Office for Faculty Development

Civic Engagement Scholars Initiative (CESI)

The Office of the Provost, Office of Community Partnerships, and the Office for Faculty Development request proposals for faculty/department-community partner teams to participate in the Civic Engagement Scholars Initiative (CESI). CESI is intended to strengthen the university’s ability to cultivate in undergraduates a life-long commitment to civic engagement in their public and professional lives. To achieve this goal, CESI provides faculty and departments opportunities to redesign one or more courses to incorporate a civic engagement component—through community-based participatory research, service-learning, or other means—to address issues of importance to communities and neighborhoods.

Civic Engagement Learning: Design, Implementation & Scholarship (3-semester program)

We have announced our CFP for the 3-semester program, you can submit your proposal onlineDeadline: December 17 (No individual extensions/exceptions will be granted.)


CESI seeks faculty/department-community partner teams to re-design or implement a new syllabus for a course so as to:

  1. increase opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in meaningful experiential education (i.e. internships, service-learning courses, participatory action research) that builds civic skills, habits, and knowledge through addressing community issues;
  2. create new models for student learning through civic engagement;
  3. increase students’ knowledge of and ability to critically examine public policy issues and/or civic concerns;
  4. establish an assessment of student learning outcomes and performance indicators for service-learning and civic engagement; and
  5. advance the field of community engaged scholarship through publication of innovative practices.

Program Details

Teams made up of the department chair, at least one (but not limited to one) faculty member, and at least one (but not limited to one) community partner, and an assigned federal work-study student (teams may also include a UMass Boston Institute/Center) will be selected and awarded a grant of up to $8,000** for their project.

The teams that are selected will participate in a 3-phase process:

  1. Re-tooling an existing course(s) or designing a new course(s); 
  2. Implementation of the civic engagement course(s);
  3. Reflecting on and documenting the process and outcomes of implementing civic engagement to enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.

Phase 1 

Teams will participate in a series of 5 interactive workshops* focused on:

  • Enhancing curriculum and teaching & learning with civic engagement
  • Civic learning outcomes,
  • Community-engaged research,
  • Effective community partnership, and
  • Assessment.

Phase 2 

Teams will implement and document their civic engagement course(s). They will also participate in 3 of workshops* focused on:

  • Implementing,
  • Problem-solving, and
  • Sharing information with concurrent and incoming CESI teams

Phase 3 

Teams will participate in 3 workshops* focused on:

  • Developing articles for submission to peer-reviewed journals or on developing an edited volume based on outcomes tied to the program,
  • Reflection, and
  • Sharing information with incoming CESI teams

*Workshops are mandatory

Team Resources

Each team will receive the following resources:

  • Financial support for the three semesters of involvement (up to $8,000** to support program participation and/or associated project costs;
  • A series of workshops, panels and case studies on civic engagement scholarship given by UMass Boston faculty, community experts and regional/national experts;
  • Membership in a learning community around the issues associated with community engaged scholarship;
  • Support for scholarship from scholars who have experience in community engaged scholarship;
  • Assistance from a Federal Work-Study student.


**Please see the budget sample template for a guideline. Please email Camille Martinez ( with any questions.

View the Prezi from the Information Session

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Submit your Application for CESI 3-Semester Program

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