Departmental Partnerships


What are departmental partnerships?


The Steans Center develops long-term partnerships with academic units across DePaul University. These partnerships are built on a mutual understanding of how, why and when community engagement is integrated into curriculum, research and scholarship.  We support deans, associate deans, chairs, program directors, and/or individual faculty members to engage in community partnership development and share whatever resources available to support success of such partnerships.  The Center firmly believes that long-term sustainable partnerships between academic units and community partners produce the most successful outcomes for community-based learning, teaching, and scholarship.  Examples of departmental partnership include:


Geography  (College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences)

The Department of Geography has been a long-term partner with the Steans Center.  Academic service-learning and community-based internships are deeply embedded within the curriculum and departmental culture. Students in courses such as Urban Geography and GIS engage in projects that directly apply geographical theories and methods, while serving the interests of numerous community partners through Chicago and internationally.  The Steans Center funds at least one geography student per year as a McCormick Community Intern.


GIS Collaboratory: the department's resource providing educational opportunities, research support, and community outreach in geographical information systems (GIS) and geotechnologies.  See a list of student GIS projects for community partners at the GIS II: Community GIS webpage.


Geography faculty are also deeply involved in collaborative scholarship and teaching with community partners, including projects examining the impact of gentrification on Chicago neighborhoods and an international service-learning partnership with the Green Belt Movement in Kenya.


Nursing  (College of Science and Health)

The School of Nursing has  a long history of integrating community engagement within their curriculum and faculty scholarship.  Community-based learning is a woven throughout SON's two-year Master's Entry to Nursing Program and faculty are deeply committed to guiding students to understand the social determinants of health through deep immersion into community-based organizations addressing the most critical social issues in Chicago.  In addition, faculty are engaged in scholarship on community-based learning in the curriculum as well as engaging in community-based participatory research alongside their students. 


Women's and Gender Studies  (College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences)

Women's and Gender Studies (WMS) is by design a highly community-engaged department.   Students are actively involved in service and activism projects throughout Chicago through courses such as Gender, Community, & Activism. The department funds a community-based internship coordinator who guides students who works with community organizations to place student into service and activism projects.  Faculty are involved in action research projects with students supported by the Beck Research Initiative, an initiative supported in part by the Steans Center.  Lastly, the department collaborates annually with the Steans Center to co-host the annual Faculty Community Engaged Research Seminar that highlights the work of faculty fellows from the Beck Research Initiative and the Steans Center's Community-based Research Faculty Fellowship.  The Steans Center also supports a minimum of one WMS student per year in the McCormick Community Internship program in support of WMS community partners.


Environmental Science and Studies (College of Science and Health)

Environmental Science and Studies (ENV) works in collaboration with the Steans Center to support community-based environmental restoration and urban agriculture projects.  A strong partner in the Center's Community Food Systems Initiative, ENV recently developed new courses in urban agriculture that directly engage students in community-based food projects through Chicago.  ENV is a partner of Gary Comer Youth Center (GCYC), supporting one of the Steans Center's strongest community partnerships.  Each summer the Steans Center, ENV and GCYC partner to support the Environmental Stewardship Community Internship  (ESCI) program. ESCI provides support for two full-time interns to work with GCYC's Green Teens Environmental Careers Program.  Funded by the Morrison Family Foundation, ENV students get valuable hands on experience working in on an urban farm and rooftop garden and supporting youth in gaining knowledge of emerging careers in sustainable food systems and in college readiness.


College of Computing and Digital Media


The College of Computing and Digital Media (CDM) offers students a collaborative education where technology, artistry and business intersect. CDM is organized into two schools: The School of Cinema and Interactive Media (CIM) and The School of Computing (SoC).   Academic service learning is well integrated into CDM curriculum: students produce websites for nonprofit partners through a website incubator program; they extend application of their computing education through courses in Human-Computer Interaction (HCI) where students design, implement, and evaluate computer-based technologies and the user experience of clients’ websites. The Steans Center also supports courses on information security risk management through courses such as CNS 490 Information Security Risk Assessment for Non-Profit Organizations.