The University of Colorado Denver is launching a cross campus educational iniative based on the University of Oregon Sustainable Cities Year Program that focuses courses offered across our campus on the “real world projects and issues” of a partner city. The 2015-16 academic year is the pilot year for the UCDenver campus and our city partner is Lakewood, Colorado. There will be an informational meeting, Q&A, and course sign up for interested faculty on April 22nd, 2015 from 2 to 3 PM in RM 2005 (2nd floor/CU Building). For general background information, please see the attached flyers as well as the information below including links to articles in the New York Times & the Chronicle of Higher Education on the program at UO. Any questions or enquiries please contact the program’s staff liaison: Vickie Berkley at Vickie.Berkley@ucdenver.edu.
What Is the SCY Model?:
The Sustainable City Year model is a catalytic learning model first developed at the University of Oregon that leverages existing courses at higher education institutions to work on applied community projects identified by community partners (i.e., a city, county, school district, or transit district) for an entire academic year. Some of the distinguishing features of the SCY model of engaged learning include the scale and intensity of the partnership, the place-based and multi-disciplinary nature of the program, and a focus on advancing local sustainability. The large-scale approach provides a wide range of benefits for students, faculty, universities, and communities.
Praise for SCYP:
The Sustainable City Year Program (SCYP) at the University of Oregon has been described as “perhaps the most comprehensive effort by a U.S. university to infuse sustainability into its curricula and community outreach” (NY Times – full article) and “one of higher education’s most successful and comprehensive service-learning programs” (Chronicle of Higher Education – full article).
Benefits to Faculty:
• Connection with a community partner that has identified projects that are part of their sustainability goals.
• Connection of disciplinary theory and knowledge to a real-world application that enriches the students’ opportunity to truly “learn with purpose.”
• $1000 per course to support activities related to a community project, such as for materials and publications.
• Payment of one or two students selected by faculty will be paid to summarize the course’s project work, and create a summary report.
• Professional printing of reports, which also may serve as evidence of faculty work for annual review and promotion and tenure.
• Great public-relations exposure for community engaged learning in both internal and external communications outlets.
Benefits to Students:
• A community project can provide increased engagement and learning in a course.
• Students who can show real-world experience have an edge in job applications.
• Students can make a difference now; they do not have to wait until they graduate.