Since 2019, the award-winning Cross-Campus Capstone Classroom (C4) has offered innovative experiential learning opportunities for students across York’s campuses.
C4, which meets Mondays, from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., September to April, brings students from diverse disciplines together and builds solutions to real-world problems with the support of partners and mentors outside the classroom.
New to C4? Watch this video to learn more about C4.
“The projects this year are wide-ranging and have the potential for some really positive community and environmental impacts. They include our new team placement projects where students can work even more closely with a partner on a challenge within their organization. I am so excited to see the ways our students will take up these projects together,” said Franz Newland, associate professor – teaching, and undergraduate program director in the Department of Earth and Space Science & Engineering at the Lassonde School of Engineering at York University and a returning C4 teaching team member.
With September here, C4 version 4.0 is ready to kick off with a wide variety of students and projects. The C4 journey begins with Pitch Week, which offers students a chance to see what C4 is about, learn about potential projects, meet partners and mentors, as well as network with C4 alumni.
Past C4 project partners include FYI: For Youth Initiative, Barnes Management Group, Markham Arts Council, Jobster, Teens Learn to Drive, MaRS Discovery District, Regenesis, Peel Community Climate Council, the Centre for Free Expression, KPM Power, Story Planet, Electronic Recycling Association, Teaching and Learning Research in Action, Canadian Language Museum, TechConnex, Wadoka Community Parent Association, Town of Whitchurch-Stouffville, AJM Public School, University Women’s Club, Moorelands Kids, YuRide, Nascent, as well as a host of units across York’s campuses.
“The opportunity to work with senior students on real-world, impactful projects is what attracted me to C4. One project I’ll be watching closely this year comes from UNION Cooperative in Waterloo Region – an organization whose board I serve on. The idea is to build a platform to help municipalities and affordable housing providers track the overall state of affordable housing within their community as well as the impact of specific housing initiatives,” said Joel Marcus, assistant professor, School of Administrative Studies, Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional studies and a new C4 teaching member.
Pitch Week 2021-22
Pitch Week is an online event that runs Sept. 7 to 10 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Each night a different group of new projects will be revealed to students. This event is open to all York students interested in taking up the challenge of solving complex problems in our world and our communities, while getting course credit through available gateway courses.
“Pitch Week is the catalyst for C4. It sparks the interest of students and partners and launches them on a shared project journey that ultimately transforms them both,” said School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design Professor Danielle Robinson, director of C4.
Pitch Day 2019 was overrun with more than 300 curious York students, staff and partners. Pitch Week 2020, which was held virtually, had nearly 2,000 page views across a full week. This year the program is looking forward to another ground-breaking event, with dozens of new projects being revealed across four nights.
C4-curious students should register for Pitch Week here to receive Zoom links. If they feel that C4 is right for them, they should apply through this portal so the program can send them important updates in advance of the first class on Sept. 13. Students with any follow-up questions can attend any of C4’s final townhalls of the summer, which will take place Sept. 8, 9, 10 or 13, from 10 to 11 a.m. by pre-registering through this link.
“C4 is a unique experience for all those involved. Through previous iterations of C4, we have witnessed major transformation in students. They become confident in not only their own abilities but learn the power of collaborative work and, as a bonus, develop capacities to navigate uncertainty—a critical skill these days. This is what is most special about C4; this is what makes it such a gem in the academic space”, said Zemina Meghji, manager of educational innovation and design at the Lassonde School of Engineering. Meghii is also a returning C4 teaching team member.
Students who seek to apply their classroom knowledge by bringing their ideas to life as they approach their final year of university are highly encouraged to attend Pitch Week, which begins next Tuesday, Sept. 7 at 6 p.m. to learn about the projects that C4 has in store for the upcoming year. All are welcome!