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Community-Based Learning Courses

Fall 2014


Civil Rights in the US

AMST-320.002/ HIST-305.001
E. Edelman
R, 5:30PM 8:00PM

In this course students explore activist and civil rights movements in the United States, analyzing both the political and social actors articulating these movements, as well as the particular tactics and strategies mobilized by different communities and groups. Students consider how movements across the country and world play out in the contexts of their own lives. Focus on particular themes or movements including race/ethnicity; sexuality; immigration/nationalism; war/conflict; and class/Neoliberalism examines the various movements and actions that have mobilized around these concerns, such as the Civil Rights Movement, LGBT rights, the Minuteman Civil Defense Corp, squatters/occupiers, and so forth.

Visual Literacy

P. Flynn-W, 8:55AM 11:35AM
TBD- W, 8:55AM 11:35AM
N. Daly- W, 2:35PM 5:15PM
D. Padwo-Audick- MR, 4:00PM 5:15PM
K. Llerena-T, 2:35PM 5:15PM
N. Daly-T, 8:55AM 11:35AM
L. Engel-R, 1:10PM 3:50PM
K. Llerena-M, 5:30PM 8:00PM

This course introduces students to ways of understanding visual images in a variety of contexts, including art, photography, film, and performing arts. Students learn about aesthetics, as well as the production aspects of visual images; discover intuitive dimensions of seeing; and analyze the influence of culture on visual symbols and communication. Students complete a final group consulting project for a community partner.

Public Relations Portfolio                          

G. Puglisi
T, 5:30PM 8:00PM

This course implements the skills, techniques, and strategies learned in previous public relations classes by giving students the opportunity to work with a real-world client. Specific deliverables are met that may include social media campaigns, events, product launches, public service announcements, websites, news releases, and media relations campaigns for clients who may be nonprofits, established organizations, and global entities. Prerequisite: COMM-337, COMM-346, COMM-380, public communication major, and minimum 2.5 GPA.

Community Documentary

COMM-528.001CB/ ANTH-544.001CB
N. Shapiro-Perl
T, 2:35PM 5:15PM

Using new media tools, students learn the methods and production of a four-minute autobiographical digital story, first by creating their own and then assisting community members. These first-person video narratives can be used in public meetings, on websites, etc. to build and mobilize communities, and empower the storytellers themselves.

Service-Learning in Teacher Education

J. Boyd
T, 2:35PM 3:25PM

Students participate in school and community organizations and agencies. Exploration of the principles of service-learning and application of classroom theory in the community. Special attention is paid to providing equitable learning environments. Students must complete a minimum of 40 hours in the community placement and attend three on-campus seminars. May be repeated for credit.

Washington Initiative

C. Poulin
W, 9:30AM 10:20AM

This course provides undergraduate business students with experience through the coordination of an event or service for a nonprofit agency. Through these interactions, students apply a variety of academic business skills while contributing to the local community and learning about nonprofit management. May be repeated for credit.

Marketing for Social Change                            

S. Grier
T, 5:30PM 8:00PM

This course develops the knowledge, skills, and perspectives to apply fundamental marketing concepts (e.g. customer orientation, segmentation, and positioning) to create beneficial changes in society. Designed for students whose career goals involve working in or with organizations who desire to promote social change, or who are interested in understanding the role and application of marketing beyond commercial gain.

Community Psychology                                         

N. Enchautegui-de-Jesus
TF, 4:00PM 5:15PM

This course introduces the principles, approaches, and guiding concepts of community psychology, including attention to diversity, action research, prevention, and citizen participation. Community psychology seeks to understand the interrelationship between individual well-being and multiple ecological levels of influence, from families and neighborhoods, to economic conditions and mass media. Community psychologists study these relationships to develop, implement, and evaluate interventions that address pressing problems in our society, including youth violence, HIV/AIDS, and educational disparities. Students apply and expand their learning of key concepts through service in community-based organizations. Prerequisite: one introductory and two additional psychology courses.

Public Health Scholars Lab                               

B. Bennett
W, 10:25AM 2:25PM

Public Health Scholars (3-year program) students apply theories learned in PUBH-110 to actual field situations. As a group they engage in in community service project at a public health organization in Washington, DC. Prerequisite: admission to Public Health Scholars program and concurrent registration in PUBH-110.

Cross-Cultural Communications

E. Law
W, 8:55AM 11:35AM

Examines the impact of culture on communication, perception, thought patterns, values, and beliefs in order to better understand the behavior of individuals within different societies. Specific concerns include the dynamics of verbal and nonverbal communication; the relationship between dominant cultures and subcultures; ethnic, racial, class and other forms of diversity within countries and organizations; third-culture and multicultural persons; and the dynamics of cross-cultural adjustment. As a Service-Learning Based course, students will be required to work with a local DC community organization during the semester to observe, experience, and analyze how cross-cultural communication is practiced in multicultural settings.

Third World Cities

E. Bratman
T, 8:55AM 11:35PM

This course sets out to understand and analyze the dimensions and challenges of the rapidly growing cities and mega-cities of the Third World. It gives attention to topics such as poverty, unemployment, housing, water, infrastructure, revenue, health, etc. and attempts to learn lessons from a variety of approaches to urban planning, development, and finance. Attention is also paid to urban challenges in the United States. This course features experiential learning opportunities and community-based learning opportunities as central features of its pedagogical and academic content.


Hours of Service

In the 2013-2014 academic year, 65,204 hours of service were completed through community-based learning classes on direct service and class based projects.



In the 2013-2014 academic year, 1511 students participated in community-based work, connecting their course work with identified community needs.


Community Partners

In the 2013-2014 academic year, AU community-based learning students partnered with 131 different DC area community organizations. 

CBL Related Events and Opportunities

Interested in Community-Based Learning? Follow the link below for information on AU's Annual Community-Based Learning events. 


CBL Events

Past Community-Based Learning Courses

Check out the courses that have been offered in the past to get a sense of what you would like to teach or a course you would like to take in an upcoming semester.

Spring 2014

Fall 2013