Engaged Learning: Faculty Information

For additional information about the Engaged Learning requirements, please visit the Student Information page.

Forms of Engaged Learning
Students in the Drury Core: Engaging Our World must earn credit for two Engaged Learning experiences, to be completed in any of the following categories:          

Students may complete the requirement by participating in two experiences in the same category or from one experience in two different categories.

Deadline for Submitting Proposals:
The proposal must be received by November 1 in order for the approved course to appear in the Course Catalog for the next academic year.

Download the approved classes list (PDF)

Process for Submitting Proposals

Study Abroad as Engaged Learning

Proposing a Study-Abroad Program
Faculty should submit study abroad proposals to a department chair, the Vice President of Academic Affairs, and the Office of International Studies. Faculty who plan to teach a Core course (i.e. CORE 101, DU Foundations, CORE 201, or Ethical Foundations) as part of a study abroad program must also submit a course description and syllabus for approval to the AVPUS.

Internship as Engaged Learning

An internship is supervised real-world experience related to a student’s major or area of career interest. Students seeking to receive academic credit must meet specific requirements and appropriate deadlines prior to beginning the experience.  It is best to start the process of securing an internship at least one semester before a student plans to receive credit; some competitive positions require students to begin even sooner. 

As part of students’ internship, they will complete a reflective component where they demonstrate the impact their experiences as a form of Engaged Learning.  Students will turn the reflective component in to their faculty sponsor who oversees the academic side of internships.

For more information about registering for internships visit: http://www.drury.edu/career/.  Students are encouraged to contact Career Planning and Development with any questions about internships. 

Research and Scholarship as Engaged Learning

Research and Scholarship Defined
Students complete a research or scholarly project appropriate to their field, often as a capstone experience, where they show mastery within that discipline (typically but not always in the student’s major field of study).  These projects can take a wide variety of forms.  In the Natural and Social Sciences, students might do experimental research; in the Humanities and Fine Arts, students might do original research or complete a creative project (performance, exhibit, recital, reading).

Proposing Research or Scholarship for Engaged Learning
Departments should complete the New Course Proposal form and submit it to the Registrar, who will forward it to the Core Council for approval. The form can be found on MyDrury (login, click on the faculty tab, and you will find the form on the right-hand side of the page; the link is https://my.drury.edu/ICS/Faculty/). Fill out the section beneath Review and Recommendations.

    The rationale should explain how the project will

    • represent a culminating activity in the field of study or offer the student opportunities that go beyond the typical classroom experience, i.e. opportunities to work, think, and create independently, and to identify and solve problems associated with scholarly work;
    • demonstrate students’ proficiency in a chosen discipline, as established by departmental learning outcomes and assessed by the department;
    • include a reflective component or critique;
    • be presented in a forum open to the DU community or the general public (a conference, symposium, exhibit, recital, etc).
    • include the learning outcomes used to determine proficiency;
    • identify who will assess the project (a faculty member, a chair, or a committee of faculty, perhaps including an external reviewer); and
    • indicate the venue where the students will present their work (a conference, an exhibit, a performance, or an on-campus presentation).
    All courses that count toward Engaged Learning will be listed in the Course Catalog after they have been approved by the Core Council.

Curricular Service-Learning as Engaged Learning

Curricular Service-Learning Defined
Service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. Service-learning courses cover a broad range of experiences. They can address issues in education, the environment, race, poverty, politics, the built environment, and so on. They can extend access to goods and services, from access to clean water to access to literacy and the arts.

Examples of Service-Learning Courses (with a reflective component):

  • A marketing class partners with a local not-for-profit to develop marketing strategies for a key fundraising event.
  • A web design course splits into groups and each team of students partners with a different community agency to overhaul their websites and increase their social media presence.
  • A criminology class partners with the Juvenile Justice Department and Rare Breed to research the rise in teen homelessness in Springfield. They present their findings and recommendations to the City Council.
  • Accounting students prepare taxes for VITA to help low-income individuals receive the Earned Income Tax Credit.
  • Environmental Science students do water testing for the Jordan Valley River Basin and identify possible causes of pollution.
  • Chemistry lab students partner with Urban Neighborhood Alliance to do lead and toxin testing in low-income homes.

Proposing a Service-Learning Course or Practicum

To seek approval for a service-learning course or practicum, faculty should complete the New Course Proposal form and submit it to the Registrar, who will forward it to the Core Council for approval. The form can be found on MyDrury (login, click on the faculty tab, and you will find the form on the right-hand side of the page; the link is http://my.drury.edu/ICS/Faculty/). Fill out the section beneath Review and Recommendations.  

