How does CEP work?
Each class focuses on one aspect of the program, and how that aspect intersects with the other two aspects. Students are taught the ontologies of all three academic fields, and learn how to use the three in conjunction with each other to create innovative solutions to problems.
The classes are taught by professors, however, each student is expected to teach one class per quarter. This includes the creation of a teaching plan, the facilitation of the class, and assigning work to proceed the facilitation. This method of hands on teaching allows students to learn how to manage meetings, groups of people, and become part of a collaborative work atmosphere.
The program relies heavily on students through a process call Governance. CEP only has one staff member, and the remainder of the work of running the major is left to the students themselves. From admissions to putting on graduation ceremonies, the students are expected to collaborate and create the structures required to run the program.
All decisions regarding program structure and actions, such as grading policies, events, etc, are made by consensus of the students at Forum, a part of Governance. No decision can be moved forward until a consensus of all students has been reached, regardless of faculty opinion on the matter. This encourages students and staff to engage in deep discussions and learn to work collaboratively towards a goal. While it can be a difficult and painful process, I have found that this process has heightened my ability to find proactive solutions to problems, rather than creating struggles within the work place.
This is a presentation I created over the summer between Junior and Senior year as I was planning Orientation for the incoming Junior class. The powerpoint explains the basics of CEP, how we function and what they will need to do to graduate.
Community, Environment, and Planning
CEP is an interdisciplinary program offered at the University of Washington that teaches students skills in a hands on, alternative environment. A sub-sect of the Urban Planning Department, students spend two years in a cohort with 25 other students working together on group projects ranging from neighborhood planning to philosophy to environmental mitigation.