Courses

MCR 601 Mediation Skills Training (3)
This is a five-day intensive “boot camp” taught on-campus by experienced professional mediators and approved by the Circuit Court of Cook County. This course develops the practical skills of conflict resolution through extensive supervised role-playing. Required for MA in Conflict Resolution. Information on local accommodations.

MCR 603 Traditional and Alternative Dispute Method (3)
This is an overview of the American legal system which traditionally resolves disputes through the courts. We will discuss the advantages and disadvantages of a highly-formalized system of dispute resolution. In addition, we will focus on the growing trend to resolve disputes through alternative means: negotiation, arbitration and mediation. Required for MA in Conflict Resolution.

MCR 605 Ethics of Conflict Resolution (3)
Those who seek to resolve conflict are motivated by good intentions, but may wind up doing more harm than good. This course focuses on the ethical duties owed to parties in a dispute, with a particular focus on neutrality, confidentiality and informed consent. Students will study ethical canons, including the ABA’s model standards of conduct for mediators, as well as case studies. Required for MA in Conflict Resolution.

MCR 607 Negotiation (3)
Negotiation is a key element of conflict resolution. Parties to a dispute attempt to negotiate a favorable resolution while third-party mediators attempt to negotiate with the parties to forge an agreement. In this five-day, intensive campus-based course, students will use live role-playing exercises to hone their negotiation skills under the guidance of experienced negotiators. Required for MA in Conflict Resolution. Information on local accommodations.

MCR 609 Psychology of Conflict (3)
This course will explore the psychological origins of conflict as well as how a deeper understanding of human nature can be used to resolve conflict. Required for MA in Conflict Resolution.

MCR 611 Interpersonal Communication (3)
In this course, students develop effective communication strategies to employ in one-to-one or small-group interactions to reduce and resolve conflict. Required for MA in Conflict Resolution.

MCR 613 Intercultural Conflict Resolution (3)
Conflict at the local and international level often stems from cultural differences between members of different groups. This course promotes cultural literacy as a means to celebrate difference while overcoming culture-based conflict. Required for MA in Conflict Resolution.

MCR 615 Religion and Conflict Resolution (3)
Religious differences have spurred conflict throughout history in horrific events like the Crusades, the Reconquista and the Troubles. Yet religion has also played an important pacifying rule in ending slavery and segregation in the United States, colonial rule in India and apartheid in South Africa. The course will use case studies to help students learn to use religion as a tool for peace, rather than conflict. Required for MA in Conflict Resolution.

MCR 619 Online Dispute Resolution (3)
Modern disputes often occur at a distance with participants living in different parts of the world. Conflict can simmer due to the difficulty in bringing the parties to the same table. Technical advances have made it possible to resolve conflict at a distance. This course will address how online dispute resolution differs from conventional mediation and focus on specific skills needed to effectively resolve disputes online. No longer a required course.

MCR 621 Family Conflict Resolution (3)
Conflict between family members can be the nastiest, with the intense feelings of love turning to hate. Disputes over legal matters like divorce, child custody and inheritance are common, but so too are more personal disputes between family members. Students will not only learn to help resolve family disputes, but also to avoid family conflict in their own lives.

MCR 623 Conflict Resolution in the Workplace (3)
People spend a third of the lives at work and professional disputes can turn personal. The course emphasizes the unique dynamics of workplace conflict, with a particular focus on power imbalance between managers and subordinates. Required for MA in Conflict Resolution; replaced MCR 619 as a required course.

MCR 625 International Conflict Resolution (3)
Nation-states exist in a potential state of conflict with their neighbors and global rivals. In its most extreme form, this conflict leads to bloody wars, but other serious conflicts abound over issues like trade, immigration and natural resources. This course will examine case studies of both intractable and resolved conflicts to create a framework for understanding global conflict.

MCR 627 Conflict Resolution in the Community (3)
This course is grounded in the concept that construction of social meaning lies at the heart of how human conflict is created and understood. “Social conflict emerges and develops on the basis of the meaning and interpretation people involved attach to action and events...From this starting point, conflict is connected to meaning, meaning to knowledge, and knowledge is rooted in culture." [Lederach 1995, p. 8] In this course we will explore processes of addressing conflict in communities in ways that view conflict as normal and continuous dynamic that provides opportunities for creative constructive change in human relationships and in communities.

This course is offered with an elicited-approach to learning, viewing our learning as a process of co-creation, emerging from the context of our experiences and conversations. In our work together, we will learn about conflict, different approaches to conflict in a community setting, and explore and apply resources for conflict transformation in communities. Prerequisite is MCR 601.

MCR 629 Commercial Conflict Resolution (3)
Despite a focus on the “bottom line,” businesspeople often allow emotion to intrude in commercial transactions. This course emphasizes the importance of recognizing and checking this emotional element in order to maximize profitability. In particular, the course will address conflict between business rivals and conflict between business partners.

MCR 631 Collective Bargaining (3)
This course covers the highly-complex world of labor relations, including union formation, contract negotiation and ratification and disputes arising under the contract.

MCR 633 Violence Across the Lifespan (3)
Violence Across the Lifespan is designed to provide an overview of violence and trauma, its causes and consequences on the developmental course of individuals, families, communities, organization and nations.  The course explores alternative to, prevention of, and healing from violence that supports empowerment on micro, meso, and macro levels to address the causes and consequences of violence.

MCR 641 Leading Change (3)
Learners will be introduced to the field of Change Leadership and Management and the effect of conflict on change efforts. The history, foundations, and supporting theories will be explored.  The role of the change agent will be investigated.  Additionally, organizational and personal transformation concepts will prepare the learner to operate and thrive in an environment of discontinuous change and to understand the steps needed to accomplish the change and to deal with the ensuing conflict. Strategies for introducing change in an organization and making the change permanent will be developed as well as keys to identifying and dealing with the resulting conflict. 

MCR 645 Conflict Management (3)
This course provides learners the opportunity to improve their ability and knowledge of conflict management. If and when mediators fail to secure a resolution to a conflict, the next best alternative to a resolution will be their ability to manage the conflict in question. Unlike conflict resolution, conflict management is the management of existing conflict that has no eminent resolution. By managing a conflict, we buy time towards the resolution of that conflict. By the end of this course, learners will be able to identify conflicts without an eminent resolution, and how to manage such conflicts.

MCR 647 Divorce & Family Mediation (3)
This 5 day (45 hour) divorce mediation skills training is an advanced course which will build upon the concepts learned in MCR 601, Mediation Skills Training.  The course will prepare the student to mediate a variety of family cases, including divorce or child custody, adult guardianship, and/or child protection matters.  Students in this course will learn about different mediation processes as well as advanced communication and negotiation skills.  Students will then apply these skills through mediation simulations, fishbowl exercises and role play sessions based on scenarios common to a variety of family court settings.  Additional topics covered will include: the legal processes; domestic violence and other impediments to mediating; the grieving process; impact of separation on children; working with professionals; mediating with multiple parties; co-mediation; and ethical issues.

MCR 690 Conflict Resolution Practicum (3)
In this course, students develop real-world conflict resolution skills in a professional setting under the supervision of a faculty member. Students may elect to assist a professional mediator or to serve in an administrative capacity in a nonprofit organization. Interested students should contact the Assistant Provost for placement assistance and approval.