Course Development

With thoughtful course development, your students will learn about social issues and the value of community involvement while practicing skills such as problem solving, critical thinking, working with others, and planning and implementation.

Community-based learning, or service learning, is an experiential pedagogy that combines direct service with course learning goals to meet a community-defined need. The Center for Civic Engagement provides a range of faculty resources to support the integration of community-based learning components into existing courses, including grants, training and teaching tools.

Curriculum Development Grants

The center offers curriculum development grants to support the integration of community-based learning components into existing courses. Grant recipients receive a $1,500 stipend for curriculum development work, and they work with center staff members to identify community partners and projects. They also share their syllabi with the center. If you are interested in applying for a grant, submit a letter of application to Stacey Riemer.

Your application letter should include:
  • The course name, number and anticipated/maximum enrollment
  • Your intended learning outcome/value of the community-based learning for your students
  • Your expectations for how community-based learning will help achieve your course goals
  • Your initial ideas for the nature of the service experience/types of organizations with whom you would like to work
  • Your early ideas for assignments that could connect the learning goals of the course to the direct service experience
  • A summary of activities/work plan to develop the course over the summer
  • A statement of commitment to teach the course with the integrated service component during the 2013-14 academic year
  • Indication that approval has been given by your department chair to integrate community-based/service learning components into your course.

The initial application deadline for 2013-14 courses is Jan. 25, 2013. If funds are not exhausted at that time, additional applications will be taken on a rolling basis.

While funding is intended to support the development of new community-based learning components in existing courses, the committee will consider support for courses that previously have included community-based learning components, if the proposal describes the ways you intend to adapt the assignments and projects.

Course Development Tools

The Center for Civic Engagement has a wealth of course development resources provided by staff with expertise in community-based teaching. Resources include:

  • Sample course syllabi
  • Consultation on assignment development
  • Referrals to community partners
  • Instruments for assessment of community-based learning outcomes
  • A library of resources on community-based teaching and course development