Civic Engagement 101: Getting Involved in the Classroom


“At Wesleyan, just as much learning takes place outside of the classroom as it does inside.”

This was one of the first things I remember hearing when I visited Wesleyan five years ago. After experiencing a Wesleyan education, I realized that this was completely true. However I think the sentiment bears explication. I think it is even more true to say that Wesleyan expands the notion of what can be a “classroom,” widening the possibilities for students to explore and learn in the world around them. Through Service-Learning and the Civic Engagement Certificate, students are able to continue breaking down barriers between what is “university” and what is “Middletown” and in doing so facilitate learning in an exciting way.

Service-learning has a rich history at Wesleyan. Service-learning is a way for students to broaden their understanding of subject matter and theories studied in the classroom and library through activities that serve a need in the community. Through Service-Learning, students have gained clinical experience at a local hospital, filmed documentaries, worked with elementary school children on reading skills, and carried out many other experiential projects.

The Civic Engagement Certificate is another way of structuring engagement at Wesleyan. During their sophomore through senior years, CEC students will complete a series of academic and co-curricular activities, including courses, volunteering, practica, and opportunities for reflection that will enable them to develop a rich understanding of the varied components of civic engagement.

To learn more about service-learning at Wesleyan, click here.

To learn more about the Civic Engagement Certificate, click here

If this is your first time on our blog, check out the rest of our orientation series! Get welcomed to Wesleyan, meet me, learn about getting involved during your down time, and ENGAGE your portfolio!


Jelisa Adair

I am the Civic Engagement Fellow for 2013-2014. While a student at Wesleyan I double majored in Psychology and Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and completed a joint thesis during my senior year. I am interested in issues of social justice, mental health, media, and global welfare.