Student-Originated Studies: Community-Based Learning, Practice, and Theory

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Spring 2017 quarter

Taught by


Previous study in political economy or about social movements strongly recommended, as is previous experience working in an economic, environmental, or social justice group.

In this Student-Originated Studies (SOS), faculty will support student research, learning, and practice in a cluster of areas linking political economy, economic justice, and global justice with local, national, and global social movements. There will be especially strong support for students developing projects that are connected to local communities, groups, and organizations. Although students will register for this program, you will be primarily doing independent study and/or an in-program internship. This program offers opportunities for serious, responsible, and self-motivated students to create their own course of study and research in which you are encouraged to work with the broader community. The SOS will have close ties to Evergreen’s Center for Community-Based Learning and Action (CCBLA). The CCBLA will serve as the center and support for this study—for learning about, engaging with, and contributing to community life in the region.

Students, through individual or group projects, will be able to link with social movements, nonprofits, community groups, and economic and social justice organizations that focus on the issues listed above. Students will benefit from faculty knowledge of and experience with local organizations, and experience working with students across the curriculum who are interested in learning through community-based research, learning, and activism. The CCBLA will also be a key resource and can assist students in developing ideas and contacts.

We will meet together once a week for four hours. We will combine seminar on books and articles with films, faculty and guest lectures, workshops, and time for groups of people who are working on similar projects and study to meet together to share experiences, ideas, and learn from each other. In addition, students will meet with faculty in small groups every other week to discuss progress, ideas, feedback, etc. Toward the end of spring quarter, we will organize a public campus event to share our research and make connections between groups we are interning with and the Evergreen community.

Research Opportunities

Students in this program can do up to 12 credits of individual study or research.  Research topics should be within one or more of the following  subjects:  political economy, social movements, global studies, community, student or labor organizing, Latin American studies and solidarity, anti-poverty, housing, immigration, anti-racism,  anti-war, environmental justice, popular education,  health care, economics,  radical theory, or alternative economies.  All students in this SOS will do an internship and/or an independent study as part of the SOS.

Internship Opportunities

Majority of students will do internships through this program from 4 to 12 credits. This will be coordinated with the Center for Community Based Learning and Action (CCBLA). All students in this SOS will do an internship and/or an independent study as part of the SOS. Students must complete an in-program Internship Learning Contract in consultation with the faculty and Academic Advising. Please go to Individual Study for more information.

Program Details

Fields of Study

community studies economics government political economy political science sociology

Preparatory For

political economy, community development, organizing for economic and social justice, teaching, sociology, international solidarity, activism, and research.


Spring Signature

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

First class meeting: Tuesday, April 4 at 10am (Sem II E3109)

Online Learning

No Required Online Learning

May be offered again in