Planning Ahead – Course Design
- The Praxis Office has reviewed service-learning and community-based learning syllabi from colleges across the country and has compiled a catalog of syllabi by academic discipline. If you want to see what others in your discipline are doing, we can send you a group of relevant syllabi.
- In addition, the College is a member of PHENND (the Philadelphia Higher Education Network of Neighborhood Development) and Pennsylvania Campus Compact. Both of these organizations have syllabi directories and will provide technical assistance to faculty from member institutions.
- Kelly Sheard and Nell Anderson will consult with faculty who want to incorporate a community-based learning component into an existing or new course.
- Course development grants have been available through the Civic Engagement Office in the past, through outside grants that our office has obtained. Currently, course development funding is not available from our office but may be available through the Provost’s Office.
- Praxis and the Civic Engagement Office have established many connections with community based organizations in Norristown and Philadelphia and will share this network with faculty who are looking for ways of building a community-based learning component into a course.
- Some of the most helpful advice about Praxis course design comes from other faculty who have already taught Praxis courses. We are in touch with many BMC and HC faculty who are teaching community-based learning courses in a variety of disciplines and would be glad to make suggestions about who to contact.
Field Placement Development and Coordination
- Praxis staff (Nell Anderson, Anne Bradley, Jessica Lee, and Kelly Sheard) are available to work with faculty teaching Praxis courses.
- Additional graduate and undergraduate student interns are hired and supervised by Nell Anderson to provide field placement support to some of the Praxis courses.
- Each faculty-field placement coordinator team functions differently, depending on the needs of the course, the level of field coordinator involvement desired by the professor, and the background and availability of the field placement coordinator.
- Typically, the Praxis field placement coordinator develops and coordinates student placements for the course. This includes identifying appropriate placements for the course, matching students with field sites, maintaining regular communication with the field supervisors (including at least one on-site visit during the semester), troubleshooting as needed, and administering evaluations of the field placement experience.
- The Praxis field placement coordinator also is available to assist with the design of the Fieldwork Agreement form, and to facilitate an in-class Orientation to Fieldwork session as well as in-class reflection and discussion. Typically, he/she attends class at least once a week, so that he/she is familiar with the course material and gets to know the students.
- The Praxis field placement coordinator may also be available to bring in speakers or visitors from the community organization/s that the course is partnered with. Funding is also available from the Praxis budget for speaker honoraria.
- Students in Praxis courses receive 100% reimbursement for their transportation expenses.
- In some cases, Praxis can also fund transportation for group field trips.
- Groups of students in Praxis courses can travel in BMC vans if the group has a certified BMC van driver. Van reservations and the costs associated with this travel are covered by the Civic Engagement Office.