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About Cardinal Courses

A student works on a new wind turbine technology in ME 170, "Integrating Context with Engineering"

Photo: Jack Pigott

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 hands-on activities at partner locations to class projects that benefit a large community.

Click here to see our current Cardinal Courses on ExploreCourses. 

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.

Please contact Shruti Shah if you are interested in serving as a CELC.