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Community-Based and Community-Engaged Learning Courses

Students can take courses across majors that contain a Community-Based/Community-Engaged Learning component. Building upon the foundations established in CIVC 101, these courses provide students with an opportunity to combine classroom learning with community engagement and reflection to think critically and deeply about pressing social issues and real-world applications of academic learning. Learn more.

Please note that, in accordance with the University's response to the Coronavirus outbreak, many courses will be offered remotely and there may be adjustments to the descriptions below. Please reach out to Carrie Hutnick (email below) or the course instructor for further details and questions. 

To view current and upcoming courses, please see below. Click here to see past term CBL/CEL courses. Questions? Please email Carrie Hutnick at cah426@drexel.edu. 

Fall Term 2020-2021 

College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS COM376-900 12045 Nonprofit Communication Lawrence Souder Online Online
Course Description
All nonprofit organizations must develop and maintain effective communication strategies in order to survive in a competitive economy. Nonprofits have unique needs and limitations in their long-term goals and short-term operations that relate to communication. This course introduces students to the ways nonprofits communicate with both their constituents and their benefactors. Students will explore these two perspectives on nonprofit communication through a combination of readings about best practices, dialogues with local representatives in the nonprofit sector, and direct contact and work for a local nonprofit organization.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS CJS 260 15533 Justice in Our Community Cyndi Rickards Monday, 10:00am-11:50am plus recitation Global Classroom
Course Description
This course is a seminar style community based learning course that will begin with an introduction to justice in urban communities and examine problems unique to cities. The will include class lectures and a shared classroom with a community partner in Amsterdam. The synthesis of scholarship and community classroom experience will provide a holistic lens in which to explore issues in our urban community. Topics include urban economies, access to education and health care, digital divides and crime. Students who take this course will also register for one recitation section of CJS 260.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS WRIT 215 12236 Story Medicine Nomi Eve Tuesdays and Thursdays 11:00am-12:20pm Remote Learning
Course Description

Story Medicine is a Community Engaged Learning Course in Fiction Writing and Imagination Pedagogy. Drexel students explore the question “what are the unique entertainment and enrichment needs of hospitalized children?”  In weekly Zoom interviews, kids living with chronic illness help co-teach the class, parents of patients provide first hand-experience, and college-age cancer survivors help us understand their unique needs and perspective.  Drexel Story Medicine students create YouTube videos, tik toks, and Instagram posts specifically for kids in hospitals, and write fiction for read-aloud stories in which characters with illness and disability take center stage. Students will also undertake self-reflective writing, and become active participants in building this course and the “Story Medicine Show” for future quarters.  

College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
Westphal DANC 102 12844 Yoga Jennifer Morley Tuesdays and Thursdays 12:00pm-1:20pm Remote
Course Description
The physical and intellectual study of the ancient practice of yoga. Includes both physical practice and readings related to the discipline, as well as a survey of a variety of forms of the practice. It will engage community participants from a local partner as students in the class to learn alongside Drexel students and consider the value of yoga from multiple perspectives and experiences.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CCI INFO 546 15526 Data Analytics Erjia Yan Fridays, 9:00am-11:50am Remote
Course Description
This course utilizes in-class lectures and partnerships with a community small business or non-profit to assess the data and information needs of, design data-driven methods for, and proposal and/or develop sustainable data infrastructure to those community organizations. Through academic readings, in-class facilitation, and seminars, students will explore civic engagement, democratic participation and community change in urban settings. They will learn community information needs assessment, decision making, and information use, representation, and visualization. At the same time, students will identify a community small business or non-profit organization as their client and meet the client for two hours each week, working with community organizations in need of data analytics support.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
Westphal PRFA 100 12101 Community Arts Performance Practice: Dance at the Dornsife Ama Gora M, 4:30-6:30pm; W, 1:30-5:30pm Remote
Course Description
These CBL courses are hosted at the Dornsife Center. Drexel students teach music and dance to the local Philadelphia community, specifically the Mantua and Powelton residents. This course is great for students looking to expand their teaching skills within the art of music and dance. All materials for community participants and student teachers are provided.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
Westphal PRFA 100 12101 Community Arts Performance Practice: Dance at the Dornsife Ama Gora T, 4:30-6:30pm; Th, 4:30-6:30pm Remote
Course Description
These CBL courses are hosted at the Dornsife Center. Drexel students teach music and dance to the local Philadelphia community, specifically the Mantua and Powelton residents. This course is great for students looking to expand their teaching skills within the art of music and dance. All materials for community participants and student teachers are provided.

