Transformative Teaching and Research
Any faculty member can employ service learning pedagogy in any DePaul course. Doing so, transforms the classroom into a dynamic space for teaching at the intersections of experiential, written, visual and other texts.
At the Steans Center, we can assist you with creating a compelling teaching strategy informed by community engagement in the interest of building assets of Chicago communities.
Tap our human and financial support to pursue your interests in community-based research with students and to produce scholarship based on community engaged teaching and learning.
Through building community-campus partnerships for teaching and learning, the Center works to ensure diverse value systems, developed by community-based experts, are promoted within DePaul's curriculum and scholarship.
Academic Service Learning (ASL) at DePaul
ASL at DePaul refers to integration of the service-learning pedagogy into the university's curriculum. The Center engages in community-based service learning which means that all forms of student service are driven and defined by DePaul community partners.
DePaul generally divide service-learning into four categories:
Students engage in service that directly benefits an organization's existing programming (e.g., tutoring, providing health screenings)
Students produce a tangible product by the end of the term (e.g., creating a website, PR plan, assessing organizational recruitment strategies).
Students contribute to a research effort defined and driven by a community partner.
Students support an ongoing campaign to address a critical social, economic, and/or environmental issue in Chicago or internationally.
The Center offers an effective way to identify CBOs to engage in any of the above forms of academic service learning and to further develop faculty research and scholarship focused on Chicago area and international contexts. We can help you find interdisciplinary academic partners, in the community, at DePaul and at other universities.
The Center can also help you recruit, pay for, and deploy undergraduate and graduate students to support community-based research and scholarship linked to your teaching.
Benefits of ASL
Link teaching and learning to civic engagement & advocacy
Enrich curriculum with meaningful contexts for learning
Enhance students' mastery of content and analytical and critical thinking skills
Identify applied research collaborations and/or scholarly projects
Provide practical experience for students in career areas
Contribute to building organizational capacity for nonprofits
Build nonprofit assets through alliance with DePaul
Provide needed support for direct service programs
Offer resource development through projects and research
Expose youth to university students and college life
Who to Contact:
Faculty and Departmental Service Learning Initiatives: Helen Damon-Moore, firstname.lastname@example.org
Developing Your First Service Learning Course: Jeffrey Howard, email@example.com
Infusing Community-Based Research into Curriculum: Howard Rosing, firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistance with the service learning site placement process: Rubén Álvarez Silva, RSILVAAL@depaul.edu
Developing a Course
Typical Service Learning Course Development Process
1. Faculty or community organization initiates the idea for a course/project/service component
2. Consultation with the Steans Center and faculty are invited to workshops
3. Faculty member Identifies and visits community sites and aligns learning objectives
4. Community partner clarifies expectations and affirms service benefits
5. Center staff and community partner visits class early in the quarter
6. Center assists students in getting oriented in community and tracking hours
7. Center Service learning Coordinators monitor student progress
8. Service Learning course evaluation sent to students, faculty and community partners
Successful Service Learning Practice
Fosters reflection through in-class discussion and relevant assignments
Considers systemic social issues within service context
Includes assessing community resources and interest through visit sites
Involves drafting learning goals and assignments (see the faculty workbook)
Describes service activity in line with course objectives in syllabus
Prepares students for service in the classroom (or online)
Grades for learning outcome of service (e.g., in assignments) not for service itself
Steans Center Support Includes:
Information about and training on service learning pedagogy
Assisting with identifying community partner organizations
Serving as a liaison between the university and the community
Support on logistical, risk management, and troubleshooting issues
Monitoring of student progress, challenges and success
Evaluation of service learning pedagogy to improve use
Support for converting service learning pedagogy into scholarship
Assisting in developing community-based research projects linked to service-learning
Sample Project/Service-Based Assignments
Interviews/Survey (created or implement with community partner)
Performance Art/theatre piece
Record historical or contemporary narratives
Blogging/writing of all kinds
Teach skills/language/content to others/tutoring
Fairs (health, culture, college)
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 and scholarship. We support chairs, program directors, and/or individual faculty members to engage in community partnership development and share whatever resources we can to support further development 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.
Sample Departmental Partnership:
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.
Contact: Helen Damon-Moore email@example.com
Community-Based Research (CbR) and Scholarship of Engagement
The Steans Center assists faculty and students in the development and implementation of research projects created in collaboration with community partners. Interested faculty should consider the Community-based Research Faculty Fellowship which supports faculty in a year-long research project that involves their students.
The Center provides opportunities for faculty to hire students to become CbR Research Assistants for courses integrating CbR into learning objectives.
Contact: Howard Rosing hrosing@@depaul.edu
Scholarship of Engagement
The scholarship of engagement is conceptualized as involving faculty in the community in ways that benefit the community and advance the faculty member's scholarship. It may involve students or not. It is a parallel activity to service-learning. It may be conceptualized as a model of scholarship that involves and benefits a community and advances a faculty member's scholarship.
Scholarship of Engagement Toolkit co-developed by Jeff Howard, DePaul Universityt and Tim Stanton, Stanford University, identifies a plethora of web-based resources and articles related to community-engaged scholarship.
National Campus Compact
Community-Campus Partnerships for Health
Contact: Jeffrey Howard firstname.lastname@example.org
Grants and Conferences
DePaul Public Service Council (PSC)
The PSC offers course development grants that promote service-learning within the curriculum. The council also provides funding for research on service-learning pedagogy as well as research with community partners. Departments can seek grants for program-wide community engagement initiatives.
The Steans Center has support for faculty to attend national, regional, and state-wide conferences devoted to service-learning and community engagement.
To see a comprehensive list, visit Campus Compact at www.compact.org.