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CAREERS AND EDUCATION: Innovative degree programs for Bay Area changemakers

De Anza's environmental stewardship majors explore the wild. Here, instructor Ryan Phillips (center)'s trip to Coyote Valley.

Calling all activist-artists, California College of the Arts' community arts program is comprised of classes that study and build upon the relationships that creative types forge with their community. Students work aggressively for social change through community interaction. Past projects have revolved around designing furniture for an Oakland school and crafting nesting modules for roosting coastal birds.

California College of the Arts, 1111 Eighth St., SF. (415) 703-9523, www.cca.edu


Fittingly, considering that Mills College is home to less than 1,000 undergrads (all female), students in this popular bachelor's program can rely on lots of individual attention. Students can choose to concentrate on a political, international, or economic focus, prepping themselves, for instance, for future work in public policy or crusading against the death penalty.

Mills College, 5000 MacArthur Blvd., Oakl. (510) 430-2255, www.mills.edu


Crikey. De Anza's restoration-geared associate's degree program trains future stewards in wildlife tracking, ecological management, and conservation work. Less alligator wrestling as much as bird-tagging (in Bay Area, anyway), this major arms eco-warriors with courses with names like "Blueprint for Sustainability" and "Community-Based Coalitions and Stakeholders," and pushes students to spend quality time out in the field.

De Anza College, 21250 Stevens Creek Blvd., Cupertino. (408) 864-5400, www.deanza.edu

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