Service Learning Faculty Fellowship Program

Service learning at CSUSB is a teaching method that promotes student learning through active participation in meaningful and planned service experiences in the community that are substantively related to course content. Through reflective activities, students enhance their understanding of course content, general knowledge, sense of civic responsibility, self-awareness and commitment to the community.

Faculty who teach service learning courses have found that extending the boundaries of the classroom into the community benefits their students' learning in many ways. Students understand and synthesize the subject matter through a broader range of experiences and associations; gain an understanding and appreciation of the community and the diversity of its people; explore an area of study or a career option; critically reflect on personal values and responsibilities as citizens; and gain a belief they can make a difference through their actions. Many students decide to continue their involvement in the community after completing the class.

The Office of Community Engagement provides technical assistance to any faculty member interested in developing a service learning course.

Guidelines for service learning classes

  1. Students in the class provide a service to address community-identified needs of individuals, organizations, schools, or entities in the community
  2. The service experience elucidates the relevancy of the course content, and the knowledge from the discipline informs the service experience.
  3. The service opportunities seek to further studentsÂą civic education while providing skill development valuable for career preparation.
  4. Diverse teaching methods encourage students to think about what they have learned through the service experience and how these relate to the course content. Activities are designed such that class members learn from each other as well as from the instructor.
  5. The course offers a method to assess the learning derived from the service. Credit is given for the learning and its relation to the course, not for the service alone, e.g., journaling.
  6. Recipients of the students' service experiences are offered an opportunity to be involved in the assessment of the service.

It is recommended that each student participate in service activities for a minimum of 15 hours during the quarter. It is preferred that the service be provided throughout the quarter rather than a one-time experience.

For more information, please contact Diane Podolske at (909) 537-7483 or email at

Community-Based Research Mini-Grant Program

The Office of Community Engagement will award faculty mini-grants up to $5,000 to support community-based research projects, i.e., the application of knowledge through research to the solution of problems confronting today's ever changing and increasingly complex society. The mini-grant program is open to tenured and tenure-track faculty.
Proposals are invited for a wide-range of research activities, however, all proposals must begin with the identification of a particular community partner and a specific community need.  Proposals must include the following characteristics:
The proposal involves community-based research, i.e., a collaborative approach where a faculty researcher and members of an organization work together to define the problem to be examined, co-generate relevant knowledge about the problem, execute research techniques together, and take specific action to promote change.
The proposal includes activities that result in a research paper or creative work submitted for publication

Award Amount, Use and Grant Period:

Mini-grants of up to $5,000 will be awarded. The grant period is one year from the date of award, but can be extended upon approval of written extension request. Typical uses of mini-grant funds include: research resources (books, journals), supplies, duplication, postage, student assistants, and/or conference travel expenses. International travel is not an allowable expense.
For more information, please contact Diane Podolske at (909) 537-7483 or email