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Engaged Scholarship

The Engaged Scholarship Certificate allows students to investigate public, civic, and/or social justice issues that they are passionate about through the integration of academic study with community-based learning, research, and action. Students pursuing the certificate in Engaged Scholarship engage in intensive interdisciplinary inquiry into a topic or issue area of their choice (e.g., migration, criminal justice reform, educational disparities), coupled with direct engagement with communities, organizations, and practitioners outside of the academy. The certificate has four requirements - a foundational seminar, a three-course interdisciplinary elective sequence, a community-based practicum, and a capstone - that together advance students’ learning and skills and contribute to the world beyond Brown.

As with all undergraduate certificates, students must be enrolled in or have completed at least two courses toward the certificate at the time they declare in ASK, which must be no earlier than the beginning of the fifth semester and no later than the last day of classes of the antepenultimate (typically the sixth) semester, in order to facilitate planning for the experiential learning opportunity (practicum). Students must submit a proposal for their practicum by the end of the sixth semester.

Students in any concentration may pursue the Engaged Scholarship Certificate. No concentrations are excluded.

Certificate Requirements: 

The ESC will require students to complete four requirements: a required seminar, a three-course elective sequence, a practicum, and a capstone.

Core Course:
SOC 0310Theory and Practice of Engaged Scholarship1
Elective Courses:3
One course carrying the Community Based Learning and Research (CBLR) curricular designation or an approved alternative. For example:
Performing Ethnography and the Politics of Culture
Providence Housing Ecosystem, Development, Displacement and Gentrification
Black Protest Music
Memory, Movements, and Mississippi
Language and Migration
Anthropology of Addictions and Recovery
Anthropology of Homelessness
Anthropology of Mental Health
Heritage in the Metropolis: Remembering and Preserving the Urban Past
Palaces: Built to Impress
Southeast Asia’s Entangled Pasts: Excavated, Curated, and Contested
Divided Places: From Conflict to Understanding, Memory, and Reconciliation
The Archaeology of College Hill
Precision Medicine or Privileged Medicine? Addressing Disparities in Biomedical Research
CS for Social Change
Language and Education Policy in Multilingual Contexts
Family Engagement in Education
Reframing Race in Art Writing
Writing for Activists
Contemporary Asian American Writers
Humans, Nature, and the Environment: Addressing Environmental Change in the 21st Century
Podcasting For the Common Good: Storytelling with Science
Urban Agriculture: The Importance of Localized Food Systems
Birding Communities
L'expérience des réfugiés: déplacements, migrations
The Latin American Diaspora in the US
Networked Movements. Mobilizations for change in Latin America in the 21st century.
Engaged Humanities: Storytelling in the Americas
Writers-in-the-Community Training & Residencies
A Migration Crisis? Displacement, Materiality, and Experience
Public Art in Sound and Listening
Migrants, Political Activism and the Racialization of Labor
Indigenous Politics in Hawai'i: Resurgence and Decolonization
Critical Communities, Critical Engagements
Context Research for Innovation
Ethics, Justice, and Transformations in Engaged Scholarship
Arts and Health: Theory
New Works/World Traditions
Housing Justice
The Just City: Installment I, Comparative Perspectives on Juvenile Justice Reform
Issue Area Course: A course that addresses the student’s stated public, civic, or social justice issue of interest (e.g., Health; Immigration; Gender). That issue or topic will be a coherent thread throughout their ESC course sequence and community-engaged experiences
Critical Perspectives Course: A course related to the student’s specific community engagement focus that examines the broader ethical, political, and social context of that issue area. Students are strongly encouraged to consider DIAP-designated or other courses that address issues of structural inequality, the root causes of social problems, and the production of knowledge and difference in the context of discourses on race, power, and privilege
Practicum: The ESC practicum is a significant practice-based experience (internship, fellowship, volunteer role, etc.) with a community organization or project, during which students also complete a series of reflective assignments. In some cases, it may be fulfilled through a credit-bearing course, such as the Brown in Washington, DC Practicum.
ESC Capstone: The ESC capstone will provide students with a culminating learning experience through which they reflect back on their certificate work and demonstrate achievement and competency with respect to key learning outcomes articulated in their certificate plan. ESC students will have two options for fulfilling the capstone requirement:0-1
Engaged Research/Course Option (credit): Students will be encouraged to pursue an engaged capstone involving research or other projectbased work with a community partner organization. Students electing this option may select an upper-level course - including potentially a concentration capstone course - or propose an independent study (DISP or GISP) aligned with their research interests and, with the agreement of the instructor, pursue a project with a collaborating non-academic partner
Portfolio/Reflection Essay Option (non-credit): Students who elect this option will create an electronic portfolio (e-portfolio) of representative ESC work. The e-portfolio will consist of papers, projects, or other artifacts developed in courses and/or the practicum. It will be accompanied by a reflective essay that responds to a series of prompts about the student’s community engaged learning experiences. ESC students will also participate in a public presentation of their work. ESC participants’ faculty advisors, ESC Review Committee members, and/or Swearer Center staff with relevant expertise will advise and evaluate this type of capstone
Total Credits4-5