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Cardinal Course Development

Students and teaching staff celebrate the completion of their Cardinal Course

photo courtesy of Stanford Mechanical Engineering

A Cardinal Course engages students in projects and partnerships in the community that address social or environmental challenges. Though projects and partnerships vary, all Cardinal Courses:

  • Engage with a community to address a social problem or societal need
  • Integrate course objectives and community-based experiences
  • Produce reciprocal benefits for students, faculty, and community partners
  • Provide opportunities to critically examine public issues
  • Embody Stanford's Principles of Ethical and Effective Service

Cardinal Courses may feature service as an integral component of the academic course experience, focus on public service as subject matter, or offer preparation for public service internships or fieldwork. Other courses allow students already engaged in service to enhance the effectiveness of their work.

They may be small, intensive seminars or larger lecture courses with community engagement related discussion sections and experiences. Service elements range from include hands-on activities at partner locations to class projects that benefit a large community.

The Community Engaged Learning and Research (CELR) team supports faculty with development and implementation of Cardinal Courses through:

Cardinal Course Faculty Workbook:

The Faculty Workbook is designed to support faculty in developing a community engaged learning experience as part of a new or revised course.

Cardinal Course Tagging:

Cardinal Courses are officially "tagged" as such and are searchable in Explore Courses. Currently, there are more than 150 Cardinal Courses, representing 40 departments and programs across campus. Click here for the tagging criteria and application. For questions regarding Cardinal Course tagging, please contact Shoshanah Cohen.

Cardinal Course Grants:

Cardinal Course faculty are eligible to apply for grants of up to $3,000 per course. We recommend meeting with a member of the CELR team before submitting a grant application. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis leading up to each quarter.

2019-20 deadlines for grant reviews are:

  • Sophomore College: August 1, 2019
  • Renewal Grants: July 17, 2019
  • Autumn 2019: August 23, 2019
  • Winter 2020: November 14, 2019
  • Spring 2020: February 28, 2020

Please visit the Cardinal Course Grants page to review the eligibility information and access the grant proposal form.

Cardinal Course Assistants:

Community Engaged Learning Coordinators (CELCs) are undergraduate students employed to support Cardinal Course faculty. They are typically students who have previously taken the course or have an existing relationship with the faculty member or community partner. CELCs gain valuable experience in community engaged learning pedagogy, program management, and public service; faculty can rely on their CELC to reduce their administrative workload, enhance class discussions, and help students with projects.

Faculty who would like to request a CELC and students who are interested in serving as a CELC should contact Sarah McShea.