Spring Term 2019-2020 

College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS ENG 103 30850 Once upon a Lifetime (So Far...) Cassandra Hirsch Wednesday 1:20pm-3:50pm and online work as needed Kirkbride Rehabilitation Center
Course Description
Each of us has a story to tell. Yet, people don’t often go out of their way to exchange ideas with strangers, or to sit next to one another in a room for the express purpose of that exchange – particularly when each group occupies a vastly different space in their everyday lives. In this Side-By-Side course, we will strive to put aside our preconceptions of each other as we read selected works of memoir, engage in analysis of these works, and together learn the craft of writing memoir in order that we might learn about ourselves and our peers. The focus of this course will be to stimulate conversation, writing, and the cultivation and exchange of both. All readings will inspire and instruct as we engage in the writing process. Drexel students will write in class with Kirkbride residents, and independently between class meetings at Kirkbride, contributing both informal writing on the Discussion Board and crafting three writing projects. The course will culminate in a collection authored by all participants, each writing about themselves. Where anonymity is required, it will be respected. *Students will meet on Wednesdays at Drexel and travel together to Kirkbride. Travel time to and from Kirkbride is included in class time as noted above.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS ENG 323-001 35033 Storytelling Through Mural Arts Gabriella Ibieta Mondays 2:00pm-4:30pm Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships
Course Description
This course focuses on Mural Arts Philadelphia (MAP), a world-renown cultural resource of our city. Approximately 3,000 murals across our different neighborhoods tell the stories of our communities in exciting and engaging ways. Murals also tell stories about individuals and their families and about significant events in their histories, creating public art sites of intersection between the personal and the political. In this course we will research the context of a series of murals in Powelton Village, Mantua, and West Philadelphia; explore the process of community and artistic collaboration that produced them; and participate in several activities, such as a Paint Day and a Mural Unveiling Ceremony. Students will learn about MAP through assigned readings, their own exploration of murals around the city, and individual and group research projects and presentations. Another component of the course will be our own storytelling: students will be asked to interpret the stories the murals tell, to make connections to their personal histories and to tell and write their own stories. Format: Drexel and community students will work in pairs and also in groups of 4-5; PowerPoint lectures; films; group discussions; in-class writing.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS CJS-T380-002 25607 The Practice of Justice Gregory Albright Thursdays 1:00pm-4:00pm Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
Course Description
This is an Inside-Out course, conducted at the State Detention Center where Drexel students will co-learn with detention residents. The topic is justice as practiced in a criminal context. When we speak of criminal justice, what do we mean by justice? What are the ways in which our criminal justice system is and is not just and how does justice in a criminal context fit with our broader understandings of justice? Discussing these questions in a detention center with residents there, the perspectives of both insiders and outsiders will be altered.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS CJS 260A 22355 + Recitation (22356-60) Justice in Our Community Cyndi Rickards Mondays 10:00am-12:00pm + Recitation T,W or TH Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships
Course Description
This course is a community-based learning course that will begin with an introduction to our local community and examine problems unique to cities. The majority of our instructional time will take place with our community partner. The synthesis of scholarship and community classroom experience will provide a holistic leans in which to explore issues in our urban community. Topics include: urban economies, access to education and health care, information justice, race and crime. Students meet for two hours in the classroom and work as Navigators at the Dornsife Center T, W or TH from 1-3 or 3-5. You will need to choose one shift to work each week, which will appear as a recitation on your schedule.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS CJS 261-001 12700 Prison, Society and You Cyndi Rickards Thursday 1:00pm-4:00pm Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
Course Description
This course utilizes the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program to explore the relationship between individuals and the prison system. The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is an evolving set of projects that creates opportunities for dialogue between those on the outside and those on the inside of the nation’s correctional facilities. The program demonstrates the potential for dynamic collaborations between institutions of higher education and correctional institutions. Most importantly, through this unique exchange, Inside-Out and this course seek to deepen the conversation- and transform ways of thinking about crime and justice (Crabbe, Pompa, 2004). At the most basic level, this course and program allows students to go behind the walls to reconsider what they have learned about crime and justice, while those on the inside are encouraged to place their life experiences in a larger framework. Students will exchange ideas and perceptions about crime and justice, the criminal justice system, corrections and imprisonment. It is a chance for all participants to gain a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system through the marriage of theoretical knowledge and practical experience achieved by weekly meetings and extended throughout the semester (Crabbe, Pompa, 2004).
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS WRIT 215-001 12694 Story Medicine Nomi Eve Tuesday and Thursday 11:00am-12:20pm CHOP
Course Description
This is a Community Based Learning Course in Fiction Writing and Collaborative Creative Processes. Students go to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to perform in the Ryan Seacrest T.V. studio. Drexel Students write, perform and produce live shows for patients. Students will always use a teleprompter, so no memorization is necessary. Students regularly interact with patients who come down to participate in the Story Medicine show. All writing exercises are suitable for beginning and intermediate fiction writers. Ultimately, students will undertake self-reflective writing, and become active participants in building this course for future quarters.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS WRIT 315 34331 Writing for Social Change Eizabeth Kimball Friday 1:00pm-3:50pm UESF- a housing stabilization organization
Course Description
In Writing for Social Change, Drexel students will learn together with the staff of UESF, a nonprofit dedicated to helping families get out of poverty. We will consider the place of writing for social change from both a humanities and professional perspective. Our goal is to create a community composed of UESF staff and Drexel students that o builds empathy and human connection o increases expertise with writing as a tool for professional and public work o deepens understanding of philosophy and strategy of social change aimed at greater inclusion, prosperity, and equality.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
Westphal WEST T380 Undergraduate 35406 Sanctuary Cities: Practice and Policy 1980-2020 Steve Dolph Monday 6:00pm-8:50pm TDB
Course Description
Historically associated with privately held enclosures within urban space (churches, homes, gardens), “sanctuary” is increasingly understood a public practice that shapes public policy. This course will explore the role of so-called “sanctuary cities”—municipalities that limit their collaboration with (and sometimes openly defy) state and federal agencies—within the bitter struggle to reform the US immigration system. We will examine the historical records, interviews, legal statutes, executive orders, artistic projects, and literature that have shaped this contested issue, with particular focus on how cities at once activate and restrict the revolutionary potential of sanctuary. This course is cross-listed for both GRADUATE and UNDERGRADUATE students. *If you are a Graduate student, the Course # is URBS T580 and CRN is 34201.

