Pitzer College and Project Pericles

Project Pericles and Pitzer College have formed a wonderfully rich collaborative partnership to educate young people who will be active within their communities and their nation. For forty years, Pitzer College has embraced the principles of diversity, civic engagement and social responsibility. Pitzer is pleased to be involved in Project Pericles and to be a member of the consortium of sister Periclean institutions.
—Laura Skandera Trombley, President

Faculty at Pitzer College are pleased to be involved in this important and developing consortium. The goals and aspirations of Pitzer College coincide with our commitment and our educational goals. We recognize the potential and strengths of working in a consortial relationship to increase Pitzer's long-term commitment to issues of social justice and engaged citizenship.
—Alan Jones, Dean of Faculty

The goals of Project Pericles are not instantiated in a single project or program here at Pitzer College, but rather dovetail with the core educational philosophies of the college as a whole. The primary vehicles for realizing the goals of social responsibility and civic engagement in local communities are the Center for California Cultural and Social Issues (CCCSI) and the Pitzer Program in Ontario, each of which oversees an array of programs and projects that promote the goals of Project Pericles on and off-campus. Through the support of Project Pericles, Pitzer College has extended its commitment to these goals through a number of interrelated initiatives.

Student Voices, Student Choices

The following initiatives are in the works centering around the upcoming November election. These events are being scheduled to generate greater interest in debate and voter participation. Details to follow.

Hermandad. Pitzer College students will be partnering with the Ontario, CA office of Hermandad, an immigrant rights group, to do registration drives and engage in Spanish-speaking debates about issues relevant to immigrant communities. Date to be determined.

Reach L.A. Pitzer College students will be teaming up with Reach LA, a health and youth advocacy group in Los Angeles, to set up a registration drive, video screenings, and debates about the candidates and issues impacting young people.  Target issues include gay marriage, the 3 strikes law, the proposed draft. Scheduled at Reach L.A. October 15.

Camps Afflerbaugh-Paige. Professor Barry Sanders’ "Teaching in Prisons class" is going to do a voter registration drive and issue debated targeted at youth over 18 at a Camp Afflerbaugh-Paige, a juvenile detention camp in La Verne.  In California, incarcerated youth over 18 are allowed to vote. Although the Camps will be their starting point, Sanders and his class will try to register youth in multiple detention facilities in California, and, hopefully, nationwide, thus engaging this excluded population in the political process and in civic life as a whole. Debates at Camps Afflerbaugh-Paige will focus on ballot issues involving California’s 3-Strikes law.

Pitzer College. Students in Professor Beth Jennings "Sociology of Health and Medicine" class will be putting together presentations on candidates’ views of health-related issues.  They will be inviting representatives of health-based CBOs to the Pitzer campus to discuss the impact of various health-related policies proposed by the candidates. November 1.

Social Responsibility Committee of the Pitzer Board of Trustees

Social responsibility is one of the six educational objectives of Pitzer College. By undertaking social responsibility and by examining the ethical implications of knowledge, students learn to evaluate the effects of actions and social policies and to take responsibility for making the world we live in a better place. As a direct result of our membership in Project Pericles, the Pitzer Board of Trustees formed a social responsibility committee to oversee these critical learning goals for Pitzer’s students. As part of its charge, the trustee social responsibility oversees the efforts of CCCSI and the Program in Ontario in realizing these goals.

Social Responsibility Assessment Project

Through a generous grant from Project Pericles, Pitzer College undertook a comprehensive assessment of its implementation of the social responsibility objective as represented in both academic and non-curricular programs. The project has three components: (i) An inventory of all the courses and programs which seek to address the educational objective for social responsibility; a thorough review of the ways in which students are satisfying this requirement. (ii) An assessment of the effectiveness of collaborative efforts for our community partners; a determination of the extent to which our partnership has had a positive influence on their programs. (iii) The collection of information about faculty and students’ experiences with courses and community-based learning and service projects that meet the social responsibility educational objective in order to document opinions as well as to assess impacts on attitudes and behavior.

Civic Engagement Courses (CECs)

Through its emphasis on socially responsible and community-based education, Pitzer College has retained its commitment to academic service learning and its strong roots in the ethos as well as the actions of our faculty and students. Through a challenge grant from Project Pericles, Pitzer College seeks to expand its offerings in Civic Engagement Courses (CECs). While the initial CECs were concentrated in the social sciences, Project Pericles support now allows us to develop new courses in the humanities and the natural sciences as well. These areas have historically been more resistant to the incorporation of civic engagement projects at the college. For Spring 2004, we have received requests for the following courses all to be co-funded by Project Pericles.

  • A Sense of Place – explorations of the ecological dimensions of human ideologies
  • Experimental Autobiography
  • International/Intercultural Studies Colloquium
  • Feminist Documentary Theory and Production
  • Sociology of Religion – Community Immersion

Project Pericles Main Website