Faculty Resources for Community-Engaged Learning

What is community-engaged learning? from University of San Francisco on Vimeo.

Find out more about Community-Engaged Learning (CEL) at USF

Suggested steps for developing a CEL course

If you are interested in developing or revising a community-engaged learning (CEL) course, we encourage you to follow these steps:

  1. Talk with your department chair to determine whether there’s a need/interest in integrating your proposed CEL course into the department curriculum. 
  2. Review USF’s Community-Engaged Learning Dimensions and Student Learning Outcomes, which you will need to integrate into your course.
  3. Connect with the McCarthy Center to participate in a course consultation, CEL workshop, and/or the Community-Engaged Learning and Teaching Fellowship, described below (optional, but highly recommended).
  4. Draft your community-engaged learning course syllabus and proposal.
  5. Submit syllabus and proposal to the Community-Engaged Learning Course Review Committee via Curriculog.

Community Engaged Learning and Teaching (CELT) Fellowship

The McCarthy Center annually facilitates the CELT Fellowship, a faculty learning community designed to foster learning about community-engaged principles, pedagogies, and practices; cultivate supportive and reciprocal relationships with peers and community partners; facilitate critical dialogue about the nature of community engagement and social justice; and generate high-quality community-engaged learning opportunities for students. The CELT Fellowship is a year-long commitment that entails the following:

  • Six 2-hour sessions that convene over consecutive weeks during fall semester
  • A group community engagement or service activity 
  • Networking happy hour with community partners 
  • Three 90-minute sessions during spring semester
  • Up to 40 pages of reading in advance of each fall session
  • Completion of two short (2-3 page) written reflections
  • Creation or revision of a community-engaged course syllabus OR draft of a course proposal

Participants in the CELT Fellowship are eligible to receive up to $1000 for completion of the program and creation or revision of a community-engaged learning course syllabus.  For more details about the program, including session dates and times, please contact Star Plaxton-Moore at smoore3@usfca.edu

Professional Development Resources

Course Consultations

McCarthy Center staff members are available to meet with faculty regarding community-engaged course development, planning, implementation, and assessment. We also help faculty identify and connect with community partner organizations that align with their course content and outcomes. Contact Star Plaxton-Moore at smoore3@usfca.edu for more information.

Professional Development and Enrichment

We host workshops each academic year to introduce faculty to community-engaged teaching and learning.  We also provide enrichment programming to allow faculty to do a deeper dive into specific aspects of community-engaged teaching and scholarship. All events are open to faculty across disciplines and are promoted broadly through campus outreach.

Faculty Development Videos

What are some examples of community-engaged projects?

What should community partnerships look like?

What is the role of the community partner?

What is reflection?

What impact does community-engaged learning have on students?

What can students learn through community engagement?

How can community-engaged learning shape higher education?

Faculty Award for Service-Learning

The Provost’s Office presents an annual Faculty Award for Service-Learning, which “recognizes the work of full-time faculty in developing service-learning opportunities for USF students. The awardee shall be a full-time faculty member who has demonstrated a commitment to service-learning through the integration of service-learning into the curriculum; innovation in employing a reflective teaching methodology to connect community and public service experience with academic study; and demonstration of leadership that promotes service-learning on campus.”

The McCarthy Center puts forth a faculty nomination each year. If you are interested in seeking the McCarthy Center’s nomination for yourself or a colleague, please contact the McCarthy Center at mccarthycenter@usfca.edu.

Past recipients of the award include: 

  • Paul Zeitz, Mathematics
  • Hana Bottger, Architecture and Community Design
  • Evelyn Rodriguez, Sociology and Critical Diversity Studies
  • David Holler, Rhetoric
  • Helen Maniates, Teacher Education
  • Kevin Lo, Organization, Leadership, and Communication
  • Stephanie Sears, Sociology
  • Evelyn Ho, Communication Studies
  • Amie Dowling, Performing Arts and Social Justice
  • Monika Hudson, Entrepreneurship
  • Seth Wachtel, Architecture and Community Design
  • Dayle M. Smith, Management
  • Linda Walsh, Nursing
  • Chris Brooks, Computer Science
  • Jeffrey Paris, Philosophy
  • Richard Kamler, Fine Arts