CSPL 405/406

You will receive academic credit for your participation in the Ideals into Practice program by registering for CSPL 405/406. You must register for both the Fall (CSPL 405) and Spring (CSPL 406) semesters of the course in order to receive credit and maintain your eligibility in the program. Grading is Pass/Fail and is assessed at the end of the academic year. You will receive ¼ credit at the end of each year of enrollment based on completion of portfolio-based assignments defined by the Ideals into Practice Steering Committee and assessed by the Executive Director of the Gordon Career Center.


CSPL 405/406 does not meet as a traditional course. You will receive credit on a Pass/Fail basis for your participation in Ideals into Practice based on successful completion of the following:

  • Career Decisions: From Insight to Impact

This course, available at no charge through Coursera’s online learning platform, requires you to complete lectures, exercises, and reflection papers. While it is structured over four weeks, you may complete it at your own pace at any time prior to the start of the Spring semester.

  • Live Training

You will be required to attend a training session in September to introduce you to your online portfolio platform as well as other resources available at the university to help you with this course.

  • Online Portfolio

You must meet the minimum requirements for your portfolio in order to receive credit for the course.

  1. Letter to Self: You will write a letter to your future self, to be read at the end of following summer, about what you hope to learn and accomplish during this period of time.
  2. Long Form Resume: This is a version of your resume that includes everything you have done to date that could ever appear on your actual resume—courses, internships, other work experience, volunteer opportunities, extracurriculars, technical skills—anything and everything! By having all your experiences documented in one place, you will be better able to create versions of your resume for use for different audiences moving forward.
  3. Reflections on Competencies: Every semester, you should upload one reflection piece for each of the six Ideals into Practice competencies defined on the web site. These reflections may be essays, videos, audio tracks, slide shows, multi-media pieces—it’s up to you!
  4. Annual capstone: You will upload one capstone piece each year reflecting on what you have learned and how your interests have developed.
  • Cohort Meetings

You will be expected to attend and actively participate in weekly meetings with your assigned Ideals into Practice cohort. Cohort members are responsible for completing a weekly survey about your discussion and individual participation.

  • Advising

In addition to your routine meetings with your faculty advisor throughout the year, you will also schedule at least one meeting with an advisor in the Gordon Career Center. Please rest assured that we have no expectation that you will have clear career goals at this point (though we’re happy to work with you if you do!). Your career advisor will log your meetings into Handshake, the Gordon Career Center’s career management platform. 

In addition, you should have at least one Ideals into Practice check-in meeting with Sharon Belden Castonguay. You can schedule those meetings, as well as those with a career advisor, via Handshake.

We suggest that Ideals into Practice students also consider taking advantage of other academic and project-related supports that are available to them, including but not limited to: the Writing Workshop, the Presentation Studio, the Quantitative Analysis Center, the Patricelli Center for Social Entrepreneurship and the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships.