Are you finishing Div II this semester? Make sure you revise your contract. The final contract should really describe what you have done and include all the courses and practical experiences you want included.
It should also have a title that you are happy with. The title does show up on the first page of your transcript. So make sure the title helps future employers and graduate schools understand what you have studied! Talk to your committee if you want feedback on your title.
Your CEL-2 is negotiated with your committee. Make sure you are talking with them about the kinds of experiences that would help you make a connection between your academics and the wider community. Might you take a course with a community engaged experience, do an internship, be placed with a local or national organization, or help with a community program based on campus? The activity can be on or off campus and could connect to something you are already doing.
CEL-2 is different from CEL-1. There is no website to sign up. The options are broader and might connect to your academic interests. Here are some examples of things students have done:
- Worked on a “Day at Hampshire College” (a college awareness and access program through CYL)
- Helped out in an afterschool program or classroom
- Worked at local survival centers or food pantries
- Worked at reproductive health conferences or agencies
- Worked on local farms or at the Hampshire Farm
- Worked on local housing justice campaigns
- Taught music or voice lessons to youth or college students
- Worked on theater productions
- Created web pages for local nonprofits
- Did research for a nonprofit
- Created dance programs in local senior centers or prisons
- Did a book drive for local schools or family centers
- Worked on a research journal through Five Colleges
- Served as a Teaching Assistant
- Was a signer for a club or ran an EPEC class
AND MANY MORE
To find a placement, you can visit one of these offices: Community Partnerships for Social Change in FPH, CORC in the Library, CYL office in Lemelson, Civil Liberties and Public Policy Program in FPH, Culture Brain and Development Program, or any other academic program.
After you have an idea of what you would like to do, talk to your advisor and add the activity on the Hub (add a CEL-2 activity is a menu item on your Div II tab). Make sure you talk to the potential sponsor and include their email on the Hub.
For more details, visit cel2.hampshire.edu
Building a portfolio helps you keep track of what you are learning, what you are strong at, and what you still need to do. It makes sense to do this as you go along rather than only putting it together at the end of Div II. At the end it is too late to realize you should have taken a methods course or worked on your analytical writing, or added a media course to help you be more creative in how you presented your theoretical learning, etc.
Start putting your important work in a binder as soon as you can – kind of like keeping an inventory of your work. Add your evals and self evals after each semester. Look over them for patterns to see what you should be working on.
And importantly, bring your portfolio to your committee chair and/or whole committee each semester to show them how you are doing. It helps them advise you when they see what you are already good at.
One other benefit of doing this is you won’t be scrambling to build your Div II portfolio when you really want to focus on the transition to Div III at the end of Div II.
Some students report not being sure if they are on track in the middle of Div II — actually some aren’t even sure what the track is! It is time to think about where you came from and where you want to go. Div II is all about making sense of your disparate courses and experiences to answer your questions. It takes reflection, discussion with others (including peers and your committee) and it takes re-evaluating what you are doing and revising your plan. Here are some tips for making meaning across your experiences and setting the course for the second half of Div II.
First, go back and read your contract. Remember your questions that motivated your Div II. Are your questions still the same? Have you made progress on them? Do you have new questions that are shaping your direction? Don’t wait until the end to reflect on the meaning of what you are doing. This is a perfect time to do a little free-writing. It might even become part of your retrospective. Think about and write about what has changed in your thinking. Consider the experiences that have had the greatest impact on your thinking and on your skills. Why were they so important and what does this say about your interests?
Then, go back and read all your course evaluations — one after the other, good or bad or excellent. What do they say to you about your strengths? About your areas of growth? Write down a couple of things to be working on this semester and next. Consider the resources on campus that can assist you. Have an action plan (e.g. meet with one of my professors after the first paper is handed back to talk about what they would like to see in the next one; go to the quantitative skills help sessions in Cole; meet with a friend to give each other feedback on our work and revise it before we even hand it in).
You can also pull the work together that you have done so far and organize it in a binder to begin to represent the different ideas you have been working on. Or you can start to build an electronic portfolio.
Lastly, you can edit your contract to capture the changes in your thinking. Share it with your committee and with friends.