The Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship, Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, and Fries Center for Global Studies are pleased to announce the launch of Wesleyan Engaged Projects (EPs), an academic response to the educational disruptions caused by COVID-19. 

Engaged Projects

  • Overview
    EPs are one-semester, 1.0-credit, self-designed, semi-independent educational endeavors. Students who choose to pursue an EP will start with a topic or question that has some connection to their academic pursuits and to the world at large. They will recruit a "Sponsor" with lived or scholarly expertise related to their topic to provide guidance and feedback, and they will be matched with two other EP students who will provide peer advising and accountability. Then, over the course of one 15-week semester, EP students will research and analyze their topic, produce a project intended for a public (not academic) audience, and complete bi-weekly reflections to document their learning along the way.
  • Justification

    EPs are intended to:

    • Encourage students to learn through the pandemic, not despite it, and to connect their academic studies to the complex world outside Wesleyan; test their capacity to engage with and find meaning in public life
    • Help students avoid “Zoom fatigue,” making it possible to stay deeply engaged with the rest of their course load
    • 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, meta analysis, problem-solving, cross-cultural communication, public writing, comfort with ambiguity, self-awareness, agency, and other competencies that are fundamental to a Wesleyan education
  • Proposing an Engaged Project

    Students interested in enrolling in the EP course (CSPLXXX) for fall 2020 must submit a proposal here [hyperlink TBD].

    This form will ask for details about you, your EP, and your sponsor. To help you prepare your proposal, you can preview the questions here.

  • Engaged Project "Syllabus"

    Although each EP student will have their own research and project plans for the semester, all EPs will follow the same timeline, and students will be responsible for submitting work via Moodle each week.

    Work will fall into four categories:

    • Topic research and analysis (including a 5-page paper summarizing relevant history, theory, and context)
    • Engaged Project (including a project plan, preliminary version, final version, and documentation of audience engagement)
    • Bi-weekly reflections (1-2 page essays documenting progress, setbacks, and lessons learned)
    • Peer reviews (comments on the work of two other EP students)  
  • Finding a Sponsor

    EP Sponsors should have lived or scholarly expertise with the student’s chosen topic. They can be Wesleyan faculty, staff, alumni, or community partners; students’ family members or friends; or any other experts or professionals willing to play this role. Seeking and enlisting an appropriate sponsor is part of the learning experience for students. 

    Sponsors will be expected to meet with the student (in person or virtually) at least once at the beginning of the semester to discuss the EP topic and leanring plan. Thereafter, Sponsors will be asked to review their student's work and submit feedback at least once every other week. Finally, Sponsors will be asked to submit a final review at the end of the semester.

    This is a volunteer role, and sponsors may 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 final project in their own work, or they are interested in mentoring a young person, or they aspire to teach college classes and can hone that skill in this role. 



Questions? Contact or schedule an appointment here.