Community Action

Coordinator: Associate Professor Carol Clark (Economics)

Trinity College, itself a community, is situated in the nested communities of Frog Hollow, Hartford, Connecticut, the United States, and the world. The community action minor examines the many intersections of academic knowledge and individual action in all of these communities. Through study combined with direct participation in community-based research and service, students will gain a deeper understanding of the role of individuals and institutions in sustaining and developing every form of community.

The minor has four components. “Communities in theory and practice” courses explicitly discuss the theories behind community learning and institutional engagement. “Methods for community learning” courses teach formal methods that can be used to conduct community-based research. Through individually designed concentration areas, students will have the opportunity to develop their minor based on their interests. Examples of concentrations are given below. Finally, by participating in a culminating internship, students will have the opportunity to integrate the themes of their concentration with experiences in the community. Altogether, the minor comprises five courses drawn from three different fields, and a culminating internship. (All courses must be completed with a grade of C- or better to receive credit for the minor.)

Course requirements:

Whenever possible, students should take their theory and methods courses before beginning their concentrations.

Concentration areas—The concentration areas of the minor give students the opportunity to pursue an interdisciplinary area of interest related to community action. A concentration consists of three courses with a common theme, chosen in consultation with the minor coordinator. At least one of these courses must have a community learning component. In general these courses should come from at least two different departments or programs. Possible themes include: architecture, design, and community life; arts and community; community development and planning; community and public planning; communities in international context; community stories in words and pictures; culture and immigration; education and public policy; environmental policy and community action; human rights, local and global; public health and policy; or social movements and social change.

Culminating internship—Seniors in the minor will undertake a one-credit internship with a community organization in consultation with the minor coordinator. During their internships, students will write a reflective internship paper to be submitted to the minor coordinator and if appropriate, additional readers. The paper should demonstrate a thoughtful integration of themes and learning achieved throughout the minor.