Winter Term 2019-2020 

College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS BIO-305 25922 Mobilizing the Scientific Method Karen Kabnick and Magdalene Moy Monday 4:00pm-5:50pm and Friday 1:00pm-2:50pm PISB 214
Course Description
Students in Bio 305, a Community-Based Learning course, will learn cooperatively with local high school students who will come to Drexel campus weekly. Drexel students will work with instructors to develop approaches to ask and answer scientific questions. Drexel students will then guide high school partners using a mentor-teacher model. We will use fast plants as our model organism to ask questions with controlled experiments, collect and interpret data, draw conclusions and redesign experiments based on those results. The goal of this course is to encourage collaborative learning through experimentation and mentoring.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS CJS 260A 22355 + Recitation (22356-60) Justice in Our Community Cyndi Rickards Mondays 10:00am-12:00pm + Recitation T,W or TH Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships
Course Description
This course is a community-based learning course that will begin with an introduction to our local community and examine problems unique to cities. The majority of our instructional time will take place with our community partner. The synthesis of scholarship and community classroom experience will provide a holistic leans in which to explore issues in our urban community. Topics include: urban economies, access to education and health care, information justice, race and crime. Students meet for two hours in the classroom and work as Navigators at the Dornsife Center T, W or TH from 1-3 or 3-5. You will need to choose one shift to work each week, which will appear as a recitation on your schedule.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS CJS 261-001 12700 Prison, Society and You Cyndi Rickards Thursday 1:00pm-4:00pm Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
Course Description
This course utilizes the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program to explore the relationship between individuals and the prison system. The Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program is an evolving set of projects that creates opportunities for dialogue between those on the outside and those on the inside of the nation’s correctional facilities. The program demonstrates the potential for dynamic collaborations between institutions of higher education and correctional institutions. Most importantly, through this unique exchange, Inside-Out and this course seek to deepen the conversation- and transform ways of thinking about crime and justice (Crabbe, Pompa, 2004). At the most basic level, this course and program allows students to go behind the walls to reconsider what they have learned about crime and justice, while those on the inside are encouraged to place their life experiences in a larger framework. Students will exchange ideas and perceptions about crime and justice, the criminal justice system, corrections and imprisonment. It is a chance for all participants to gain a deeper understanding of the criminal justice system through the marriage of theoretical knowledge and practical experience achieved by weekly meetings and extended throughout the semester (Crabbe, Pompa, 2004).
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS COM 230-015 26036 Public Speaking for Civic Engagement Lawrence Souder Thursdays 2:00pm-5:00pm Dornsife Center for Neighborhood Partnerships
Course Description
Civic engagement requires all citizens to share ideas with others by speaking publicly about important issues. This course is designed to help you become a better speaker, and thus a better citizen. In addition to advancing personal communication skills, students will learn and practice some ways to help their fellow citizens and community. By being enrolled in this special, side-by-side section of COM320, students will be part of a collaboration between students and faculty at Drexel and long-time members of the University’s neighboring communities who have made a difference by "speaking out." Students who successfully complete the course will be able to prepare and deliver speeches in a variety of public settings, critique speeches delivered by others, have the confidence and skills necessary for civic engagement, and understand what it means to be a good citizen. .
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS CJS-T380-002 25607 The Practice of Justice Douglas V Porpora Thursdays 1:00pm-4:00pm Curran-Fromhold Correctional Facility
Course Description
This is an Inside-Out course, conducted at the State Detention Center where Drexel students will co-learn with detention residents. The topic is justice as practiced in a criminal context. When we speak of criminal justice, what do we mean by justice? What are the ways in which our criminal justice system is and is not just and how does justice in a criminal context fit with our broader understandings of justice? Discussing these questions in a detention center with residents there, the perspectives of both insiders and outsiders will be altered.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
Westphal URBS 610 25463 Civic Engagement and Participatory Methods Andrew Zitcer and Susanna Gilbertson Mondays 6 – 8:50 pm TBD
Course Description
