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Amanda Harrison
Manager, Honors and Scholars Programs

Anderson Hall, Room 112 on a map

Community-Based Research Scholars 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Welcome to CBRS!

All first-year students admitted to the Community-Based Research Scholars program will enroll in an exclusive CBRS section of Complex Problems and the CBRS Lab during their fall semester. In the spring semester, students will enroll in a section of the Community-Based Research course, where they will engage in a group research project in partnership with a local non-profit.

Fall CBRS Courses

 All first-year CBRS students will enroll in IDIS-101 and choose one section of CORE-106.

CORE-106 Creating Social Entrepreneurs   Professor Brett Gilbert 

This course introduces students to how social entrepreneurs can be created and supported. Social entrepreneurs create businesses to address social problems or needs that are unmet by governments and current markets. These social entrepreneurs generally work with, not against, market forces and are typically motivated by social benefit, but may also attain clear economic benefits as well in order to become sustainable and survive a turbulent marketplace. Social entrepreneurs recognize an opportunity to create social value, which then leads to the development of an enterprise concept. They then gather resources and seek to launch and grow their ventures. This course explores this process by giving students the opportunity to start their own social enterprise and incorporates multiple points of view. The course analyzes and synthesizes a diversity of perspectives on how best to create and support social entrepreneurs and emphasizes discussion, active learning, and opportunities to meet with guest lecturers and associated groups in the greater Washington, DC area. It also utilizes on campus resources such as the AU Bender Library and Kogod's Center for Business Communication and Financial Services & Information Technology Lab (FSIT). The course also includes optional off-campus site visits.

CORE-106 No Child Left Behind, Really?
Professor Amaarah DeCuir

Societies expect students to shape the future by initiating change and transforming the world. But educators and policy makers relegate students to schools that structure inequalities and restrict learning opportunities. Students struggle to assert agency under social constructs that influence their daily school lives. Today’s students bear the burdens of achievement gaps, bullying, college-prep pressures, evolving identities and many other dynamics rooted in today’s social conditions. Our course seeks to understand how American students both reproduce and challenge social, cultural, political, and educational realities of today. We will seek to understand how students from different marginalized communities experience school, including racial groups (white and minoritized communities), LGBTQ students, students with special needs, and language minorities in rural, urban, and suburban settings. Beginning with an exploration of today’s American students and their schooling realities, this course will consider the structures, beliefs, and traditions that influence how elementary and secondary students experience schooling. Unlike other courses in the School of Education that consider the role of schools in society, or best practices for teachers and leaders, this course will explore how students experience schools today. Recognizing that the overwhelming number of AU freshman and new transfer students have prior experiences in elementary and secondary education – this course will enable us to draw on our collective experiences in school as background knowledge. Primary sources will be used to amplify diverse voices of American students across school contexts. Additional course content will be presented from materials spanning multiple disciplines, including education research, literature, digital media, news, and scholarly papers. The instructor will guide the identification of issues that elementary and secondary students are currently facing in schools, these will comprise the foundation of the course, emphasizing issues that resonate both in scholarly literature and popular discourse.

IDIS-101 Community-Based Research Lab
Professor Noemi Enchautegui-de-Jesus or Ms. Amanda Harrison
In this multidisciplinary course, taken by all first-semester CBRS students, learn the principles of community-based learning, community-based research, and the fundamentals of social science research. This course also provides students with training on topics such as diversity, privilege, team dynamics, public speaking, interviewing, and other topics designed to prepare students for successful community-based learning and research projects. This course includes community visits.

Spring Course

IDIS-340: Community-Based Research
Students engage in research to inform solutions for a pressing community problem, identify avenues to effect social change or evaluate program impact with a local non-profit in the Washington, DC area. Students learn how to design a research study, collect data (surveys, interviews or focus groups), analyze data and present research findings to the non-profit partner. This course works with one non-profit partner for the entire semester. Past Research Partners: United Planning Organization, Maya Angelou Public Charter School, LAYC Career Academy and Thrive DC.