Download the approved classes list (PDF)

The rationale should show how the course will:

  • enhance one or more explicit learning outcomes in an intentional and integrated way;
  • develop a mutually beneficial relationship with a community agency (i.e. a non-profit, a public service agency, a faith community, a community board);
  • address a community need identified in partnership with the community;
  • contain a reflective component that encourages connections to course content and critical thinking, demonstrates what students have learned, explores community issues, and fosters civic engagement; and
  • require an appropriate number of hours for completing the service to the community.

We encourage faculty to meet with the Director of the Office of Community Outreach and Leadership Development, who will support faculty members throughout the process, including identifying community partners, sharing ideas and strategies for course construction, and assessing the project’s impact on the community.

If a given course number will meet the Service-Learning requirements each time it is taught, S-L will be added to the course title. If a given course number meets the S-L requirement in some iterations and not others, students taking the S-L version of the course will also register for PDEV 250 Service Learning (0 c.h.).


Co-Curricular Service-Learning
The CORE Council will consider proposals from students for any co-curricular experience that qualifies as service-learning: one that gives students a significant opportunity for serving an organization or community in a socially responsible way. The experience should promote active citizenship – work that benefits the welfare of the community – at Drury or in the world. Service-learning enhances the community or organization through the service provided and fosters powerful student learning through reflection.

This is not about the position students hold; it is about students having a transformative experience and demonstrating what they have learned and how the community has benefitted from their work.

  1. Criteria for a co-curricular service-learning experience to qualify for an Engaged Learning graduation requirement.
  2. Process to apply for Engaged Learning credit
  3. Online Proposal Form (to be completed prior to starting the experience)
  4. Online Reflection Form (to be completed after the experience concludes)
  5. Benefits of service-learning

On-Campus Co-Curricular Community Engagement Activities
Students may also seek approval for on-campus experiences to count toward Service-Learning. When students carry out leadership responsibilities with SUB, SGA, SIFE, SAC, or other on-campus organizations, they perform a valuable service to the Drury community. If, in the process of carrying out these responsibilities, they also reflect meaningfully on the leadership and professional abilities they developed, and show how their efforts had a positive impact on the campus community, they will have fulfilled the criteria of Engaged Learning. In this way, students are encouraged to take an active role in their organizations and just as importantly, to reflect meaningfully upon how the work of their organization can evolve to address campus needs.

Criteria: Co-Curricular Service-Learning activities will

  • address a need with the community or organization that the student serves
  • involve students in active citizenship and social responsibility
  • develop a mutually beneficial relationship in the community (e.g. a not-for profit, a public service agency, a faith community, or an organization affiliated with Drury itself).
In addition, the participating student will
  • demonstrate a prolonged commitment (minimum one academic year) or invest a substantial amount of time (30 hours or more)
  • effectively carry out their defined responsibilities in the service of a community or organization where they play an active role
  • demonstrate significant engagement working with peers, staff, faculty, or the larger community
  • complete a reflective component that addresses the value of their work in relationship to their organization and its goals and partnerships.
What Co-Curricular Service-Learning Looks Like
When students collect trash out of an urban streambed, they provide a valuable volunteer service to the community. If students collect trash from an urban streambed, analyze their findings to determine the possible sources of pollution, and share the results with residents of the neighborhood, they are engaging in service-learning. Authentic service-learning experiences, while endlessly diverse, have some common characteristics:
  • They are positive, meaningful and real to the participants.
  • They involve cooperative experiences and thus promote skills associated with teamwork and community involvement and citizenship.
  • They address complex problems in complex settings rather than simplified problems in isolation.
  • They offer opportunities to engage in problem-solving by requiring participants to gain knowledge of the specific context of their service-learning activity and community challenges, rather than only to draw upon generalized or abstract knowledge such as might come from a textbook. As a result, service-learning offers powerful opportunities to acquire the habits of critical thinking; i.e. the ability to identify the most important questions or issues within a real-world situation.
  • They promote deeper learning because the results are immediate and uncontrived. There are no "right answers" in the back of the book.
  • As a consequence of this immediacy of experience, service-learning is more likely to be personally meaningful to participants and to generate emotional consequences, to challenge values as well as ideas, and hence to support social, emotional and cognitive learning and development.
Service-Learning is not:
  • An episodic volunteer program
  • Logging a set number of community service hours in order to graduate
  • Compensatory service assigned as punishment by the courts or school administrators
  • One-sided: benefiting only students or only the community

The benefits of service-learning:

  • Enhance academic learning through real world experiences and application
  • Increase understanding of community issues and consider possible solutions
  • Explore career options and strengthen resume
  • Develop leadership and communication skills
  • Gain exposure to diverse communities
  • Connect service to social responsibility