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Bonner Community-Engaged Learning Initiative - Guides

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Front Page / Campus-Wide Integration Bonner Community-Engaged Learning Initiative / Request for Proposals 



Bonner CEL Initiative - Request for Proposals

Overview  |   Request for Proposals (RFP)  |  Campus Examples  |  Documents to Download


CEL Initiative 2022-23 Request for Proposals



The Foundation has worked on developing a new online application process that will your team to apply for up to $25,000 to support your work to engage faculty, link community engagement with courses and curriculum, and build robust infrastructure and pathways for campus-wide community-engaged learning. We encourage all schools in the Bonner Network to apply to participate.


Request for Proposals



The 2022-23 Community-Engaged Learning Request for Proposals (RFP) has four funding categories:

  1. Course Development

  2. Faculty Fellow(s)

  3. Community-Engaged Learning Infrastructure 

  4. Pathways Project


The four categories are explained in more detail below and in the Request for Proposals (RFP) document. The Foundation will provide support for each of these community-engaged learning activities, including hosting webinars, sharing resource guides, and organizing individual campus meetings and consultations.



  • You will be submitting details of your proposal using the Google Form links embedded in the RFP.
  • As recommended in the RFP, email a completed draft of your worksheet to your Campus Support liaison for feedback prior to submitting your final proposal. If you don’t know who your liaison is, see this page on the Bonner Learning Community to find out. You'll need to be a member and be logged in. Thanks.


Course Development Funding


The purpose of the faculty course development is to support faculty in designing and/or revising existing courses to incorporate community-engaged learning projects. The faculty cohort members participate in a learning circle model for education, dialogue, assessment, and problem solving. They are compensated for this role and their course development work with a stipend. The cohort model builds expertise and a community of practice between faculty and staff, and connects those faculty with existing partners and projects. This process helps faculty identify themselves as connected with the campus-wide community engagement center and its programs, and fosters other aspects of campus-wide integration (such as tying courses to learning outcomes). 


Course development funding is available to support faculty who integrate one (or more) of the following community engagement components into a new or revised course (click on the links to access additional information and resources on each course model):


  • Community-Based Research (CBR) which includes research and other forms of capacity-building projects, defined as integrating a project into a course in which students conduct research and other academic work to address a community partner or community defined request for knowledge, information, or other products.
  • Program/Policy Research Assignments, in which the instructor teaches students how to conduct research about program models and/or policies to address a social issue. This model draws on the Know Your Issue curriculum available to the Bonner Network (also see here, here, and here) and teaches students to research issue briefs on topics related to their service interests.
  • Social Action, in which the instructor embeds experiential learning opportunities for students who create and carry out a policy change campaign during the semester that impacts institutional, local, state, or national policy (also see here and here). This model in partnership with Dr. Scott Myers-Lipton from San José State University.


Please review the linked pages carefully so your proposed course development funding is responding to the specific approaches described above.


CEL Infrastructure Funding


Community-engaged learning infrastructure funding may be requested to support one or more of the following options:

  • the development of a CEL Course Designator and/or full campus inventory of existing CEL courses;
  • the development of a system for systematically identifying and tracking partner requests; 
  • the implementation of a “Report on the Benefits of Community Engagement”; 
  • engaging “Students as Colleagues” with faculty (i.e., working on projects within courses, by planning and running reflection, coordinating site work); 
  • an innovative project proposed by your institution. 


Faculty Fellows


The purpose of the Faculty Fellow component is to engage faculty as allies to work with staff in centers or offices to advance community-engaged learning. Each campus is engaging at least one faculty in this role. Faculty Fellows  work as “change leaders” at institutions, with the goal of developing institutional policies and infrastructure for community-engaged learning. Our experience (and the literature suggests) that examples of individual faculty involvement is not enough to shift campus curriculum and culture. Broader efforts are needed to gain institutional recognition, policies and incentives (both for faculty and students) to embed the value and practice of community-engaged learning at an institution. Faculty with experience in community-engaged courses and community partnerships serve in leadership roles with many campus-wide community-engagement centers as advocates, trainers, role models, and trusted colleagues who can help shoulder the load of moving a campus forward.


Faculty Fellow roles may include:


  • Building relationships for campus-wide faculty engagement — developing connections across departments and other units (e.g., Centers for Teaching and Learning), train and mentor faculty, etc.

  • Building infrastructure for campus-wide faculty engagement — help the center to articulate conceptualizations or link CEL with General Education or requirements, create and approve community-engaged academic programs, build center and institutional capacity to engage faculty, etc.


  • Addressing institutional, cultural, and policy barriers to community-engaged learning — working on tenure and promotion change; financial incentives and rewards for faculty, students and partners; interrelationship with other institutional priorities (e.g., faculty diversity and hiring), etc.


  • Enhancing community partnerships and projects through strategies that provide capacity building, such as research — especially those that allow partners to have their requests for research and academic work met through sustained connections with faculty and departments. For instance some institutions are focused on rubrics or evaluations of coursework from the perspective of partners.


  • Tracking campus-wide faculty engagement — help organize a community-engaged course inventory, establish a course tracking/designator system (e.g., GivePulse, Banner, etc.), evaluate CEL courses and their impact, support the Carnegie Community Engagement Application process, etc.

  • Promoting the link of faculty to the Bonner Program, especially to support Community-Engaged Signature Work, and other co-curricular programs — serving as instructors, mentors, and advisors for community-engaged capstone projects by Bonners or other students; working with partners and teams working at a specific site, issue, or project (e.g., policy analysis), etc.


Pathways Project Funding


Pathways Project funding is available for schools that are committed to the long-term goal of creating integrated, developmental pathways for at least 25% of students that culminate in a capstone-level community-engagement project that either builds community capacity or works to change an institutional or public policy. The Pathways Project is recommended for campuses with significant faculty engagement and community-engaged learning infrastructure already in place. Institutions should have a stated public aspiration, including support from current leadership, to develop ways in which a significant percentage of students are involved deeply and developmentally in community-engaged learning and experiences.


The Pathways Project supports participating institutions in creating scaffolded rather than isolated community-engaged learning course and program models, with a focus on scaling those efforts to reach a significant percentage of students. Campus teams will identify not only integrated curricular and co-curricular pathway models, but will also address implementation questions around institutional policies, infrastructure, and community partnerships that will encourage and support a significant increase in the scale of this work.


In addition to funding support, the Bonner Foundation will convene and provide individual consulting support to campus teams, as well as research literature and other tools and resources to support their work on this long-range campus change initiative.


These pathways are being organized around an issue (e.g., food security), theme (e.g., civic innovation), or career aspiration (e.g., public health). The pathways make be integrated into formal academic programs (e.g., minors, concentrations, or certificates) that are linked to a departmental or interdisciplinary structure. They may also be co-curricular pathways that are linked to academic courses or programs, such as a "consulting corps" connected to skill-based or applied community-engaged learning courses, major, or fellowship program. Other emerging models are being developed in partnership with the career service office or professional development programs. You can find some of these models the Campus Examples page.