Skip to main content

Community-Engaged Learning

Faculty Funding

Launched in 2014, the Community-Engaged Learning Grant provides funds to faculty and staff whose projects or courses combine academic learning and community engagement opportunities for undergraduate students in Arts, Sciences and Engineering. The purpose of these grants is to:

  • Support valuable community-university partnerships
  • Address community-identified needs
  • Enhance student learning

Successful projects achieve this by integrating community-based experiential opportunities in the Rochester area with traditional classroom learning.

Grant funds can be used to support expenses associated with the course or project (e.g., transportation, course supplies, curriculum development, expenses incurred by partner organizations, etc.). Faculty and instructional staff may submit one proposal per course or project. Each proposal has a maximum award of $2,000 per course.


Faculty and instructional staff throughout the University can apply for support for expenses associated with participation in community-based activities by undergraduate students enrolled in the 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 Arts, Sciences and Engineering.

Application Process

To apply, use this application form template and upload your proposal. Grants are awarded on a rolling basis, but the priority deadline for the 2017–18 academic year is July 1, 2017. Proposals will be accepted until all funds have been awarded. If you require assistance in projecting transportation expenses in your proposal, consult the transportation cost guide.

Proposal Requirements

Proposals should include:

  • A description of the activities you want to participate in, including how these activities count as community engagement as well as how you, the students, and the community partner(s) will benefit from these activities.
  • A description of the learning objectives and explanation of how student participation in the activities will contribute to the attainment of those objectives.
  • A budget that describes the 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.
  • Anticipated number of students who would benefit from the proposed experiential learning activity.

Funding Decisions

We make funding decisions biased off of the following criteria:

Community Engagement: We prioritize projects where community organizations/persons play a role in the design and implementation of the learning activities as well as projects addressing an unmet need as defined by the partner.

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.

Disciplinary Breadth: Priority will be given to faculty and courses that have not previously received support with the goal of encouraging community-engaged learning throughout the College. However, it is still possible for projects to 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, and other grant opportunities (both internal and external). Proposals that can suggest longer-term strategies to ensure the sustainability of the project are preferred.

Assessment and Development: We hope to support the instructor’s efforts to learn from student experiences 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.


Contact Lauren Caruso at