Students

Students from Capital Community College and Trinity College are welcome to list up to 5 preferences for project proposals by October 31st. The Action Lab will inform students if they have been matched to a project team by early November, before pre-registration for the Spring 2018 semester.

Students must be available to enroll in two Action Lab courses: LAAL 200 Action Research Methods in Hartford (for all students on Monday afternoons, around 1-4pm) and an LAAL 201 Hartford Research Project team (4-5 students, meets either Tues, Wed, Thurs, or Friday afternoon, around 1-4pm). Both will be taught by the Action Lab Director at our downtown campus, and successful students will earn 2 Trinity credits (the equivalent of 6 CCC credits). Contact us if you have questions about the application process.

Need guidance on how to choose a project? Read the brief descriptions and note down the ones that capture your interest.

Don’t rule a project out because you don’t know how to do the work that is described. You will receive instruction and guidance—that’s why you are taking these courses!

Scroll down to the full description of each project to learn more about them. Fill in the online registration form and rank your choices.

Brief Project Descriptions:

Eviction Project: Students will learn about the eviction process in Hartford and work with the Connecticut Fair Housing Center to design and implement a survey project. Students will investigate how Hartford residents came to face eviction, their experiences with the eviction process, and the immediate and long-term ramifications of their evictions on their families.

15 Dollar Project: Students will learn about the $15 wage movement and explanations for why some employers in low-wage industries pay $15 starting wages. Then, working with Immanuel Congregational Church, students will identify employers in Hartford that choose to pay $15 an hour, even in low-wage industries, collecting testimonials and creating a website to tell their stories.

Parent Engagement Project: Students will learn best practices for engaging immigrant and refugee parents on topics related to their children’s education. Working with the Hartford Public Library’s Immigrant Youth Project, students will research current immigration and refugee settlement patterns throughout Hartford and work with HPL staff on engaging program participants’ parents and guardians in dialogue around goals and objectives.

Mapping Blight Project: Students will learn GIS mapping tools that will allow them to investigate the connection between housing conditions and health outcomes. Working with Community Solutions, students will then use GIS data and results from Community Solutions’ blight survey to produce interactive maps.

PILOT Messaging Project: Students will learn about an important component of local governance in Hartford: Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT), which is a program that address the budgetary problems that the city of Hartford faces because a high percentage of the city’s land parcels are owned by government or nonprofit institutions and are therefore not subject to taxation. By producing and testing a variety of messaging products, students will study which messaging strategies are best at convincing non-Hartford residents to support full payment of Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) funds.

Creative Place-making Project: In this project, students will take a close look at the Nook Farm area of Asylum Hill (which includes the Mark Twain House, Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, and Hartbeat Ensemble’s Carriage House Theater), connecting the historical significance of this site for creative and intellectual pursuits with current studies in “creative placemaking”–development projects that leverage the power of the arts, culture, and creativity to serve a community’s interest while avoiding gentrification. Students will create an “asset map” for the neighborhood to help arts organizations leverage the unique strengths of the area. 

Workforce Development Project: Students will use existing government data sources to gather relevant information about Opportunity Youth – that is, youth 18-21 who are neither in school nor in the workforce – in Hartford.

School Partnership Project: Students will learn about a “family, school, and communities partnership” model for enhancing education. They will conduct a literature review the effects of Family, School and Community Partnership and produce a report.

Distracted Driving Project: Students will learn about the behaviors of drivers, pedestrians, and bikers that contribute to injury, and investigate these patterns in an observational study of North Hartford.

Sewing Circle Project: Students will learn about social entrepreneurship business models. Then, working with the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association Welcoming Center, they will produce a business plan for developing a sewing circle for immigrant and refugees.

Traffic Enforcement Project: Students will learn about the vehicular crash rate in Hartford as it compares to surrounding cities. Then, working with Transport Hartford, they will investigate the causes and consequences of this disparity, considering differential enforcement rates, insurance rates, and costs of injury to Hartford.

For more information about the projects, see the full proposals below the application form.

Full Proposals and Preferences: