Student-Originated Studies: Collaborative Learning for Social Change

Winter 2019
OlympiaStudy Abroad
Olympia +
study abroad option
Class Size: 20
Credits per quarter
Variable Credit Options Available

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Taught by

Feminist Theory, Cultural Studies

Is there something you want to make happen that will do good?  “Good,” perhaps, in opposition to the solely financial motives of contemporary capitalism? Or, good as in the Mondragon collective’s motto of serving people, planet, profit and spirit? Here’s an opportunity to collaborate with others, in order to articulate shared values and act on them. 

This Student-Originated Studies (SOS) program will explore the "Teampreneur" approaches of Spain’s Mondragon University and Finland’s Tiimiakademi in order for highly motivated students to pursue their passions while developing skills in organizational and project management; historical and comparative perspectives on market-based analysis; equity-oriented academic reading, writing, and research; creativity, innovation and teamwork; empathy; and digital communication technologies.

Students will spend the first two weeks of the quarter developing an in-program ILC, including a plan for up to 12 credits of weekly project-based work in teams. The project could include an internship, apprenticeship or field study, but whatever the project, students will be required to collaborate with other students, a field supervisor and/or a subcontractor.  Students can opt to combine project and structured activities, such as: a) campus lecture series (Food and Agriculture or Art Lecture Series); b) weekly campus Entrepreneurial Initiative activities; or c) collaboration with the "Alternatives in and to Capitalism" program activities (lecture and film series, field trips).

In addition to their independent projects, students must participate in project workshops on Monday afternoons (1-3 PM) with the "Alternatives in and to Capitalism" program.  All students will design and maintain individual WordPress websites to document their work and then present this work collaboratively at the end of the program.


Note: This SOS will collaborate with the program "Alternatives in and to Capitalism" and possibly the 2019 cohort of Mondragon Team Academy students. Field trip opportunities include the Cascadia Grain Conference: Revitalizing the Local Grain Economy (January19), Tulalip Tribe’s Quil Ceda Village (February 12) and the Port of Skagit Bayview Business Park (February 13). With appropriate spring quarter registration, successful students will be well-positioned for a three week end of year study abroad with the Mondragon collectives in the Basque Area of Spain (15 May – 3 June).

Study abroad:

Students in this SOS are encouraged to plan to participate in the spring quarter study abroad 15 May-3 June at the Mondragon collectives in the Basque area of Spain with the program Alternatives in and to Capitalism.

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

education, social sciences, social justice advocacy and activism, entrepreneurship, public policy, cultural studies


Credits per quarter
Variable Credit Options Available

Variable Credit Options:

Students may register for 4-16 credits according to the options detailed in the program description.  Interested students should c ontact the faculty ( and with questions and to discuss registration options.


$140 for overnight transportation, accommodations, food, and entrance fees for Cascadia Grain Conference.

Internship Opportunities:

Faculty will work with students to identify and cultivate internship, apprenticeship and field study opportunities in keeping with the Teampreneur approach.

Class Standing: Sophomore–Senior
Class Size: 20

Scheduled for: Day

Located in: Olympia

2019-01-03Fee section updated

Spring 2020: Contact faculty or check offering in Canvas for first class meeting date and time.