Campus News

March 15, 2010

Report From

OUCP connects classroom to community

Sam Marie Engle is OUCP senior associate director.

Freshmen helping hardworking low-income families complete their federal tax returns and apply for Earned Income Tax Credit. Anthropology majors creating media to expose the challenges new Americans face in a state hostile to “foreigners.” Business students developing social enterprise strategies for nonprofits hard-hit by the economic downturn. Environmental studies students investigating the keys to successful community gardens.

These are just a few of the ways the Office of University-Community Partnerships, a unit of the Provost’s Office of Diversity and Community, is helping Emory realize the promise articulated in the 10-year strategic plan to “produce socially-conscious leaders with a portfolio of skills developed and values tested in community engagement.”

As the lead entity for the Engaged Scholars strategic initiative, the OUCP, along with Campus Life, is connecting classroom to community, creating and sustaining a continuum of community-engaged learning, scholarship and service for students and faculty in all of Emory’s nine academic units.

The continuum begins with traditional volunteerism from a student’s first days on campus. Students then apply and advance their academic learning with community-benefiting activities as part of their coursework in everything from freshman seminars to graduate-level courses. Especially skilled and ambitious students then deepen their involvement in community problem solving through an expanding array of academic internship and fellowship programs. Engaged Scholars cap their studies with original research for a thesis or dissertation seeking to address persistent problems like poverty, discrimination and environmental degradation.

For as much as we are Emory, we also are an important part of metro Atlanta.

The OUCP’s professional staff works with faculty and students across the University to ensure that Emory’s work in the community is coherent, connected, effective and sustainable.

Notable programs include:

Faculty Development Programs: Faculty may apply now for the fall 2010 class of Faculty Fellows, which provides course release funding so faculty can focus on developing courses featuring engaged learning pedagogy.

Mini Grant Funding: Faculty may apply for funding for a specific engaged learning course (up to $3,000) or community-based participatory research project (up to $5,000).

CELI Funding: Faculty or administrators aiming to create or expand multi-disciplinary community-engaged learning opportunities for significant numbers of students may apply for Community-Engaged Learning Initiative grants. Grants support planning, capacity-strengthening and implementation activities.

Student Funding: The OUCP is partnering with the Center for Ethics and several academic departments to provide more paid summer internship and fellowship opportunities for both undergraduate and graduate students. The OUCP also funds teaching, research, and project-specific fellowships for Emory students enrolled in doctoral and professional graduate degree programs. Funds also support community-based student research projects informing theses or dissertations.

Transportation: The OUCP provides transportation support, in some cases for a modest fee, for students involved in community-benefiting service as part of an academic course or program.

Technical Assistance and Match-making: OUCP team members manage relationships with dozens of community partners and can help match faculty interests with community needs.

File Options

  • Print Icon Print