This course examines the relationship between civic engagement, democratic participation and community change in urban settings. Students will gain awareness of themselves as leaders and members of a group. They will explore styles of facilitation, decision making in groups, and large and small forms of civic engagement. By the end of the course, students will be more competent and effective communicators, overcoming one of the largest shortcomings of contemporary urban practitioners. Students will discuss leadership in the context of consensus building – creating shared goals, negotiating on behalf of lay people and professional entities, facilitating community meetings and other decision-making forums, and the management of stakeholder expectations.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS WRIT 215-001 22693 Story Medicine Nomi Eve Tuesday and Thursday 11:00am-12:20pm CHOP
Course Description
This is a Community Based Learning Course in Fiction Writing and Collaborative Creative Processes. Students go to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) to perform in the Ryan Seacrest T.V. studio. Drexel Students write, perform and produce live shows for patients. Students will always use a teleprompter, so no memorization is necessary. Students regularly interact with patients who come down to participate in the Story Medicine show. All writing exercises are suitable for beginning and intermediate fiction writers. Ultimately, students will undertake self-reflective writing, and become active participants in building this course for future quarters.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS WRIT 305-130 22694 Life Is Beautiful Ken Bingham Thursday 3:30pm-4:50pm, additional online hours required TBD
Course Description
This community partnership course links memoir with life, story-telling, and dying. Specifically, the course partners students with local hospice patients to co-create a life-story for the patient and his or her family. Students learn interviewing, listening, and writing techniques as well as skills in analysis and presentation. Additionally, the course facilitates interactions with the community and helps students to see themselves as linked to a community outside of college.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
Pennoni Honors College HNRS 302-001 26141 Oral History and Memory Jen Ayres Mondays 2:30pm-4:30pm TBD
Course Description
In this Hybrid CBL course, Drexel students will be learning about community archives and learning about the qualitative research method of Oral History. Why community archives? As Jeannette Allis Bastian urgently reminds us, “A community without its records is a community under siege, defending itself, its identity, and its version of history without a firm foundation on which to stand” (2003). It is of vital importance to get the experiences and lived realities of marginalized members of American society entered into the historical record before these accounts are lost. Community-Based-Learning classes offer students the opportunity to engage with their peers and different members of the community who they might not get to meet and interact with in everyday life. Every other week we will visit the John C. Anderson Apartments senior living facility in downtown Philadelphia, to get to know the residents, discuss issues pertinent to their communities, and conduct a series of interviews. Students will generate collaborative final projects that address themes that emerge out of their interviews and these creative final projects will be shared with the senior residents. Ultimately, students will create public scholarship and community knowledge about lesser known Philadelphia histories and our course will serve as a memorial to the elders’ legacies.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS PSCI T380 26262 Urban Citizenship Richardson Dilworth Thursday 6:00pm-8:50pm TBD
Course Description
In this class we will examine the intertwined histories and future trajectories of citizenship and cities, using Philadelphia and its constitution (the home rule charter) as our primary case study. "Citizenship" generically refers to membership in a political community and is most often associated with nations; yet as its etymology suggests the term originally referred more often to membership in city states. Today, a new notion of urban citizenship has emerged as an attempt to explain how many cities struggle with political identities distinct from their host nations (and in the US, their host states), and the roles many cities play as semi-autonomous command centers for the global economy.
College Course # CRN Course Title Instructor Date/Time Location
CoAS PSCI T380 25467 Disaster and Resilience: Puerto Rico Steve Dolph December 14-21 Puerto Rico
Course Description
This intensive CBL course and weeklong permaculture workshop examines critical resource infrastructure on the island of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. Centered on a weeklong workshop at Plenitud, permaculture demonstration farm in Las Marias, this intensive Community-Based Learning (CBL) course is designed to support an ongoing rainwater harvesting outreach project in the municipality of Añasco. From December 14th-21st, 2019, students work side-by-side with local facilitators and community leaders to develop, implement, and document the installation and maintenance of rainwater collection systems designed by the educators at Plenitud. This hands-on community-based workshop is supplemented by pre-departure training, local site visits, and daily lectures on permaculture design, island ecology, and environmental resilience. PLEASE NOTE: this class is already filled.