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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.


Faculty Information for Arrupe Engagement 

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

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

  • Through student participation in our Arrupe Engagement Program students engage directly with our community partners for approximately 2 hours a week during weeks 3-10 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.

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

  • Contact 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 Community-engaged learning in the course, whether participation is required or optional, and the assignments related to this experience.
  • Discuss the placement options you would like to offer your students with one of the Program Directors for Arrupe Engagement.
  • Schedule time 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.

Quarterly Arrupe Engagement Schedule

Before Week 1 of the Quarter

  • Share information with your students about the community partners that are assigned to the course and encourage them to create a list of partners they are interested in working with.

First Week of the Quarter: First Class and Arrupe Registration

  • Students select and register for their placement.
  • Placement requirements vary by placement but can include a tuberculosis test or risk assessment, LiveScan background check, and volunteer paperwork (it is the responsibility of each student to complete the necessary requirements before starting their placement).
  • Students make arrangements for transportation to their placement.

Second Week of the Quarter: Orientations

  • All students participate in 2 mandatory orientations: one Arrupe Engagement orientation AND the orientation hosted by their selected community placement.
  • Community partners, who serve as on-site mentors, will identify activities and tasks for students that are appropriate for meeting course requirements.

Weeks 3 -10 of the Quarter: Engagement

  • Students engage in the community for ~2 hours each week
  • It is the student's responsibility to make up any missed engagement hours during the quarter
  • Optional reflection sessions are offered at the Ignatian Center each week to support students in processing their engagement experience
  • At the end of the quarter, students provide feedback through the online Arrupe survey
  • Students provide faculty with a completed and signed timesheet that includes a Site Supervisor Evaluation at the completion of the placement


Project-based Community-engaged Learning

For faculty interested in developing a 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 CEL in the course, whether participation is required or optional, and the assignments related to this experience.
  • Visit one of the community partners with whom 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 Engagement Program of the Ignatian Center for Jesuit Education provides support to undergraduate courses that integrate best practices of community-engaged 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
  1.   Meaningful, structured reflection to help students make the connection between community engagement and course content is an ongoing part of the course.
  2.   Meaningful and relevant assignments assess the impact of community engagement relative to course learning.
  • 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 CEL 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 the 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 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 consider expansion of community partners 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.