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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.

GRANTS FOR CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT & PROGRAMMING

The center offers faculty curriculum development grants to support the integration of community-based learning components into existing courses and other academic community work. Grants range up to $3,500 and can support a faculty member’s time developing a course (up to $1,500), costs associated with community-based course projects, a student working with a faculty member on a community-based summer project, a speaker that focuses on social change work, or professional development opportunities. Faculty then work with center staff members to identify community partners and projects.

If you are interested in applying for a grant, submit a letter of application to Stacey Riemer at striemer@davidson.edu.

Your application letter should include:
  • The purpose of your grant and how it will help advance your engaged scholarship or the college community's understanding of a particular social issue.
  • A description of how the requested funds will be used.
If the grant is to support the development of a course, the 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.
  • A statement of commitment to teach the course with the integrated service component during the intended academic year.
  • Indication that approval has been given by your department chair to integrate community-based/service learning components into your course.

Letters are received on a rolling basis until funding is exhausted.

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