Spring ’16 Service Learning Courses

There are many great opportunities to engage in public life and service through your academics at Wesleyan. Here are a few courses that still have openings available for this spring, including the service-learning classes in early childhood education and architecture, and a quarter-credit class taught by Patricelli Center director Makaela Kingsley.

51Hbf2PWgvL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_Introduction to Social Entrepreneurship

CSPL 262, Kingsley,Makaela Jane  

This is an intro-level crash course in social entrepreneurship. We’ll start by defining social entrepreneurship, then we’ll explore the tactics and tendencies of successful social entrepreneurs. We will partially incubate a real social enterprise, so we can “learn by doing.” Each session will be a combination of lecture, group work/discussion, and in-class presentations.
This course will be useful for students who want to think critically about how social change happens, launch their own projects or ventures, innovate solutions to social and environmental problems, hone their activism, and/or build practical skills. Although it is introductory level, it will be useful for students already involved with social impact organizations or entrepreneurial enterprises.

Radio Production and the Politics of Independent Media

AMST 335, Kauanui,J. Kehaulani   

This course will focus on radio production and the politics of independent media. With a focus on noncommercial radio, specifically community and college radio, class members will learn about the rise and fall of independent media in the United States as a political project, the continued importance of noncommercial radio, and the prospects for recuperating radio production as an alternative news medium in the service of civic engagement. Students will learn the techniques of radio production to create a research-based podcast. This course will entail collaborative work as well as interface with WESU radio station.

Architecture II

ARST 436, Huge,Elijah

This course is a second level architecture studio whose focus will be a single intensive research and design project. The studio will focus on the architecture of the college campus dormitory, analyzing the historical variations of this building typology, exploring its potential currently, and putting forward design proposals grounded in precedent studies and research. A central goal of the studio will be to explore potential roles of the dormitory as a space for student life in the context of the residential college campus. As the semester progresses, additional design, representation, and production tools will be introduced and used for developing work for the project, from graphics software to the laser cutter. Additional information about the architecture studios at Wesleyan and its past projects may be found at: http://www.facebook.com/wesnorthstudio

Informal Science Education for Elementary School Students II

CHEM 242, Roberts,Andrea   

A service-learning course that will focus on designing and implementing original, effective, and engaging science-based lesson plans for elementary age children in an afterschool program setting at five local elementary schools. The classroom component includes writing, testing, and critiquing lesson plans and organizing a once-a-semester event, Science Saturday. Members of the class are required to volunteer weekly, co-lead Science Saturday, complete individual work, and organize meetings for projects outside of class. This course is a continuation of CHEM241.

Software Engineering

COMP 342, Burge,Janet Elizabeth 

This course provides an introduction to the processes and tools of software engineering: the design, development, testing, and maintenance of large software systems. The course is based on the Berkeley MOOC “Software Engineering as a Service” and uses on-line material from the MOOC to provide some of the course content.
The first part of the course will cover developing software in teams as well as learning the languages and tools used in the course including: Ruby, Rails, Cucumber, RSpec, Pivotal Tracker, and gitHub.
The second part of the course will continue to present software engineering concepts but will also focus on developing a team service learning software development project for an external customer.

41VF6FW1BBL._SX319_BO1,204,203,200_Teaching Music Lessons to Children in Local Schools

MUSC 463, Nelson,David Paul    

This is a service-learning course. Students will teach private and small group music lessons to students at Green Street Arts Center and Macdonough School in Middletown. These sessions will be augmented by a weekly classroom session in which readings and the student teachers’ journals will be discussed. Some of the Wesleyan Music Department’s private lessons instructors will visit to answer questions and guide the student teachers through the issues, musical and extra-musical, that the lessons will raise.
Written assignments will include responses to weekly readings, regular journal entries, and an end-of-semester paper. There will also be a recital by the school children at the end of the semester.


America in Prison: Theater Behind Bars

THEA 115, Jenkins,Ronald S.   

This course will give students the opportunity to study theater as a tool for social activism and to apply that knowledge to practical work in institutions that are part of the American Criminal Justice System. No previous experience in theater is necessary. Students will be encouraged to use their own skills in music, art, and drama as they devise ways to use the arts as catalysts for individual and social transformation.


Jennifer Roach is the Civic Engagement Fellow in Allbritton for the academic year 2015-2016. She is a recent Wesleyan alumni, class of 2014. Since graduating, she has moved to Hartford to continue developing Summer of Solutions Hartford, an urban farming internship program she worked on during her time at Wesleyan.