Community Impact Residency Program at Wesleyan University 

The Community Impact Residency brings together Wesleyan students interested in the practice of civic engagement and a cross-section of community stakeholders – local leaders, resident-led groups, nonprofits, and municipal government – committed to creating just, equitable, and sustainable communities.

Student participants of this program enroll in two 1 credit courses (CSPL290 and CSPL291) and are assigned a project which they support for the duration of the academic year.  Student participants actively learn about partners’ work and participate in select public events, while playing a critical role in supporting projects identified by program partners. Students attend regular class meetings where they participate in discussions about readings and reflections on their experience, and engage occasional guest speakers. This course is POI and students must be willing to commit to participating for the entire academic year.

The Community Impact Residency is coordinated by the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships, while CSPL290 and CSPL291 are taught by Clifton Watson, Director of the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships.

If you are a student interested in enrolling in the Community Impact Residency program please complete the 2021-2022 Student Application.  If you are a partner interested in learning more and in applying to the 2021-2022 Community Impact Residency program, please see Overview and Expectations to learn more about the application process, key program components, as well as student and partner expectations.

Overview and Expectations

Over the course of the 2021-2022 academic year, students will gain invaluable experience - being introduced to your community’s civic life while sharpening professional skills that will be leveraged after graduation and on behalf of projects proposed by partners like you.

We invite you to apply to this year’s program.  All interested parties should complete an organizational application by Thursday, August 9th.  Please note the following key program components and expectations for students and partners:

Key Program Components

  • Participating students will be enrolled in a 1 credit course in the fall and spring semesters. In addition to meeting the demands of supporting partners’ work, students will meet twice per month with their larger cohort to participate in discussions about readings and reflections on their experience and engage occasional guest speakers. Students will be expected to dedicate a minimum of 8 hours per month to work on partner projects.
  • Clearly outlined goals of proposed projects and roles for students are key.  Before you submit your project proposal form, please see examples of impactful and successful projects here.
  • Partnering organizations and groups may serve as guest speakers in the course.
  • We will accept applications from organizations and/or projects aligned with our newly announced focus areas (education and youth development, sustainability and environmental justice, and our Re-Imagining Justice Initiative). Learn more about our focus areas here.  
  • All project applicants will be notified of their application status by Monday, September 20th.  All interns will start their organizational assignments during the week of October 4th, 2021. 

Student Expectations

  • Full engagement in class and “practice” component of the Community Impact Residency.
  • Students are expected to abide by the Cardinal Community Commitment - they will take the time to get familiar with their organization, practice ongoing self-reflection, embrace a spirit of humility, and be an adaptable collaborator. 
  • Students will share their learnings at the Allbritton End of Year Open House.  

Expectations for Partners

  • Project mentors will be assigned 1-2 student interns and must be accessible for regular check-ins and support around the project. 
  • Orient student interns to the history and mission of partners’ work.
  • Invite student interns to appropriate activities to aid in introduction to partners’ work, board, clients, and its broader community.
  • Participate in the Allbritton End-of-Year Open House, where students and partners celebrate the culmination of the program and share key learnings from the experiences and impact of projects.
  • Complete partner survey - distributed twice over the course of the 2021-2022 academic year.
  • We will welcome partnering organizations – over the course of the academic year – to share learning and reflections from their work with students, faculty, and other partners and professions during in-class presentations and public programming.

Are you interested in joining the Community Impact Residency Program? Please fill out the Organization Application here by August 9th:

Are you a student interested in the Community Impact Residency Program? Please see the course on WesMaps and fill out the Student Application:


Students sitting and listening to a guest speaker.