Lang Center
for Civic & Social Responsibility

Chester Semester

About Chester Semester

The Chester Semester Program is a transcript-notated interdisciplinary program on social change with an engaged scholarship (ESCH) internship component. The purpose of the program is to facilitate committed student engagement with visionary leaders in the city of Chester and focuses on critically understanding and helping to ameliorate some of society’s most pressing real-world problems by requiring students to participate in civic volunteer programs throughout the academic year.

Chester Semester consists of the following key elements: 

Enrollment in ENVS 007 (1 credit) 
This course combines meaningful readings, regular reflection sessions, and in-depth conversations with Chester community leaders.

As an Environmental Studies exercise, Chester Semester focuses on the social, economic, and political interactions of residents with the food systems, waste management and related infrastructure needs of Chester city. As a Black Studies offering, the course and internship studies the challenges and contributions of Black Chesterites in relation to historic white privilege within Delaware County and the Philadelphia region. Both areas of study provide the academic backbone for enabling students to address the intersectional disadvantages and harms communities of color face in the wider society.

Internship with a Chester-based Organization (4-5 hours/week) 
Students participating in Chester Semester hold an internship with a Chester-based organization and are paired with a community mentor. Internship host sites may include the Chester Education Foundation, Chester Eastside, Inc., Chester Housing Authority, Chester Children’s Chorus, and one-on-one work with longtime Chester journalists and historians.

Transcript Notation 
Students who successfully complete the Chester Semester program receive a notification of their transcript. This denotes a student's commitment to learning from and with our partners in the City of Chester. 

For more information regarding the Chester Semester program, please view a complete program description here.

Questions? Contact Ashley Henry at ahenry1@swarthmore.edu.

Chester Semester Participants & Partners 

Fall 2020

Anna Jeong '23 | Chester Eastside, Inc.
Ramiro Hernandez '23 | Chester Housing Authority
Katherine Carlson '23 | Chester Education Foundation
Sophia Lee '21 | Chester Education Foundation
Tammy Pham '24 | Chester Eastside, Inc.
Ananya Battacharya '21 | PSRF/Chester Semester Fellow

Summer 2019 
These fellows were honored for their distinguished work in the program 

Ian Bothwell '20, Chester Eastside's Camp Phoenix
Lucy Fetterman '22, Chester's Herbal Plant Medicine and African Diaspora Sovereign Selfcare Project
Nessa Levy '21, Chester Eastside Community Garden and Chester Eastside's Camp Phoenix

Chester Semester Contacts

Mark Wallace

Mark Wallace

Professor of Religion
Pearson 216
Ashley Henry

Ashley Henry

Project Dir, Youth Empowerment
Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility
Lang Center 105