[X] Close Window
Office of University Community Partnerships
Mailing Address:
P.O. Box 400308
Charlottesville, VA
Physical Address:
Booker House
1709 University Ave
Charlottesville, VA 22904
"I would like to reiterate that the community experience was a much better approximation of real world work than anything a student gets in a regular classroom setting. Truly, working with the LFH was a great experience." More student testimonials.


"Apply for an ACE grant! Bring the community into the classroom and vice versa." More faculty advice.


Academic Community Engagement Course Information

Engaged Learning

Resources for Assessing Student Learning in Community Engagement and Study Abroad Courses. Website.

Curry School Partnerships. Webpage

The University of Virginia is committed to serving the public good. Each year, U.Va. students contribute over 300,000 hours of community service. For the past three years, the University has been recognized at the national level for its service achievements by the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. The Jefferson Public Citizens program was designed to enhance the student experience by engaging students in curricular and co-curricular public service.


Deadline: Monday, April 16, 2012.
Award notifications will be sent to applicants by the end of May 2012.

DOWNLOAD CALL FOR ACE PROPOSALS (PDF) provides background and detailed information on the ACE grants.

  • 2012-13 Academic Community Engagement (ACE) Faculty Fellow Grants
    To encourage student learning and foster innovative academically-based public service universitywide, the Office of the Executive Vice President and Provost announces funds to support faculty development of academically-based community engagement courses. Awards range from $5K to $9K.

    Cover Sheet and Application (PDF)

  • 2012-13 Academic Community Engagement (ACE) Course Assistant Awards
    The ACE Course Assistant Awards are intended to expand capacity of faculty to offer public community engagement experiences in their classes. These awards are funds for graduate or undergraduate students to provide academic community engagement courses with ongoing logistical and classroom support throughout the semester. Awards range from $2K to $3K.

    Cover Sheet and Application (PDF)

  • 2012-13 University Community Academic Partnership Assistance Awards
    The University Community Academic Partnership (UCAP) Assistance Awards provide faculty with funds to advance university community partnerships necessary for student academic learning experiences. These funds are intended to enhance partnership capacity not covered by course assistant funds or faculty fellow funds. Awards are up to $1K.

    Cover Sheet and Application (PDF)

    *To save your completed application you must have a newer version of Adobe Reader. 
    Download Adobe Reader free from the Adobe website.

  • ** TIP: Type and save your answers into a Word document, then copy and paste your information into the application form. This will help prevent a loss of information.


    2011 Academic Community Engagement Award Faculty Recipients

  • Faculty Name: Andrew Kaufman
    School: Curry School of Education; College of Arts and Sciences
    "Books Behind Bars: Life, Literature and Community Leadership"
    Course Number: RUTR 3340
    Community Partner:
    Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Center; Dr. Michael Ito, Superintendent

    In this course students grapple in a profound and personal way with timeless human questions: Who am I? Why am I here? How should I live? They do this, in part, by facilitating discussions about short masterpieces of Russian literature with residents at a maximum security juvenile correctional center.

  • Faculty Name: Teresa Culver
    School: School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
    Title: Community-based Stormwater Monitoring and Management
    Course Number: CE 4210
    Community Partner:
    Rivanna River Basin Commission; Leslie Middleton, Executive Director

    This project-based course focuses on the management and monitoring of stormwater quantity and quality in our local watershed. While teaming with local watershed managers, students will study the impacts, environmental goals, regulatory requirements, and the management and design alternatives for runoff, especially from urban areas.

  • Faculty Name: Mary Voorhees, Rebecca Berlin, Tina Stanton-Chapman
    School: Curry School of Education
    Title: Foundations of Teaching Young Children (Birth to Five)
    Course Number: EDIA 2011-1
    Community Partner:
    Charlottesville City Schools Preschool Program; Ann Dublirer

    This course prepares students to teach young children (birth to five) with and without disabilities. Students learn about recommended early childhood and early childhood special education practices (e.g. supportive learning environments, curriculum development and implementation, instructional strategies and family-centered practices.)

  • Faculty Name: Benjamin Cohen
    School: College of Arts and Sciences
    Title: Interdisciplinary Food Studies: History, Politics and Technology
    Course Number: STS 2500
    Community Partner:
    Local Food Hub; Emily Manley, Manager of Outreach and Communications

    This course examines sustainable agriculture from historical, political and technological perspectives and as a topic of community infrastructure. It moves from general studies of technology and nature to specific cases of foodshed design in the Charlottesville area. Students work at Morven and with the Local Food Hub in Scottsville, VA, to produce a final group project placing current LFH sustainability projetcs into historical, cultural and techonological contexts.

