Social Impact

Sometimes referred to as service-learning, community-based learning, or engaged learning, experiential learning for social impact connects student learning experiences with the opportunity to explore social issues while addressing community-identified needs. DCAL sponsored the following expeirential learning projects with a social impact focus.

AAAS 80.05/WGSS 40.02: #BlackLivesMatter

The interdisciplinary, collectively-designed, second iteration of the #BlackLivesMatter course engaged students in a series of workshops related to social justice. Topics included activist media making and documenting social movements, a hands-on organizing session with Boston-based community groups, and an on-campus workshop on formulating public policy. Students in the course were also provided with a budget to pursue research through applied fieldwork.

Term: Spring 2016

Project Leaders: Aimee Bahng (Assistant Professor of English), Reena Goldthree (Assistant Professor of African and African American Studies)

Alternative Spring Breaks with a Social Impact: A Collaboration with Dartmouth's Housing Communities

The Dartmouth Center for Social Impact will partner with each of the Dartmouth House Communities to offer an Alternative Spring Break experience. Together, the collaboration will yield powerful spring break experiential learning opportunities with integrated reflection, building community between Dartmouth students, and providing meaningful social impact work with community partners throughout the country.

Project Term: Spring 2019

Project Lead: Ashley Doolittle (Associate Director, Dartmouth Center for Social Impact)

ANTH 12.4: Your Inner Chimpanzee, Dartmouth Discovery Labs at the Montshire Museum

Students in ANTH 12: "Your Inner Chimpanzee" engaged in training and service experience with the Montshire Museum of Science. Learning outcomes included recognizing and addressing the learning needs of diverse audiences, practicing the ability to transmit knowledge of the STEM disciplines in informal settings, and obtaining valuable, lifelong skills in project management.

Term: Spring 2016

Project Leader: Kes Schroer (Neukom Fellow in Anthropology and Biology)

COCO 6: What Is Normal?: Community Artists on the Autism Spectrum Reflect on Neurotypicality

In the experiential learning component of this course, students worked alongside adults and young people on the autistic spectrum to create an art exhibit on the theme of “Neurotypicality.” Students partnered with participating artists and created work that reflects participants’ views of “neurotypicality,” a word that has been used by individuals on the autism spectrum to refer to brain functioning of “normal” people without autism spectrum disorders. Artists had studio space at AVA Gallery, and the students curated and publicized the exhibit to be displayed at the Hop.

Term: Spring 2016

Project Leaders: Sara Chaney (Lecturer in Writing) and William Hudenko (Adjunct Assistant Professor in Psychological and Brain Sciences)

Community Needs Assessment for Experiential Learning Opportunities in the Upper Valley

The Dartmouth Center for Service conducted a needs assessment of Upper Valley community partners in order to create a "hub" of local, community-engaged learning opportunities, including traditional volunteer experiences and more advanced capacity-building efforts, such as non-profit internships, consulting, and community-based research.

Term: Summer 2016

Project Leader: Ashley Doolittle (Associate Director of Academic Service Engagement)

ENGL 27: American Poetry, Partnership with the Ledyard Charter School

ENGL 27: "American Poetry" introduced students to the formal study of poetry and to the history of American poetry specifically from the colonial period through the nineteenth century. At the heart of this course was a month-long collaboration with students from the Ledyard Charter High School (LCS) in Lebanon, NH on a project focused on the “the fourth dimension” of poetry: performance. From April to May, the class traveled to LCS for one class a week, and the LCS students visited campus and participated in one class a week. Dartmouth students collaborated with LCS students on finding or writing a poem to perform at a public event for the LCS and Dartmouth communities.

Term: Spring 2016

Project Leader: Ivy Schweitzer (Professor of English and Women's and Gender Studies)

Intergroup Dialogue (IGD)

The Intergroup Dialogue (IGD) program at Dartmouth engages students in authentic conversations about issues of identity, diversity, and inequity. The IGD framework highlights the importance of engagement in intergroup dialogues by speaking, listening, and active insight. IGD emphasizes learning through readings, writings, in-group structured exercises to promote learning across differences. Facilitators help guide this process by asking questions, engaging all students in the process, encouraging discussion through hot topics, challenging assumptions, and reinforcing collectively developed guidelines to ensure the dialogue structure.

Term: Ongoing

Project Leader: Sebastian Munoz (Program Coordinator for Gender & Sexuality and Multicultural Education, Office of Pluralism and Leadership)

Learning Together in Vermont's Forests: Collaborative Recreation and Ecological Research in the Green Mountains

This co-curricular research program, advised by a Dartmouth faculty member, engages Dartmouth students and community partners in research to monitor the ecological impacts of backcountry skiing and other winter activities on trails in the Green Mountain National Forest and other natural recreation spots near the Upper Valley. Through this project, student collaborators have the opportunity to practice community-based research that may impact local policy.

Term: Ongoing

Project Leaders: Nicholas Reo (Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Native American Studies) and Karen Bieluch (Practice-based Learning Specialist in Environmental Studies)

PBS 54.06: Living with Dementia, Experiential Learning about Alzheimer's Disease and Other Cognitive Disorders in the Upper Valley Community

In this project, Dartmouth students have the opportunity to participate and run community engagement programs such as the Memory Cafe (breakfast gathering), Perspectives (viewing and discussing art), and Recollections (singing and socializing), which bring together community members with dementia, their caregivers, and Dartmouth students. These programs create mutually beneficial learning experiences across generations and abilities. The project also inspired a course, titled "Living with Dementia," to be offered for undergraduates in winter 2017.

Term: Winter 2017 & Ongoing

Project Leaders: Robert Santulli (Honorary Associate Professor of Psychiatry)

Sugar Crew Spring Break

“Sugar Crew,” a spring break trip that takes place each March at the Dartmouth Organic Farm, provides students the experience of making syrup as well as learning business skills, the role of syrup in the history of our region, the science of syrup production, and the cultural implications of sugaring.

Term: Spring 2016

Project Leader: Jenna Musco (Assistant Director of Sustainability)

The Sununu Project

The Sununu Project is a collaboration between Dartmouth undergraduates and Geisel Medical School students to teach metacognitive skills to incarcerated youth in order to improve performance on HiSET exams, New Hampshire’s equivalent of the GED, a high school proficiency exam. Students attend trainings before teaching 90-minute lessons to inmates at Sununu Youth Service Center, a juvenile detention center located in Manchester, NH.

Term: Ongoing

Project Leaders: Led by Geisel School of Medicine Students and Advised by Lee Witters (Professor of Medicine)