Community Engaged Learning in Division II

Frequently Asked Questions

Where can I find the language of the official requirement as well as the procedures, forms and guidelines?

All of this information is available on the Hampshire website.

How do you find internships in your areas of academic interest?

By searching HampLink

HampLink contains an up-to-date list of a number of internship opportunities that can be searched by AREA OF FOCUS (e.g. the arts, education, health etc.) and by JOB FUNCTION (e.g. event planning, research, direct service, mentoring, website design, film. video production etc.). Sponsors can upload new opportunities on this site if they have a Hampshire login. Many students also find out about out-of-classroom learning opportunities from other students or faculty, and from their involvements with Hampshire Centers and Programs and other CECL Network Affiliate Programs.

What types of internships count towards meeting the Division 2 Community Engaged Learning requirement?

It is important to review the language of the actual requirement to understand its intentionality and “spirit,” and to judge the appropriateness of a community engaged learning opportunity that is going to be used to meet this requirement. Questions to ask are: Will this internship/activity help to “address critical needs” as defined by a community or organization outside (or inside) the college? Would the work in some way demonstrate “social responsibility” and contribute to learning? [Note that it is not necessary that a community engaged learning activity be in the topical area of the Concentration, though in most cases it is.] It is important to discuss all possible CEL activities with your Division 2 committee. The committee can also advise students on how best to document and reflect upon their work.

What are the procedures for initiating and completing the Division 2 Community Engaged Learning Requirement?

The procedures and guidelines for initiating and completing the Division 2 Community Engaged Learning Requirement can be found in several places, including the CECL website and through discussions with staff at CASACentral Records and CPSC. The forms necessary to initiate and complete the requirement will be made available first in hard copy (by the end of September 2011) and later this fall on the HUB.

How can you get to local internship sites if you do not have access to a car?

Community Partnerships for Social Change (CPSC) and the Community Engagement and Collaborative Learning (CECL) Network coordinate two vans to make off-campus internships, work-study jobs, and partnership projects more accessible to students, particularly to areas where there is little or no public transportation. The vans can be used by other members of the Hampshire community if there are available times, though students placed through CPSC are given priority. Each van has space for 6 passengers plus 1 driver. There are multiple ways you can reserve a van but any student, staff, or faculty member must be a trained defensive driver in order to drive any Hampshire vehicle.

More information about the Hampshire vans and a new PVTA shuttle to Holyoke can be found on the CPSC website. A new “Guide to Community Based Learning Transportation” for routes into and within Holyoke is also available in the CPSC office at the end of the G-corridor in Franklin Patterson Hall.

Can you fulfill the Division 2 Community Engagement & Learning Requirement before you have filed Division 2?

No. The CEL2 requirement is designed to enhance learning and draw upon a student’s growing expertise within the context of the Concentration, though it does not have to overlap with the precise subject matter of the Concentration.

When does the Division 2 Community Engagement & Learning Requirement have to be completed?

By the end of Division 2 and before committee members issue a final pass.

If the Division 2 Community Engagement & Learning Requirement involves for a class can it also count for the Division 3 Advanced Learning activity?

No. The CEL2 and Advanced Learning requirements are separate graduation requirements. They cannot be double-counted.

Can the Division 2 Community Engagement & Learning Requirement be completed within the context of a course that incorporates a community-based learning component?

Yes. The new Division 2 Community Engaged Learning Requirement encourages students to draw their academic work into whatever community engaged learning activity or project they choose to do to meet the specific minimum requirements. Community-based learning courses where a significant part of the work for the class involves a job with a community organization to meet a need, and where a significant amount of written reflection is required on the relationship of that learning to classroom learning, is an ideal way to both meet the requirement (if all the specific time and other criteria are met) while also participating in an intellectual and academic activity that one either gets a grade or an evaluation for.

Do you need more than a narrative evaluation or grade from a community-engaged learning course to meet the Division 2 Community Engagement & Learning Requirement?

