Faculty Fellows FAQ

What is the CESL Faculty Fellows Program?

The CESL Faculty Fellows program is designed to help faculty members implement a high impact, engaged pedagogy that involves students in community-based learning, linked to your course goals, as an integral part of their learning experience.

You will be part of a cohort that meets monthly to discuss the practice of teaching and explore service-learning pedagogy, including:

  • best practices in community partnership development,
  • ways to organize community engagement to support the learning goals of your course and help students to embody the learning.
  • teaching tools to increase student focus, concentration and performance, as well as to guide students through a process of self-transformation and to engage in social change.
  • ways to encourage students to approach the course content as engaged citizens.  

The members serve as peer consultants in syllabus development, assessment practices and the exploration of reflection practices. In addition, the group offers opportunities to read relevant articles and to reflect in writing and in discussions, as well as visits from special guests.

Are there any particular focus areas for this RFP?

No, we are open to proposals from all disciplines that engage with community partners throughout the Pioneer Valley. 
Courses may be undergraduate or graduate level.
Though not a requirement for selection, we are interested in developing, community engaged courses which fulfill Content Area requirements for the Certificate in Civic Engagement & Public Service and CivX Major track with BDIC.  

Do I need to have a community partner and project already in place?

If you have a partner you are already working with that's great but it is not required. One of the ways UMass CESL will be available to support you is by helping identify possibilities and develop partnerships with community organizations. UMass CESL maintains connections with dozens of organizations in the Pioneer Valley and participates in several local networks to assist in making the best possible connection for your course. Once you have connected with a partner we do look to you to maintain and build that relationship, as the partnership is key to effective practice. 

Will my students need to be able to go to a community partner site every week?

Not necessarily.  The service requirements vary course by course and often are dictated by the community partner's needs and availability. We are most interested in the depth of the experience and the impact on both the student and the community.  Also, some courses involve project-based engagement with a community partner identified project. In these cases, the students generally spend time getting to know the community served by the partner, as well as the partner's mission and goals. They meet with the partner on and off during the course but they complete the bulk of the work associated with the project on their own time, here on campus. 

What are examples of Project based service-learning or community engagement courses?

Professor Luis Marentes's Spanish Translation course

Professor Laura Lovett's History course

Are there different types of community-engaged courses? 

Yes, CESL Faculty Fellows can develop either Civic Engagement courses or Service-Learning courses. Both types of courses are designated as course attributes by the UMass Registrar's office and are searchable on Spire. 

What’s meant by a Civic Engagement (CE) course and a Service-Learning (SL) course?

More info about these Designations is here

What are the Content Areas for the Civic Engagement & Public Service Certificate?

There are 5 required content areas as part of our CEPS Certificate.  These courses are not necessarily Service-Learning courses but developing Content Area courses that are community-engaged is something we would like to see more of. More information about the Content Areas is here.

Is there a stipend?

Yesover the year, faculty will receive a total of $1,000 (teams can receive up to $2,000) for participating in this program, which is payable as AdComp or into the faculty member’s RTF account.