The Engineering Learning Through Service workshops are an exciting opportunity to learn about Learning Through Service (LTS) from experienced practitioners, to meet others with the same mission, and to take practical, constructive steps in developing or refining your own LTS effort. The goal of these workshops will be to send attendees back to their home institutions equipped to put their vision of LTS into practice.

Before you begin this application to attend a workshop, you should know a few things about the workshops and the process.


What is Learning Through Service?

Learning Through Service is an umbrella term for various pedagogies that partner students, faculty, and community leaders in collaboration around a community’s needs. It may include service learning, community engagement, humanitarian engineering, human-centered design, community service, etc. It may be curricular or extra-curricular, domestic or international, and may be structured in a variety of ways, but centers on authentic education and broad skill development for students as well as true collaboration with a community.

What will take place at the workshops?

The workshops will be highly interactive and practical in nature. We will review the most current research on the topic, look at numerous examples of how LTS has been implemented, and review best practices in design, management and assessment of LTS.

Participants can expect to leave the workshop with a plan that includes design, management and assessment strategies and that makes sense for the participant, based on their interests and institution. Participants will also gain:

  • an understanding of the essential principles of LTS and how it serves as the umbrella for numerous types of service
  • enough knowledge, confidence, and competence to begin or expand efforts at their institution
  • strong connections to other members of the workshop and a connection to the larger community of engineering LTS practitioners


Who is funding this project?

The workshops are part of the Engineering Faculty Engagement in Learning Through Service (EFELTS) project funded by the NSF, with grants 1023022, 1022927, 1022883, 1022738, and 1022831. As the second phase of the project, the PI’s have developed a workshop to support those interested in designing, managing and assessing LTS initiatives in schools of engineering. The PI’s for the grant are:

Chris Swan — Chris Swan is an associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering. His research interests lie in the areas of waste reuse and engineering education.

Angela Bielefeldt — Angela Bielefeldt has been a professor in the Department of Civil, Environmental, & Architectural Engineering (CEAE) at the University of Colorado Boulder since 1996.

Kurt Paterson — Kurt is an Associate Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and is also Director of Michigan Tech’s D80 Center. He is PI, or co-PI, on several large projects assessing the impacts of learning through service on students, faculty, and communities around the world.

Olga Pierrakos — Olga is an assistant professor in the new School of Engineering at James Madison University. Her interests in engineering education research center around recruitment and retention, assessing student learning, advancing problem based learning methodologies, and integrating service-learning into the classroom.

John Duffy — John Duffy is a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department, the Coordinator for the Solar Engineering Graduate Program, and the Director of the Center for Sustainable Energy at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Upon his retirement, David Kazmer (Associate Dean of Engineering at UML and Service Learning practitioner) will continue the project in coordination with John.


When and where are the workshops?

You will be able to state a preference in the application for attendance at one of three workshops:

  • June 21 and 22, 2012 in Boston, MA at University of Massachusetts, Lowell. Chris Swan will lead this workshop.
  • August 2 and 3, 2012 in Houghton, MI at Michigan Tech. Kurt Paterson will lead this workshop.
  • September 14 and 15, 2012 in Boulder, CO at University of Colorado, Boulder. Angela Bielefeldt will lead this workshop.


How much will it cost?

If your application is accepted, your travel expenses will be reimbursed. This includes transportation to and from airports, air travel, lodging, and meals while at the conference.

What will I need to prepare for my application?

It is recommended that you prepare the following before starting the application:

  1. Your preferences for which of the workshops you would like to attend (see “When and where are the workshops?“). You may enter these preferences in the application.
  2. A letter of support from your department chair. You may view/download a sample letter here. The letter of support should be emailed to us separately, see Send Letter.
  3. A brief (less than 600 word) description of your current or planned LTS effort. The description may be pasted into a field in the application. It should include:
    • A project title
    • How the project will be designed, managed, and assessed
    • Curricular or extra-curricular
    • If curricular, whether the course will be required or elective
    • Domestic or international
    • Number and profile of the students the project will impact
  4. The names of any colleagues from your institution who are also applying. Groups of two or more applicants from the same institution will be preferred. You may enter these names in the application.


What expectations should I have regarding workshop?

We hope that through the workshop you will develop connections with your peers that will continue as you implement your ideas.

We will, in cases where it is possible, connect you to others in the field who have done similar work to your project.

In addition, we will host a reception during the ASEE 2013 conference for participants and the larger group of LTS practitioners.

You will be asked to present a poster on your proposed project at the 2014 ASEE conference that details results from your LTS effort.

What’s the deadline for the application?

All completed applications are due by Friday, March 16. No applications will be accepted after that time. You should receive a decision about your application by Friday, April 6th. If you are invited to attend, please confirm your invitation before April 20th.

We will try to balance the three workshops in terms of participants’ levels of experience and types of projects, and make every effort to give you your first choice for location. We will notify you as soon as possible if your proposal is accepted, and what location has been determined.

Apply Now

Click here to begin the application.

You will be redirected to survey monkey for the first part of the application. Then you will be redirected to this site to upload your letter of support–see Send Letter.

We also encourage all workshop applicants to complete the on-line EFELTS faculty survey.  It is expected that all workshop participants will have completed the faculty survey prior to attending a workshop.


What if I have more questions?

For more information, please send your inquiry to: Chris.Swan@tufts.edu.