cel-what?

On Tuesday, October 23 from 4-5PM in the Dakin Living Room, Ivana Staiti, assistant director of community partnerships for social change and community engagement, set out to answer this question for an audience of new students. Have you started your CEL-1 yet? Still have questions? Read on for some great information about how to get going.

What Happened:
After a brief discussion of the philosophy behind this graduation requirement, Ivana walked the group through the CEL-1 website and the process for signing up for activities. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions about specific offerings and suggest some additional projects. Each attendee also received a helpful handout that broke down the steps for CEL-1 registration and sponsorship. Did you see the CEL-What? bulletin boards in Dakin and Merrill Houses? Check them out if you haven’t already — they’re chock full of information about FAQs, what counts, and other great tips. Most of this information is also available on the CEL-1 website.

What We Learned:

  • There are lots of different ways to complete the requirement, and there’s no need to choose just one activity to satisfy all 40 hours. By engaging in a multitude of activities, you’ll gain experience in different areas of campus life, meet more people, and have more opportunities to connect the CEL-1 to your academic interests.
  • New activities are posted almost every day, and each has a different timeline. Check back regularly to learn more about short and long term opportunities. Some last only a day, while others span entire semesters. You never know what you’ll find.
  • Participation in student groups, OPRA, EPEC, and Lemelson co-curricular courses counts towards this requirement, so you may have already started without even knowing it. Talk to your advisor and take a look at the website for more information on how to register the things that you’ve already started, and to ensure that these hours count towards your completion.
  • Although there are countless posted activities, it is possible to create your own. Staff, faculty, Division II, and Division III students can sponsor activities. If there’s something you’d really like to work on, talk to your advisor about how your idea will fit into the requirement and how to find someone to sponsor your work.

Use These Resources:

Did we miss anything? E-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu for more information!

cel-1 reflection

Have you completed your CEL-1 hours? Are you preparing to pass Division I at the end of this semester? If you answered yes to either of these questions, now is the time to begin reflecting on your CEL-1 experience! On Thursday, April 19 from 12-1PM in the Dakin Living Room, Nell Arnold, assistant professor of fiction writing, presented a CEL-1 reflection workshop to an audience of first-year students. Ivana Staiti, community engagement and collaborative learning coordinator, joined the workshop as a special guest, and to respond to technical questions regarding the CEL-1 website, verification, and other related topics. Did you miss it? Wondering what happened? Read on for an overview of the workshop and some helpful hints from our facilitators.

What Happened:
While participants enjoyed a free lunch, Nell Arnold distributed a list of CEL-1 Freewrite Prompts to supplement those that are listed in the reflection section on the CEL-1 website. These questions, which are more specific in nature, can help enhance your focus as you prepare your written reflection. The questions on the CEL-1 website are fairly broad, so Nell suggested using these prompts to break apart the big questions and to help participants to think more deeply on what was most meaningful for them as they completed the requirement. Nell guided participants through a number of these prompts, and those in attendance had the opportunity to share more about the opportunities that they took on and how they fit into their overall Division I experience.

Some Sample Questions:
A PDF version of the CEL-1 freewrite prompts is linked in the paragraph above, but here are a few of our favorite prompts to get you in the mindset for CEL-1 reflection.

  • Did your CEL-1 activity bring a “community” into being? If so, how?
  • Did you meet new people? Did you find common ground with them? Did you find that your views and expectations differed? If so, in what ways?
  • Did the CEL-1 give you any opportunities to teach someone else or give anyone advice about how to do something?
  • If you could change something about your CEL-1 experience, what would it be? How would you advise a first-year student, next year, about how to have a successful and enjoyably challenging CEL-1 experience?

What We Learned:

  • Completion of the space in the reflection section of your chosen activities on the CEL-1 website is not a requirement, but it does provide a good starting point for identifying what pieces of your CEL-1 reflection you want to include in your Division I retrospective. Spend some time reflecting on each of your activities ahead of time. It will make the CEL-1 portion of your retrospective that much easier to complete.
  • The CEL-1 is an academic requirement, and you’re encouraged to consider what you’ve learned outside of the classroom that you can bring inside the classroom in your future work. By framing it in this way, you may make some surprising discoveries about how the CEL-1 will influence your future academic experiences at Hampshire.
  • It’s okay to admit when things didn’t go as planned. Capitalize on your learning experiences as you reflect!
  • If you’re focusing on one primary activity through which you completed your hours, feel free to make mention of the other ways in which you were involved on campus too. We want you to focus on what was most meaningful, but there’s no reason not to share the fullness of your involvement experience in your retrospective.

