Laying the Foundation Description of Subgrant Activities
Fifteen CSU campuses were awarded "Laying the Foundation" subgrants to reach out to STEM departments and colleges, STEM faculty and community partners, and other STEM-related initiatives on campus and in the local community to gather information about:
- Existing service-learning activities;
- Possible partnerships;
- Existing resources and expertise; and
- Levels of interest among STEM faculty to utilize service learning.
Campus activities included:
California State University, Chico will identify service-learning and civic engagement experiences associated with courses being taught by faculty in STEM disciplines by surveying all STEM faculty. The quantitative and qualitative analyses of the survey will be shared systemwide. CSU Chico will also host two training sessions open to all STEM faculty: the first session to address conceptual and pedagogical aspects of service and civic learning; the second to cover practical matters such as forming partnerships with community organizations.
California State University, Dominguez Hills's Center for Service Learning, Internships, & Civic Engagement (SLICE), in collaboration with academic departments including Earth Science, Biology, Environmental Science, and Computer Science, will conduct research to identify existing service-learning activities, existing resources and expertise in the STEM disciplines, possible partnerships, and levels of interest among STEM faculty to use service learning in their courses. These activities will be coordinated with the Center for Urban Environmental Research to assist in focusing on existing and possible experiential learning and community-based research projects in the field of environmental science. Representatives from these departments will meet to discuss existing programs and brainstorm future projects.
California State University, East Bay will engage in a year of STEM information-gathering and relationship-building. Surveys will be developed and disseminated to gain information on current service learning and community engagement activities, as well as ascertain the interest level of faculty and best ways to regularly connect. Based on responses, the Service Learning Director will host informational gatherings for STEM departments and faculty to share resources and ideas. Departments can apply for honoraria to engage in deeper conversations regarding supporting and sustaining service-learning activities and courses.
California State University, Fresno will offer four grants of $2,000 each to STEM departments to support the exploration of integrating service learning into STEM courses. Sub-grantees will be required to take specific steps to explore the potential for integrating service-learning in STEM courses, such as researching high quality service-learning practices in their discipline and developing appropriate curriculum materials. Opportunities will be provided for sub-grantees to gather and discuss ideas, challenges and opportunities for creating high quality service-learning offerings in STEM departments.
California State University, Fullerton's Center for Internships & Community Engagement will research service-learning approaches in STEM courses, and reach out to department chairs, faculty and community partners to determine effective models, establish a baseline of present activity, identify interested faculty members, and explore service-learning partnerships.
Humboldt State University's Service Learning Center will: (1) conduct departmental outreach activities, hosting departmental meetings with each of the 11 STEM disciplines in the College of Natural Resources and Sciences; and (2) develop and host a Higher Education Track for the Regional Service Learning Conference, March 4, 2011, which will include service-learning pedagogy information and an emphasis on STEM service-learning activities and efforts.
California State University, Los Angeles will launch the first phase of its LACES (Los Angeles Community Engagement in Stem) program, designed to promote student success in STEM disciplines through service learning. LACES Phase I involves a three-step process. The first step will result in an inventory of service learning, community engagement activities, and community partnerships in STEM disciplines at CSULA. The second phase will involve a SWOT analysis conducted by select STEM department chairs and faculty. The third phase will result in a strategic goal and a series of action steps that will become part of the new strategic plan for community engagement that will be produced during the 2010-11 Academic Year.
California State University, Monterey Bay's Service Learning Institute will convene a gathering of 175 STEM faculty and partners in a professional development and partnership event. The inspiring event's activities include a speaker, student presentations, and small group conversations aimed at encouraging new and deeper STEM partnerships throughout the College of Science, Media Arts and Technology (SMART). The goal of growing STEM partnerships throughout the College is to increase both STEM knowledge and professional social responsibility in students.
Cal Poly Pomona will convene an engineering working group of faculty interested in service learning. The Center for Community Service-Learning and the Maximizing Engineering Potential Program will sponsor various sessions with faculty to discuss the benefits of incorporating service learning in the curriculum. During the winter quarter, Cal Poly Pomona will host a symposium on successful models of engineering service-learning projects. In spring quarter, Cal Poly Pomona will sponsor a "Service Learning and STEM" workshop on how to incorporate service learning in engineering classes. Our objective is to increase the number of engineering faculty who will incorporate a service-learning option for the 2011-2012 academic year.
California State University, Sacramento's STEM Service Learning Project will include three activities. The Community Engagement Center, in partnership with the Center for STEM Excellence, will conduct STEM faculty brown bags to explore service learning; a faculty inventory will result. A pilot STEM service-learning course will be implemented in collaboration with our public school partners. Lessons learned will be identified in order to expand STEM service learning. We will strengthen collaboration with K-12 partners through joint trainings, and when possible embed the service-learning course within a larger California Department of Education grant funded service-learning project.
San José State University will reach out to faculty members in engineering in order to connect engineering faculty members to the campus service-learning network and resources, and ultimately to increase the number of service-learning activities in engineering. San José State will assess current service-learning activities in the College, investigate the reasons why engineering faculty do and do not use service-learning in their teaching, and educate faculty about the benefits of this pedagogy and the resources and partners available.
Cal Poly San Luis Obispo will be offering a professional learning community (PLC) to grow its capacity in STEM service learning. A PLC is an extended learning opportunity to foster collaborative learning among colleagues with a particular purpose. In our case, that purpose is to develop our institutional capacity around service learning with a focus on science, technology, engineering and math. Through participation in a PLC, faculty and staff will enhance their knowledge of service-learning pedagogy as they work together and with the local community as a collaborative team with the ultimate goal of increasing and improving STEM service-learning courses at Cal Poly.
California State University, San Marcos will assess STEM faculty and students' knowledge of service learning and interest levels via a survey; hire six STEM students (one from each discipline) as service learning and STEM activists; and hire a dynamic STEM faculty guest speaker (and invite accompanying students) to hold separate workshops for our faculty and students. Our goal is to determine the best ways to increase the number of STEM faculty who include service learning in their course(s) and foster more student interest in STEM disciplines.
Sonoma State University will reach out to STEM departments to better understand what service-learning activity is already occurring and determine what opportunities and resources exist by attending each of the ten departmental meetings and sharing information. Additionally, we will host a second session of the "Tips & Trends in Service-Learning" workshop (usually offered once per year) especially for STEM faculty.
California State University, Stanislaus will increase awareness of service learning in STEM by showcasing a service-learning project in geography. Initially, CSU Stanislaus geography students will inform the K-12 community about the value and use of geospatial technology. This includes outreach and training to middle school students and teachers on how to use geospatial technology. Then CSU geography students will create a STEM Map of CSU Stanislaus. This map will highlight all science, math and technology activities, including buildings where science activities take place. The map will be created in Spring 2011 and shared with incoming students and undeclared majors and it will be posted on the CSU Stanislaus campus website.