Department of Education

Engaged Scholars Program

Through concentrations affiliated with Engaged Scholars Program, students passionate about social issues pursue courses of study and action to contextualize abstract theories, challenge assumptions, and develop critical skills that prepare them for their future at Brown and beyond.

The Engaged Scholars Program (ESP) offers students curricular and co-curricular opportunities to connect academic theory and practice through hands-on experience focused on important social challenges.

The Engaged Scholars Program in Education is intended for Education Studies concentrators interested in making connections between their concentration curriculum and long-term engagement, including internships, public service, humanitarian and development work, school-based education work, social service in education, or other forms of community and clinical involvement. The program combines preparation, experience, and reflection to provide students with opportunities to integrate academic learning and social engagement. Note: This program is separate from the department's required experiential component.

The student must declare Education Studies as a concentration and complete the following requirements:

Take two courses on topics relevant to engaged scholarship that could count toward the elective component of the concentration (see a list of examples below for courses with an “engaged pedagogical component”). Eligible courses taken before admission into the program can be used to satisfy the ESP Course Requirement.  Education courses that might include components in engagement (students should consult with the faculty advisor and primary instructor to confirm that courses meet the components in engagement):

Spring 2018 EDUC 1690   Literacy, Community, & the Arts: Theory into Practice
Fall 2019 EDUC 0900   Fieldwork and Seminar in Secondary Education
Spring 2019 EDUC 1430   Social Psychology of Race, Class, and Gender
Fall 2020 EDUC 300   Introduction to Education and Society: Foundations of Opportunity and Inequality
Spring 2020 EDUC 600   Juveniles for Justice: Youth Civic Engagement and Activism
Spring 2020 EDUC 1060   Politics and Public Education
Fall 2020 EDUC 1010   The Craft of Teaching
Spring 2020 EDUC 1100   Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods
Fall 2020 EDUC 1110   Introductory Statistics for Education Research and Policy Analysis
Spring 2020 EDUC 1150   Education, the Economy and School Reform
Fall 2020 EDUC 1270   Adolescence in Social Context
Spring 2020 EDUC 1890   Family Engagement in Education
Fall 2020 EDUC 1045   Sociology of Higher Education
Fall 2020 EDUC 1090   Adolescent Literature
Fall 2020 EDUC 1215   Race Making and the US University

A practicum is an intensive engagement experience (150-250 hours) – an internship, a significant and rigorous volunteer experience, a fellowship, or another kind of meaningful engagement with an organization or project during which a series of reflection assignments are completed.  The Education Department and the Swearer Center have developed partnerships with local schools, governmental agencies, and civic and non-profit organizations.  The Education Department has also established strong working relationships with state and federal agencies and organizations. Education Department faculty and Swearer staff will assist you with developing a practicum placement as needed.

ESP students take the required seminar that examines the theory, practice, and ethics of engaged scholarship through readings, case studies, site visits, and visits from faculty and practitioners. 

The ESP seminar is a 1.0 credit course that counts as an elective credit for the Education Concentration.

Students’ concentration-based work culminates with a capstone project, which may be completed through a departmentally-sponsored capstone course, Departmental Independent Study Project (DISP), a Group Independent Study Project (GISP), thesis work or other departmentally-specific structure.  The ESP capstone requirement may also be fulfilled through honors work, if that work embodies the core elements of an engaged capstone. 

How to Apply to ESP:

Engaged Scholars Program is in the process of transitioning to the Engaged Scholars Certificate in order to provide students from all undergraduate concentrations the opportunity to connect their academic studies with work on the social, public, and civic issues they care about.

Starting this Fall 2020, Engaged Scholars Program is no longer accepting new applications. Current ESP students and their faculty advisors will retain access to the ESP module in ASK and Swearer staff will continue to support all students participating in ESP through to graduation.

We expect students to be able to enroll in ESC beginning in Spring 2021.

Please reach out to Julie Plaut ([email protected]) if you have questions.

  • Students apply to ESP when declaring their concentration in ASK, typically in the second semester of their sophomore year. ESP is selective and applications will be reviewed by departments and ESP staff in mid-April of the application year. Students will be contacted by ESP staff directly about their application status. If you miss the deadline but are interested in applying, contact: [email protected].
  • While it is typical that students apply to the Engaged Scholars Program during sophomore year when declaring a concentration, you may revise your declaration to apply to the Engaged Scholars Program if you have enough remaining semesters at Brown to complete the program requirements.

For more information contact:

Engaged Scholars Program

Visit the Engaged Scholars Program website for more information about the program, requirements, events, and other opportunities and resources.