For faculty

Grant for community-engaged courses (CECs)

The EX[L] Center at UA is pleased to be able to offer small grants (up to $500 each) to support UA courses that incorporate community engagement through community-based research and/or service-learning. 

For an instructor to receive funding, the course must include all enrolled students in some form of engagement with local or regional community partners (Akron and Northeast Ohio). Applications are reviewed on a rolling basis each semester and projects are funded until funds are depleted. 

Grant guidelines and application

Recent recipients of community-engaged course grants

Thus far in Fall 2017, three community-engaged courses have received funding.  Congratulations to:

  • Pat Millhoff, whose class Legal Aspects of Corrections will bring UA students and reintegrating offenders together so students can understand family issues and consider constitutional rights as they work with prison administration to create and run a family event with inmates in a women’s correctional facility,
  • Amber Ferris, whose course, Principles of Social Media, will work with a community-based non-profit to apply what they learn in class to helping one low-resourced partner increase capacity, and
  • Jodi Kearns, whose students in Foundations of Museums and Archives, will learn theory and historical practices before being mentored as they survey collections, develop processing strategies, engage in preservation, and ultimately make the collections they curate publically available online for researchers around the world. This course offers real-world experience and an essential job skill for young professionals seeking to enter the archiving field.

Faculty-driven initiatives (FDIs)

At The University of Akron, experiential learning has a long, strong history.  In an effort to encourage and support this strength, and to expand the opportunities for students, the EX[L] Center supports a number of faculty-led proposals each year.

These are innovative ideas that challenge barriers faculty face in creating successful hands-on, team-based, problem-centered learning.

Projects that align teaching powerfully with faculty research have been particularly successful.

Examples of previously funded FDIs are available on request.  As a faculty-led program, we are inviting all tenured, tenure track (TT), and non-tenure track (NTT) faculty to apply.

Faculty Projects Win Experiential Learning Center Funding

The 2017-18 Faculty-Driven Initiatives (FDI) competition from the EX[L] Center is pleased to announce this year’s awardees. The FDI program offers grants to supports faculty research projects that directly sustains their scholarship while incorporating innovative experiential learning opportunities for UA students.

Dr. Shanon Donnelly (Geosciences) has been awarded $7,580 for A Comparison of Current and Historical Vegetation on Sites Mapped by A.B. Williams in the Early 20th Century. Building on recent efforts by the Cleveland Museum of Natural History, this project contributes georeferenced historical maps and a current inventory of the plants and animals in these areas which will allow a unique assessment of what has and has not changed over the last century in Northeast Ohio.

Dr. Elisa Gargarella (Art) will use $6000 to expand the academic impact of her work. A recipient of Knight Foundation funding for Art Bomb Brigade, Gargarella and the Myers School of Art are now transforming this important contribution to place-making in Akron into an experiential learning course for Spring 2018. The course partners with Community Support Services of Summit County, an organization providing health care to individuals living with mental illness. Gargarella’s proposal adds social science data collection and video documentation of this course allowing her and her students to explore this approach to art therapy and consider the impact of such community engagement.:

FDI request for proposals