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Tools for Community-Based Learning

The following resources may be helpful for developing or improving community-based learning courses.

Internal Resources

Pew Faculty Teaching & Learning Center: The Robert and Mary Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center (FTLC) promotes a scholarly approach to teaching and learning, supports reflection on professional practice, encourages growth at all career stages, and rewards innovation in teaching. FTLC supports community engagement through faculty consultants that provide confidential, individualized support in course design and development, preparation of appropriate student reflection and evaluation materials, and assist in scholarly teaching projects that study the impact of community engagement pedagogy. Additionally, the FTLC grants program coordinator is available to meet one-on-one with faculty preparing an application for a teaching project grant. Visit their page by clicking here.

Padnos International Center: The mission of Padnos International Center (PIC) is "to engage the University community in meaningful international experiences which foster an appreciation and awareness of diverse cultures, people, and ideas." PIC provides community-based learning opportunities and meaningfully connects the GVSU community to diverse cultures, at home and abroad. Visit their page by clicking here.

Sample Forms and Templates: A collection of sample forms and templates that can be customized for use in formalizing partnerships and facilitating community-based learning courses or programs. The following samples were made by Dr. Heather Carpenter, an Assistant Professor in the School of Public, Nonprofit and Health Administration

External Resources

Faculty Toolkit for Service Learning in Higher Education: This toolkit, published by the Learn and Serve America's National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, aids faculty in the planning, designing, and implementing of community-based learning programs, including strategies for evaluation and assessment.

Community-Based Teaching and Learning Outcomes: Research findings regarding the impact of community engagement on student learning outcomes in higher education settings.


National Civic Engagement Organizations: A list of national organizations that provide resources to develop a deeper understanding of community engagement in its various forms.

  • American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), American Democracy Project. The American Democracy Project (ADP) is a multi-campus initiative focused on higher education's role in preparing the next generation of informed, engaged citizens for our democracy. The project began in 2003 as an initiative of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU), in partnership with The New York Times.
  • Campus CompactAs the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact promotes public and community service that develops students' citizenship skills, helps campuses forge effective community partnerships, and provides resources and training for faculty seeking to integrate civic and community-based learning into the curriculum.
  • Coalition of Urban-Serving UniversitiesThrough its initiatives: 1) creating a competitive workforce, 2) building strong communities, and 3) improving the health of a diverse population, USU is identifying and expanding innovative models of university-community partnerships across U.S. cities.
  •  Community-Campus Partnerships for Health. Community-Campus Partnerships for Health (CCPH) is a nonprofit organization that promotes health equity and social justice through partnerships between communities and academic institutions. CCPH views health broadly, as physical, mental, emotional, social and spiritual well-being and emphasizes partnership approaches to health that focus on changing the conditions and environments in which people live, work and play.
  • Engagement Scholarship Consortium. The Engagement Scholarship Consortium (ESC), a 501 (c) (3) non-profit educational organization, is composed of higher education member institutions, a mix of state-public and private institutions. The goal of the ESC is to work collaboratively to build strong university-community partnerships anchored in the rigor of scholarship, and designed to help build community capacity.
  • Imagining America. A consortium of 90 colleges and universities, and their partners, IA emphasizes the possibilities of humanities, arts, and design in knowledge-generating initiatives. Such activity can span disciplines through collaborations with public health, environmental issues, community education, neighborhood development, and others.