Engaged Projects (CSPL/CGST480) are 1.0-credit, semi-independent educational endeavors that empower Wesleyan students to study a topic of their choice and produce a public project. They:
- Encourage students to connect their academic studies to the complex world outside Wesleyan, test their capacity to engage with and find meaning in public life, and reflect on their own positionality and agency
- Empower students to imagine, design, and produce projects for a non-academic audience
- Nurture personal connections through relationships with Sponsors and Cohorts
- Endow students with the skills, confidence, and intellectual flexibility to shape a safe and better future
- Provide academic space to practice research methods, public writing, and other competencies that are fundamental to a Wesleyan education
All Engaged Projects have the following components:
Each Engaged Projects student chooses a topic that has some connection to their education and to the world.
Students meet with a librarian to devise a research strategy that draws from multiple disciplines, research methods, and sources.
Engaged Projects students enlist a volunteer Sponsor who has lived or professional experience with their topic. Sponsors give advice and feedback throughout the semester.
Students are grouped into Cohorts of three for peer mentorship and accountability.
A member of the faculty and a student teaching apprentice (TA) host office hours and comment on submitted assignments. (There are no mandatory class meetings or lectures.)
After conducting and analyzing their research, students design and create a project for a public (not academic) audience. Weekly homework assignments document progress and increase accountability.
Projects can be completed in any medium. Past students have created films, podcasts, websites, blogs, slide presentations, Instagrams, e-books, and more.
Each Engaged Project must have a target audience. The most successful projects are those that seek input from audience members early and often, and that have the potential to impact that audience positively.
Students complete three reflections during the semester, deepening the learning experience.