Propose a New EL Course
Loyola University and the Center for Experiential Learning encourage faculty members to use service-learning as a pedagogical tool in their courses. Typically 50 faculty members embed service-learning in their course each semester with 1200-1500 students participating actively in these courses.
- Engaged Learning Requirement - All Loyola undergraduate students must complete one engaged learning course (at least 3 credit hours, designated in the course catalogue with “E”) in order to complete the graduation requirement. Many Loyola students choose to complete two or more engaged learning courses. Click here to learn more about the engaged learning requirement.
To advance the mission of Loyola University Chicago to “expand knowledge in the service of humanity through learning, justice, and faith,” the university's engaged learning requirement asks faculty to embed experiential learning opportunities in courses to help students enhance their knowledge, skills, and values. If you are interested in proposing a new engaged learning course, please read further....
Criteria for Engaged Learning Courses
Engaged learning courses include the following:
- A learning experience integrated into the course that engages students in learning outside the classroom, such as in a community agency, professional organization, or in a research setting;
- Critical reflection on that experience through various assignments in class; and
- Synthesis of the experience through a final project or portfolio
Types of Engaged Learning Courses
The following experiential learning opportunities fulfill the university’s Engaged Learning requirement:
- Academic Internships
- Field Work
- Undergraduate Research
- Public Performance (Fine and Performing Arts)
Support for Engaged Learning
Various Loyola University departments and centers provide support for engaged learning:
- The Center for Experiential Learning provides comprehensive support for service-learning, academic internship, and undergraduate research courses. The CEL also offers resources for faculty utilizing ePortfolios for reflection and assessment.
- The Office of International Programs is a resource for students interested in service-learning or academic internships during their study abroad experience.
- Professional schools provide structure and guidance to help students complete Field Work requirements.
- The Department of Fine and Performing Arts supports all forms of public performance in the arts.
Service-learning offers different structural models for faculty and their students to pursue academic, vocational, social, and civic learning outcomes. Academic service-learning experiences can be structured in several ways.
At Loyola, faculty tend to use one of four models. Despite the diversity of these models, service-learning courses always include the following elements:
- Service and action that is responsive to community priorities.
- Service and action that is directly connected to course content and learning objectives.
- Classroom learning that provides structured reflection opportunities throughout the experience that help students make meaning of the experience and connect community action with course content.
Faculty members are asked to choose one of the following models as they design and implement a service-learning course.
Placement-based service-learning courses require students to volunteer for a minimum of 20 hours with a community organization or project. Students may either find a non-profit partner organization with whom to volunteer or faculty can identify a smaller group of organizations where students can volunteer. Placement-based experiences enhance students' understanding of course content by asking them to volunteer directly in the community at an organization whose mission aligns with the course's academic outcomes. For example, students in an environmental studies class may volunteer with an organization conducting eco-restoration or students in a health care management class might volunteer with a community health clinic.
Project-based service-learning courses require students to work together in teams or as a whole class to produce and deliver a product for one or more community-based organizations. The project's deliverables are determined by the organization client(s). These projects may involve a research component. Students in a project-based service-learning course work together over the course of a semester, acting as consultants to the organization under the guidance of the professor. Students in a microenterprise course, for example, might deliver a business plan to emerging entrepreneurs. Students in a marketing class might develop and deliver a marketing strategy to a non-profit business association.
Education/Advocacy service-learning course require students to work together to illuminate a social or political issue for the broader community in order to inspire them to action for personal or social change. Students might create a health fair or a public health symposium to disseminate information about critical issues facing the community. Community members would use the information for personal or collective action. Students might also create and publish materials (such as newspaper articles, magazines, web sites or electronic portfolios, videos, etc.) designed to make information more accessible to the general public.
- Community-Based Participatory Action Research
Action research classes engage groups of students, faculty, and community members to work together on research and action projects that respond to pressing social and environmental issues. Unlike many other Loyola classes, these courses are usually offered continuously through multiple semesters, allowing the collaborative efforts of each semester's participants to build progressively on the work done by previous classes. While these courses can reflect many elements of both Project-based and Community Education course designs, they are distinct because of the cross-discipline nature and their potential for integrating the efforts of multiple university and community constituencies for the sake of focused, relevant response to issues of common concern over a longer period of time. These courses are usually sponsored by Loyola's various academic centers or faculty working groups, including the Center for Urban Research and Learning, the Center for Urban Environmental Research and Policy, and the Women's & Gender Studies Seminar.
Course Development Resources
- Course Syllabus Rubric - If you decide to submit a course description for approval as an Engaged Learning course, this SL Course Rubric will guide you as you build the course and syllabus.
In order for new courses to be designated for Engaged Learning credit, proposals need to be submitted according to the following timeline:
October 1 for Spring Semester and J-Term
December 1 for Summer Terms
February 1 for Fall Semester
Please complete all fields in the form below and click "SUBMIT" when you are finished. Please attach a model (draft) syllabus to the email generated by this form, or email your draft syllabus directly to firstname.lastname@example.org. Your responses will be sent to the Engaged Learning Subcommittee of the Board of Undergraduate Studies (BUS) for review.