Use These Resources:

  • For general information about the CEL-1 requirement, visit the CEL-1 website or check out our two prior blog posts on the CEL-What? workshops in October and February.
  • Still have questions about reflection? Send a note to cel1@hampshire.edu. They’re happy to help!

Did we miss something? Need more information? E-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu.

cel-what?

CEL-What?On Thursday, February 23 from 4-5PM in the Dakin Living Room, Ivana Staiti, community engagement and collaborative learning coordinator, presented a special drop-in workshop for division I students on the CEL-1 requirement. This session expanded upon the first CEL-What? workshop, which was held during the fall semester. Couldn’t make it? Still have questions about CEL-1? Read on for lots of great information.

What Happened:
Participants arrived with lots of questions about their progress with the CEL-1 requirement, which provided a good starting point for the workshop. Some had already started the requirement, while others came to the workshop seeking more information on how best to begin logging CEL-1 hours. Ivana answered participants’ individual questions, provided an overview of the basic philosophy of the requirement, and walked everyone through the CEL-1 website. Attendees also had the opportunity to see how sponsors add activities to the site, in addition to a demonstration of how students can register for specific activities.

Good Questions:
What follows is a list of the most common questions from workshop participants at all stages of CEL-1 completion (and their answers!). For more general information about the requirement, don’t miss the blog post for our first CEL-What? workshop.

  • Q: I’m interested in an activity that is posted on the website. Should I make an effort to contact the sponsor prior to registering, or should I just register through the site?
    A: It’s never a bad idea to reach out to the sponsor to make sure that the activity is still current, and to introduce yourself. By doing so, the sponsor will know to expect your registration, and you can get any questions you may have answered ahead of time.
  • Q: I think an activity that I’m working on should count towards CEL-1, but it isn’t on the website. How does an activity get posted?
    A: There are generally two different ways in which activities get posted to the CEL-1 website. Sponsors with special projects will post activities to the website in the hopes of finding students who are interested in working on these projects, and students can browse these activities as they post to the website. Other activities, including student groups, are not automatically posted to the CEL-1 website, so participants will need to ask a signer or other student to post the activity as a sponsor. If you’re working on an activity that should be on the website, don’t hesitate to speak to the instructor, signers, or other older students. Adding an activity is a quick and easy process for sponsors, and once the activity has been added to the website, you can officially register.
  • Q: I’m hoping to create a new activity, based on my interests. How do I find a sponsor?
    A: If you’re working with a staff or faculty member, or a Div II or Div III student, you can invite them to be your sponsor. Sponsors do not need to observe you completing all of your hours, but they do need to verify that you’ve completed them at the end of the activity. If you need advice on how to go about this process, speak to your advisor, or contact Ivana Staiti at cel1@hampshire.edu.
  • Q: I haven’t yet started the activity that I’m creating, and I’m not sure that it will amount to 40 hours. What should I do?
    A: Don’t forget that you can complete your hours multiple ways! We want to be sure that you’re completing the requirement so that you can pass Division I on time. Take the time to review all of the possible activities on the website, and feel free to register for multiple things. The project that you’re hoping will help you to complete your hours may turn out to be a significant part of your Division II instead. Keep yourself open to multiple possibilities, and be sure to survey all of the different ways to complete your hours.

Use These Resources:

  • The CEL-1 website is a hub of great information. Review the extensive list of FAQs, browse available activities, and get yourself signed up!
  • Feel free to speak to your advisor about your progress with the requirement. We want to be sure that you’re able to pass Division I in a timely manner, so please let your advisor know if you’re having any trouble completing the CEL-1.
  • Still have questions? E-mail them to cel1@hampshire.edu. They’re happy to help!

That’s all for now. Did we miss anything? E-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu for more information!

cel-what?

On Tuesday, October 18 from 4-5PM in the Dakin Living Room, Nell Arnold, assistant professor of fiction writing, and Ivana Staiti, community engagement and collaborative learning coordinator, set out to answer this question for an audience of staff, faculty, and new students. Have you started your CEL-1 yet? Still have questions? Read on for some great information on who to ask and how to get going.

