Community-Engaged Learning Mini-Grant
Priority deadline for proposals for 2015-16 funding is May 15, 2015.
Do you teach a course or host a project in which learning happens outside the classroom? For instance, do students in your course attend local cultural events, or collaborate on projects with community organizations? Are you interested in adding this component to a course? Consider applying for a Community-Engaged Learning grant.
Launched in 2014, the Community-Engaged Learning Fund awards grants to faculty and staff whose projects or courses combine academic learning and community engagement opportunities for undergraduate students in the College of Arts, Sciences, and Engineering. The purpose of these grants is to support valuable community-university partnerships and enhance students’ learning outcomes. Successful projects achieve this by integrating community-based experiential opportunities in the Rochester area with traditional classroom learning.
Grant funds (maximum $800 per proposal) can be used to support any expense associated with the course or project (e.g.: event tickets, costs of transportation, expenses partner organizations incur as part of their participation, event support, etc).
Faculty and staff from throughout the University may apply for support for expenses associated with participation in community-based activities by undergraduate students enrolled in the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering. All courses offered to undergraduates within the College are eligible. We will also consider proposals for courses offered elsewhere in the University, provided that the funding would support the participation of undergraduates from the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering.
To apply, submit a short proposal via email to Lauren Caruso, Assistant Director at the Rochester Center for Community Leadership, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Grants are awarded on a rolling basis, but the priority deadline for the 2015-2016 academic year is May 15, 2015. Awards for proposals submitted by the priority deadline will be announced by June 5, 2015. For proposals submitted after the priority deadline, award decisions will be announced within two weeks of the submission date. Proposals will be accepted until all funds have been awarded.
- The course name and number or the project name for which you are applying for assistance, along with the semester or timeframe during which the course or project occurs.
- A description of the activities for which you are requesting support.
- A budget for those activities that describes their total cost, specifies the amount you are requesting from this program to support those costs, and the list of sources from which remaining expenses will be covered.
- A description of the learning objectives and explanation of how student participation in the activities will contribute to the attainment of those objectives.
- Anticipated number of students who would benefit from the proposed experiential learning activity.
How We Make Funding Decisions
- Disciplinary Breadth: The goal of this program is to support and encourage community-engaged learning throughout the College. As such, we will strive to distribute these grants widely -- across divisions and, where possible, across multiple departments within each division. Priority will be given to faculty and courses that have not previously received support; however, projects may be funded more than once.
- Sources of Support: We prefer to fund projects that will combine support from our program with support from other sources, such as department funds, outside grants, and cost-sharing by student participants. Proposals that can suggest longer-term strategies to ensure the sustainability of your project are preferred.
- Community Engagement: We prefer to fund projects in which persons and organizations from the community beyond campus are genuine partners -- playing some role in the design and implementation of the learning activities for which you are requesting support.
- Community-Engaged Learning: We aim to support activities that are well-integrated with the course’s learning objectives. To assess this, we look at the cogency of the proposal’s explanation of how the activity will contribute to the course’s learning objectives. We also consider the learning activities and assignments the instructor will use to help students reflect on and articulate the connections between community engagement and the course material.
- Assessment and Development: We hope to support instructors in efforts to learn from student experiences in the activities we support and use what they learn to deepen the significance of student learning experiences in future courses. Therefore, we favor proposals that include plans for assessing the supported activities and applying the results of that assessment in the design of future courses.