Liberal Education and Effective Practice

The LEEP Project

Delve deeply, demonstrate mastery

The LEEP Project is an opportunity for Clark students—typically juniors and rising seniors—to take what they've learned at Clark and explore its real-world applications. Projects focus on working with external organizations and disciplines related to a student's expected career and take many different forms, such as creating a product for a local business, assisting families in a developing country, or providing research to support a corporate sustainability initiative.

A culminating experience, the LEEP Project enables students to demonstrate their mastery of the five LEEP Learning Outcomes and prepare to make positive contributions to the world through their careers and personal lives.

LEEP Project Pioneers

A select number of students helped pave the way for future Clarkies by participating in the pilot launch of the LEEP Project. In 2012, 46 LEEP Project Pioneers undertook activities across the full breadth of academic study, from the arts and humanities to the natural sciences and business management. They traveled to places as diverse as Haiti and Sri Lanka, to Arizona and Washington DC, met fascinating people, researched exotic environments, and gained valuable knowledge and skills. Learn more about the 2012 LEEP Project Pioneers and their work. More than 100 Pioneers will pursue projects in 2013.

The LEEP Project: The Details

Who participates in the LEEP Project?

The LEEP Project is designed for juniors and rising seniors in good academic standing who have prior internship, volunteering, or employment experience. LEEP Projects can be completed by individuals or by teams of up to five students. Students may work closely with a staff or faculty mentor as well as an external partner, such as a corporate or nonprofit manager, Clark alumnus/a, or research institute.

What types of projects do students complete?

A LEEP Project may respond to the needs of an external organization, build on an existing research program, or be self-initiated as in the case of an artistic or entrepreneurial endeavor. A number of projects will be sponsored by Clark alumni and will be completed offsite—at laboratories and field-based research sites, nonprofits, businesses, government agencies, and more.

What is required of LEEP Project Pioneers?

Pioneers are expected to complete approximately 150 hours on the LEEP Project and to attend workshops on topics such as collaboration, project management, professionalism and presentation skills. Students are also expected to reflect deeply on their learning experiences and present their projects during Fall Fest or Academic Spree Day.

What can students expect?

Most students will complete their projects during the summer, working part time for two to three months, although some projects may take place during the spring or fall term. Students will receive support from LEEP Center staff, a faculty or staff mentor, and a project manager and may be eligible for a $2,500 stipend if no other funding sources are available. Academic credit may be granted based on the approval a faculty adviser.