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Mini-Grant Awards for Service Learning

The Center for Service Learning is pleased to announce the availability of Service-Learning Instructional Mini-Grant Awards. The Center for Service Learning advances service-learning, community-engaged scholarship, and civic engagement that fosters a commitment to participation for a diverse, just, and global society.

The Center for Service Learning seeks to support service learning through mutually beneficial campus-community partnerships that contribute to stronger, healthier communities by engaging civically-responsible KU students and faculty.

The purpose of these Service-Learning Instructional Mini-Grants is to encourage and support faculty in engaging students with the broader community through service-learning, by integrating community-based experiences and learning as part of the course curriculum.

University of Kansas instructors of all career tracks including faculty (full- and part-time), staff, or teaching graduate students are eligible to receive these mini-grants. Submissions from all course structures will be reviewed according to the same criteria outlined below. Applicants may request $500-$1000 per course section.

A complete application includes the following information and documentation upon submission:

  1. Completion of the online Service-Learning Mini-Grant Proposal Submission Form
  2. Required document 
    1. Course syllabus- the service-learning project component should be clearly identifiable.
  3. Optional Supplemental Documents
    1. Draft of service-learning project plans
    2. Evidence of prior collaboration with community partner(s) related to the project and/or course
    3. List of collaborators supporting the project and/or course

Please submit proposals online using the link above by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, December 18, 2020 for first consideration and will be accepted on a rolling basis after that date. Please reach out to us at csl@ku.edu or 785-864-0960 with any questions.

Selection Criteria

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis with preference given to those who submit by December 18, 2020 for Spring 2021 and Summer 2021 courses.

The Center for Service Learning seeks to support best practices in service learning and mutually beneficial campus-community partnerships.

Mini-grants will be awarded to support service learning efforts that meet the following criteria:

  • The project must demonstrate the use of service learning best practices, including: a) a reciprocal planning process with the community partner(s); b) the integration of academic content and the service experience; and c) student reflection assignments that relate and reinforce the service and learning.
  • Service learning projects must have well-defined learning objectives explicitly tied to course learning goals. Efforts that include assessment or measurement of outcomes, including feedback from students and partnering organizations, will be given priority.
  • Service learning courses must target a community-defined need and contribute to a positive impact for the community. Meetings should be held with faculty and community partners before and during the semester to mutually define and direct the project. Students should be included whenever possible.

Award winners will be required to submit a brief description of the course project and outcomes at the end of the semester.

Budget and Allowable Expenses

Budgets should be proposed with a paragraph (3-4 sentences) justifying the budget included in the space provided in the submission form. Funding must be spent by the end of the Fiscal Year 2021 and conform to guidelines for the use of state funds. Funds should be directly tied to students’ experiences and learning.

Mini-grants can include funding for:

  • Support of service learning course development completed in the semester prior to the service learning component integration (e.g. curriculum development, partnership development, transitioning service learning components to online and hybrid formats, etc.)
  • Support of a graduate or undergraduate teaching assistant to aid in logistical operations of service learning course components
  • Materials, transportation, and/or communications costs such as supplies for student projects, student transportation, student background checks, materials for community partner agencies for student projects, food directly related to service-learning project (e.g. Farm to School, nutrition education, etc.), and community-based research or outreach activities conencted to service-learning projects. 
Recipient Responsiblities
  • Service Learning Faculty Report: Award recipients (the instructor or a designated student/group) will be required to participate in the Service Learning Showcase poster session, which will provide a summary of the course project and outcomes. 
  • Service Learning Course Evaluations: (a) Recipients must distribute an end-of-semester service learning course evaluation to all students, provided by the Center for Service Learning. (b) The course instructor must also submit a brief Service Learning Course Assessment.
  • Publicity and Reporting: Include the statement below in any project publicity as appropriate: “This project is supported by a KU Center for Service Learning Mini-Grant.”
Application Procedures

Proposals must be submitted through the online form, linked above.

Through this form, applicants are requested to describe the service learning component, its delivery of course learning outcomes, and the intended community benefit, with attention paid to selection criteria parameters. Applicants are also asked to include a detailed budget of how funds will be spent to support the service-learning project components. Grant funds must be applied equitably to student service efforts when multiple community partners work with one course, or applicants must include rationale for disproportionate allocation of funds.

To support proposal development, the Center for Service Learning has a number of resources available online:

2018-19 Mini-Grant Recipients

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