Yes. Students wishing to use a course to meet the community-engaged learning requirements for Division 2 need to meet all the criteria as laid out in the actual requirement as well as receive an evaluation or grade for the class. In addition, it is necessary to obtain an evaluation of the community-engaged work from the community sponsor. To count towards the Division 2 Community Engagement Learning Requirement, students must compile all of these necessary materials even if these were not required in the course (e.g. demonstrate a 40-hour or semester-long equivalent of work, write a reflective essay, include products from the work etc.). The goals of the Division 2 Community Engaged Learning Requirement are spelled out well and they have to do with demonstrating social responsibility in the context of one’s academic pursuits. The purpose in creating this more robust requirement was not only to clarify its parameters, but also to enable students to integrate these activities with their academic interests, if desired.

Can the Division 2 Community Engagement & Learning and the Multiple Cultural Perspectives requirements be met by the same activity?

In some cases, it may be possible to fulfill the goals of the Division 2 Community Engaged Learning Requirementand Multiple Cultural Perspectives Requirement through a single class or out-of-classroom activity, as long as the individual requirements for each are met.

Can you get paid for an internship or do an internship as part of work study and still have it count towards the Division 2 Community Engagement & Learning Requirement?

We discussed this question among the faculty before the new requirement was passed and, though the vast majority of engaged learning activities will be volunteer, students can be paid modest stipends in the context of doing community engaged work. Many students on work-study earn their required contribution by working several hours a week for community-based organizations, and often donate additional volunteer time beyond that. If students meet all the criteria necessary to pass the Division 2 Community Engaged Learning Requirement, the fact that they receive a modest stipend does not matter.  

How will the Division 2 Community Engagement & Learning activities be evaluated?

The sponsor of an internship/activity that is to be used for the purposes of meeting the goals of the Division 2 Community Engaged Learning Requirement should evaluate a student’s work based upon a number of criteria that include, but are not limited to,

  • What tasks the student accomplished
  • What needs were met through this work
  • What the student contributed to furthering the work/mission of the organization or person(s)
  • How committed and responsible the student was in fulfilling her/his responsibilities, etc.

What should you do if the CEL2 supervisor fails to write an evaluation?

First try to contact the sponsor to see if the evaluation is in progress and to make sure they know the procedure for accessing the HUB. If there is a further problem in obtaining an evaluation, speak with your Division 2 chair. If finding the time to write the evaluation is an issue, it may be possible for your sponsor to dictate comments over the phone to your chair.

Where do evaluations by the sponsoring community partner(s) go?

They will go to Central Records via the HUB once the appropriate form is uploaded (late fall 2011). They will not go into the transcript. [Note: A hard copy form for the evaluation will be made available at Central Records, in the CPSC (Community Partnerships for Social Change) office, on this website, and in school offices by the end of September 2011.] Students should include a copy of the evaluation in their Division 2 portfolios.

Should the Division 2 chair summarize the Community Engagement & Learning Requirement as part of the Division 2 evaluation? If so, what elements of the work should be addressed in this evaluation?

The section of the Division 2 evaluation form on the HUB that addresses the Division 2 Community Engaged Learning Requirement may begin with a question – e.g. how did the CEL internship/project contribute to student learning? Such a broad question accommodates those students who chose to meet this requirement with work that is both outside and related to the academic focus of their Concentrations.

What is the CECL Network?

The CECL (Community Engagement & Collaborative Learning) Network at Hampshire was formed to support student and faculty engagement on and off campus, in the local community and in the larger world, to meet community-defined needs and (where possible) further the goals of social justice [see Mission/Vision on the CECL website]. The CECL Network also helps to support the new Division 1 Campus and Division 2 Community Engaged Learning requirements. Taken together, both requirements emphasize the importance of respectful and reciprocal relationships between students and organizations at Hampshire and in the larger community, as they work together to address critical needs, and as students are encouraged to apply their growing expertise to make a positive impact on their surroundings and the world.

Through many different activities, the CECL Network seeks to foster creative alliances among Hampshire’s interdisciplinary academic programs and curricular clusters in order to generate new opportunities for community/college collaboration, attract new resources to the college, build program capacity, and prepare students to work in diverse communities and reflect upon their learning in meaningful ways.