What Happened:
After a brief (but vibrant!) conversation about the philosophy behind this graduation requirement, our presenters walked the group through the CEL-1 website and the process for signing up for activities. Attendees had the opportunity to ask questions about specific offerings and suggest some additional projects. Did you see the CEL-What? bulletin boards in Dakin and Merrill Houses? Each attendee received a copy of the brochure that inspired those boards, which are chock full of information about FAQs, what counts, and other great tips. Most of this information is available on the CEL-1 website, so please check it out if you haven’t already!

What We Learned:

  • There are lots of different ways to complete the requirement, and there’s no need to choose just one activity to satisfy all 40 hours. By engaging in a multitude of activities, you’ll gain experience in different areas of campus life, meet more people, and have more opportunities to connect the CEL-1 to your academic interests.
  • New activities are posted almost every day, and each has a different timeline. Check back regularly to learn more about short and long term opportunities. Some last only a day, while others span entire semesters. You never know what you’ll find.
  • Participation in student groups, OPRA, EPEC, and Lemelson courses counts towards this requirement, so you may have already started without even knowing it. Talk to your advisor and take a look at the website for more information on how to register the things that you’ve already started, and to ensure that these hours count towards your completion.
  • Although there are countless posted activities, it is possible to create your own. Staff, faculty, Division II, and Division III students can sponsor activities. If there’s something you’d really like to work on, talk to your advisor about how your idea will fit into the requirement and how to find someone to sponsor your work.

Use These Resources:

Did we miss anything? E-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu for more information!

making the most of division I

It’s your first year of college. You’re going to class. You’re getting involved. You may even have started planning for next semester. You know what you need to do to complete Division I, but are you making the most of your Div I experience?

On Tuesday, October 4, the office of new student programs invited Division I students to explore this question with a panel of Division II and Division III students from 7-8PM in the Dakin Living Room. Couldn’t make it? Read on for details about what you missed!

What Happened:
Three current students, all of whom were Orientation Leaders during new student orientation this fall, shared stories of their Division I experiences with a packed room of Division I students. Each brought a different perspective on their successes and struggles during their first year at Hampshire, and attendees had the opportunity to ask questions about how each student navigated their unique Division I experience. From stories of discovering interests in the least likely of academic fields, to the importance of asking for help, to finding life balance, Division I students received plenty of insight on how to make the most of their first year at Hampshire.

Advice from the Panel:

  • Trust your gut when selecting your classes. Try to pick them and like them without thinking too much about your biases and past.
  • Find things you love to do outside of class (student groups, activities, programs, and events, etc.). They can influence and enhance your academics and also keep you centered when things get difficult.
  • Try your best to manage your time well. Think ahead throughout the semester to ensure that you complete assignments on time without having to sacrifice sleep (or work quality!)
  • Know your limits. You may have a list of 10 different student groups you’d like to join, but it’s important to be realistic about your time commitments. Choose the few things that you’re most interested in to start with, and if you can take more on, do so gradually.
  • Keep an open mind. Division I offers a unique opportunity for you to explore different areas of study, meet faculty, and figure out what you really like. The thing you don’t think you’re interested in now might become the basis for your Division II or Division III work. Anything can happen!
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. There are tons of resources at your disposal, from the Writing Center, to the library, to the center for academic support and advising (CASA). Wondering where to start? Feel free to ask the office of new student programs!

Use These Resources:
Presenters suggested quite a few resources to the attendees. Here are the ones we discussed the most:

  • Need help with your writing? Contact the Writing Center to learn more about how they can help you improve.
  • Looking for research help? Visit the Johnson Library, and stop by the Infobar near the Circulation Desk for information on resources, special programs, and to ask questions.
  • Looking to get involved on campus? Stop by the campus leadership and activities office (CLA), or browse the list of student groups. Subscribe to campus mailing lists to keep yourself informed about what’s happening on campus.
  • Have you started your CEL-1 yet? Learn more about the CEL-1 on their website, read the FAQ, and browse open opportunities. Still have questions? Send an e-mail to cel1@hampshire.edu, or come to ‘CEL-What? Exploring and Understanding the CEL-1 Requirement for Division I Students,’ on Tuesday, October 18 at 4PM in the Dakin Living Room. You bring questions, we’ll bring food!

Need more information about anything we’ve covered? E-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu.