February 8, 2022
Ingenuity in Action is a phrase you might have heard as you visit your academic advisor’s office or perhaps you’ve heard it at the Student Success Center.
So what exactly is Ingenuity in Action?
It’s more than just a buzz phrase, it’s an opportunity for all students to get the hands-on experiences they need to take their next steps in life.
“This is a new Ingenuity curriculum requirement, and the benefit to you is that you will get a chance to really reflect on what you’ve been doing so that you can better tell your story and understand what you got out of the experience when you are talking to employers or interviewing for graduate programs,” said Director of the Berry Career Institute Jodi Shafer.
The new Ingenuity curriculum kicked off in the fall of 2020, and this Ingenuity in Action piece is only required by those who enrolled that fall or the fall of 2021– that means current first-year students and sophomores. All students, however, are welcome to take part in the program.
“When students have the opportunity to apply their knowledge to real-world scenarios, they are better able to see the recurring patterns of local and global concerns, to propose enduring solutions, and to take informed action,” said Associate Dean of Academic Affairs and Faculty Director for Experiential Learning Kate Kauper. “This is a highly motivating approach to learning because students gain a personal commitment to the aims and outcomes of their courses.”
Here are the basics:
- You must select two Ingenuity in Action experiences to fulfill before you graduate.
- Those experiences could be from any two of these six different categories:
- Creative Expression, Civic Engagement, Global Connections, Leadership, Professional Exploration, or Research
- On average, you can get up to $4,100 in funding to cover expenses related to the activities you choose.
- There are several pre-approved Ingenuity in Action courses and activities that emphasize hands-on learning.
- Your academic advisor must approve your experience and you must write a reflection.
- Your completed experiences are noted on your transcript.
Students can take many paths and select a number of different experiences starting as early as their first year.
Sophomore Jonathan Azenon has already fulfilled both of his Ingenuity in Action experiences.
“I am a resident assistant, so that falls in the leadership section of the Ingenuity requirement, and I also did Cornell Summer Research Institute, which satisfies the research section,” Azenon said. “While having the required ones taken care of is the goal, I believe that doing more than what’s required is advantageous because we have a lot of resources to help us. I am looking into doing an experience that could satisfy Global Connections like studying abroad in France for my French major, or something in Professional Exploration. With our advisors geared toward this curriculum, they can help make the world our oyster.”
Here are a few more examples of what students could do to fulfill their requirements:
Student Example A:
- Took a pre-approved class, Education Policy and Practice, during her sophomore year. (Civic Engagement)
- Traveled off campus for a course in Germany her senior year. (Global Connections)
Student Example B:
- Performed in a play on campus during his first year. (Creative Expression)
- Got an internship the summer after his junior year. (Professional Exploration)
With all of the available options, Azenon said it was stress-free to plan his Ingenuity in Action experiences. He checked out the website and talked to his academic advisor to build a roadmap, which he says only took about 10 minutes.
He thinks Cornell’s new curriculum is adventageous for all students.
“I cannot stress enough how important and amazing the Ingenuity curriculum is,” Azenon said. “I want to remind students that these opportunities are not found at other colleges, so really take advantage of these resources and opportunities. You are the captain of your ship, so really take charge and become the well-rounded student you can be.”
If you have more questions about where to start, you are welcome to visit the Berry Career Institute on the second floor of the Thomas Commons, chat with your academic advisor, or visit the Student Success Center on the third floor of Law Hall.