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Faculty Resources

Experiential Learning for Social Justice

The Experiential Learning for Social Justice component of Santa Clara's core curriculum cultivates social justice, civic life, perspective, and civic engagement.


Integrate Arrupe Weekly Engagement into your next course

Each quarter, the Ignatian Center works with over 20 faculty spanning various academic disciplines at Santa Clara University to execute our community-based learning program.

Support is provided to faculty for CBL in two primary ways:

By allowing student participation in our Arrupe Weekly Engagement Program where students engage directly with our community partners for approximately 2 hours a week during 8 weeks of the quarter.

By collaborating with faculty members and community partners to develop student projects that meet community needs and connect with course learning goals.

Arrupe Weekly Engagement

For faculty who wish to include the Arrupe Weekly Engagement program as part of a course:

  • Contact our office to request participation before the academic year begins and no later than the third week of the quarter before you will be teaching the course.
  • Provide us with a copy of your syllabus articulating the role of CBL in the course, whether participation is required or optional, and the assignments related to this experience.
  • Discuss with one of the program directors the placement options you would like to offer your students.
  • Schedule time during the first meeting of your course for the Arrupe staff to provide information to your students about the logistics of participation.
  • Visit one of the placement sites either the quarter before you teach or during the quarter. We are happy to facilitate this visit and accompany you, if you like.

First Week of the Quarter: First Class and Sign-ups

  • Students will receive information in their class detailing the community partners that are appropriate to the course.
  • Students select and register for their placement.
  • Placement requirements: Some placements require a TB test or fingerprinting. It is each student's responsibility to complete the necessary requirements before starting their placement.

Second Week of the Quarter: Orientations

  • All students must participate in a mandatory orientation at their respective placement site.
  • Community partners, who serve as on-site mentors, will identify activities and tasks for students which are appropriate for meeting course requirements.

Third through 10th Weeks of the Quarter: Weekly Engagement

  • Students participate in the community for their weekly engagement two hours per week.
  • It is the student's responsibility to make up any missed sessions during the quarter.
  • Over the course of the quarter, students provide feedback through the online electronic progress report (EPR)
  • Students provide faculty with completed and signed (CBL Site Supervisor Evaluation) at the completion of the placement.

Project-based CBL

For faculty interested in developing a student project for a course:

  • Contact us at least two quarters in advance of the quarter in which you will teach the course. Working out the details of a project and identifying appropriate community partners can take time.
  • Provide us with a copy of your syllabus articulating the role of CBL in the course, whether participation is required or optional, and the assignments related to this experience.
  • Visit one of the community partners with which you will be working either the quarter before you teach or during the quarter. We are happy to facilitate this visit and accompany you, if you like.

The staff is always open to discussing new ideas or providing specific information about the community partners. Feel free to contact the Ignatian main number at 408-554-6917.

The Arrupe Weekly Engagement Program of the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education provides support to undergraduate courses that integrate best practices of community-based learning pedagogy, in alignment with the values of our program. While many of the courses supported fulfill the Experiential Learning for Social Justice requirement (ELSJ) of the undergraduate core curriculum, the program provides support to undergraduate courses that meet the following criteria:

1.    Community engagement

  • is integrated into the course with clear learning objectives and expectations noted in the syllabus

  • informs and enhances course content and addresses issues of social justice

  • highlights the principle of reciprocity - the engagement meets both community needs and the learning needs of students.

2.    Meaningful, structured reflection to help students make the connection between community engagement and course content is an on-going part of the course.

3.    Meaningful and relevant assignments assess the impact of community engagement relative to course learning.

Current capacity through the Weekly Engagement Program is 520 students per quarter engaged across all community partners.  Efforts are made to provide a well-rounded menu of opportunities for engagement to meet student learning needs (e.g. population, activity, day/times of engagement). Requests to engage with particular populations may affect the total number of students who can be supported through the program (e.g. there are limited opportunities with health-related placements). Supporting more than 520 students per quarter in alignment with our programmatic values is not feasible with the current staffing and model of support provided to students, faculty, and community partners.

  • Requests for support are generally made in the academic year prior to the one in which the course will be offered.

  • Faculty inform department chairs of their intent to teach a CBL course as part of University academic planning.

  • The Ignatian Center reviews these requests, depending on capacity, it either confirms the ability to support or works with the Director of Undergraduate Education, the Colleges, Department Chairs, and Faculty to propose adjustments to timing of course offerings or course enrollment caps.

  • The Ignatian Center will provide advanced notice to all parties in the event it is unable to provide the support requested.

  • The Arrupe Weekly Engagement Program supports courses taught during the fall, winter and spring academic quarters; it does not provide support during the summer sessions.

The Ignatian Center will entertain expansion of community partners in a limited way based on the following criteria:

  • Community organization offers a unique opportunity for undergraduates not currently offered through existing community partners

  • Community organization offers a learning experience that is in great demand for academic courses and helps address an unmet need for student learning

  • Community organization could be a strategic partner due to its location (e.g. within the place-based initiative geographic area), relationship with the broader university, or social issue it addresses