New Century College will offer two new six-credit capstone courses this spring. Both courses offer NCC’s hallmark blend of integrative, experiential learning and will help students to reflect and apply the many different skills and concepts they have acquired in the program. “Social Innovation in Action” will be taught by Professor Wendy Wagner and “Creativity for Social Action and Transformation” will be led by Professor Suzanne Scott Constantine. Students may register for these and other courses once the enrollment period begins on November 4.
In this learning community, students will integrate the knowledge, competencies and skills they have learned throughout their college experiences and apply them to a posed community challenge that uses social enterprise (i.e. the selling of goods or services). Students will assess and reflect on their own competence in the skills that will be necessary for them to be engaged in addressing our world’s challenges, such as critical thinking, problem solving, financial literacy, global awareness, collaborative work in diverse teams, and awareness of the systems that have created the problems the community partners are addressing. Local community organizations will identify a problem for student teams to address. After exploring the relevant issues through self-directed research and first-hand community engagement, student teams will propose and test a solution.
Monday classes will engage students in facilitated discussions about competencies and skills, followed by guest speakers who will address practical topics relevant to student projects and serve as consultants to the student teams. On Wednesdays, students will be on-site in the community, gathering data and learning through direct experience in order to generate and test innovative solutions.
This course brings creativity to civic engagement and provides an opportunity for students to work with the community partner, Friends of the Guest House, http://www.friendsofguesthouse.org, an organization that helps female ex-offenders re-enter their work and personal lives after serving their sentences for nonviolent crimes.
Students will work in pairs and groups with the individual residents of this organization, to create a photography exhibit and handmade books. The goal will be for residents to teach others about their daily lives through photographs and stories they share. In the process, students will bring their knowledge of systemic inequalities in our prisons and the barriers that exist for many after they have served their time and are trying to create a meaningful life. Students will meet in the classroom twice a week for the first three weeks of the semester. The work with the residents will begin in week four. Students must be free to spend approximately 135 hours involved in the experiential learning portion of this capstone course.