I like the idea of this course, but I do not know what project to propose. How should I figure that out?
Do not start by thinking about a project/product that you want to build. Instead, start by thinking about topics you want to dig into. Are there questions that have come up in other classes that you want to investigate more deeply? Are there current events that interest and motivate you? Are there concepts that you’d like to develop expertise around so that you can introduce those concepts to other people?
Once you identify a topic you want to study, then you can think about your EP deliverable(s). Who will your audience(s) be? What medium will be most effective in communicating your content? What consequences (positive, negative, or neutral) do you imagine your content might have?
What is the role of a Sponsor? How should I go about finding one?
Seeking, enlisting, and building rapport with an appropriate Sponsor is part of the learning experience for students.
EP Sponsors should have lived or professional expertise with the student’s chosen topic. They can be from a student’s own network or from the Wesleyan community (for example, Cardinals Helping Cardinals or a retired Wesleyan faculty member). Keep an open mind and recognize not just traditional credentials (e.g. a PhD or a seasoned career) but also underrecognized credentials (e.g. lived experience, proximity to problems, ingenuity, etc.).
Sponsors will be expected to meet with the student at least once at the beginning of the semester to discuss the EP topic and learning plan. Thereafter, Sponsors will be asked to review their student’s work and offer feedback three times over the course of the semester.
This is a volunteer role, and Sponsors will not be compensated. However, we imagine that the best Sponsor matches will be those where there is reciprocal benefit; perhaps the Sponsor can use the student’s research or project in their own work, they are interested in mentoring a young person, or they are retired and looking for meaningful volunteer work and human connection.
A document that can be shared with prospective Sponsors is here.
Can I enroll in CSPL/CGST480 to work on a project I have already started or that I will also be working on in another class?
No. If you already have a project underway, or if you are about to work on a project in another class, a job/internship, or some other setting, you cannot also work on that project in CSPL/CGST480. In other words, no “double-dipping.”
Can I get credit toward my major/minor/certificate?
Some programs of study will offer credit for related EPs. Please speak to the chair or director to find out if your project will qualify.
Is there funding to support the creation of final projects?
No. We ask that students propose and build final projects that require effort, time, and connections but not money. Students will not be assessed on the quality of their final project; high production value will have no importance in this course. Rather, students will be assessed on their diligence and learning process. Setbacks and lessons-learned will be celebrated, not discouraged! To be clear: we ask that EP students do not use any grant or personal funding to support their work in this course.
Can I partner with another student on an Engaged Project?
Yes. Each student must enlist a Sponsor and turn in all required assignments, but students may collaborate on their work throughout the semester.