  • NGOs
  • Government
  • Human Resources

Peace Studies at Golden West prepares students to become global peace leaders with the skills necessary to create peace within themselves, their communities, and the world.


Farzane “Fran” Farazdaghi

Instructor, Peace Studies


(714) 892-7711 x52576

Office: ADMIN 217

Department Co-Chair: Sunshine McClain

Instructor, History

A.A. in Social Studies at Golden West College; B.A. in History at California State University, Fullerton; M.A. in History at University of California, Irvine


(714) 892-7711 x51048

Office: ADMIN 228

Department Co-Chair: Noah Levin

Instructor, Philosophy

B.S., Harvey Mudd College; M.A., Ph.D., Bowling Green State University


(714) 892-7711 x51062

Office: ADMIN 213