  • Faculty Name: Tanya Denckla Cobb
    School: School of Architecture Applied
    Title: Community Based Food Systems Research
    Course Number: PLAC 5500
    Community Partner:
    Fluvanna County Historical Society (Judy Mickelson, Director); Jefferson Area

    Board for Aging (Judy Berger and Gordon Walker, Director)
    This course will train students in methods of community-based research through the lens of food heritage. Students will learn appropriate behaviors and protocols for oral histories, as well as specific considerations and approaches for working with immigrant, African-American, Native American, urban and rural people. Students will conduct basic research (archives, county fair records, etc.), conduct individual interviews for a "Food Heritage StoryCorps" and write profiles of local food heritage for eventual publication.

  • Faculty Name: Peter Ochs
    School: College of Arts and Sciences
    Title: Faith and Service: Study and Local Service in the Abrahamic Traditions
    Course Number: RELG 3559
    Community Partner:
    Habitat for Humanity of Greater Charlottesville, Katie Giesshuesler, Volunteer Manager

    In a time of violence among the three Abrahamic communities, this course examines two potential practices of peace: shared study across religious borders and shared efforts to repair society. Students will study Abrahamic traditions about shelter. And they will join Habitat for Humanity's effort to help families in need build their own homes.

  • Faculty Name: Phyliis Leffler and E. Franklin Dukes
    School: College of Arts and Sciences and School of Architecture
    Title: UVA History: Race and Repair
    Course Number: HIUS 4591; ARCH 4500; PLAN
    Community Partner:
    Quality Community Council, Karen Waters

    This course addresses the history of race at The University of Virginia. It begins with the role of slaves in building and sustaining the university and progresses topically to the present. The course is open to community members who have been impaced by this history, who engage fully with students in discussion of materials and group research projects.

  • Faculty Name: Kendra Y. Hamilton
    School: College of Arts and Sciences
    Title: MotherLands: Agrarian Utopias/Dystopias of the Global South
    Course Number: SWAG 3559
    Community Partner: The 10 1/2 Street Community Garden, co-sponsored by St. Paul's Memorial Church (Rev. Jim Richardson), Trinity Episcopal Church (Rec. Cass Bailey), and the Diocese of Virginia

    Contrasting the "founding farmers" agrarian utopianism with agricultural dystopias created by plantation slavery and its heirs, readings will map geographic landscapes and historical periods onto artistic and activist movements, considering issues of gender, race and class in literature and visionary movements from "Slow Food" to Kenya's "Green Belt" and beyond.

View past ACE recipients: 2007 | 2008 | 2009 | 2010


2009-10 Committee Members

Committee members have volunteered to serve as technical advisors to faculty members applying for grants.


Student Testimonials

Are there other lessons or experiences you would like to share with UVa’s Office of University Community Partnerships or with your peers in SEAS or the College?

"Yes it did because I have learned that working with the community is extremely important in fully understanding the issue beyond the scope of the classroom. By working with the community, I can begin to understand the limitations of realities on the issue of agriculture rather than making solutions based off of ideal or theoretical situations."

"Communication and respect are key to working with members of the community. It is important to get a clear understanding of the wants and needs of the community member and their ideas for possible solutions. It is also important, however, to keep an open mind for other changes they could enact."

"My desire to work within my community definitely increased. The class made me feel more empowered to make positive change in Charlottesville and my home town. I have completed similar course projects in the community before. But this class gave me a new avenue to work with the community and a new set of knowledge to employ."

"I would like to reiterate that the community experience was a much better approximation of real world work than anything a student gets in a regular classroom setting. Truly, working with the LFH was a great experience."

"I cannot stress enough how effective it is to have students work with their local communities. It is very easy to confine ones’ self to the community within the University. This segregation of students and community members does not benefit either party. Courses like this are critical to promoting community engagement amongst students. I think the curriculum is perfectly set up to promote this relationship, the best way to propagate it is to just have more classes like this available to students. In fact, I think a community engagement class such as this should be a mandatory requirement for all schools within the university. Thank you for this awesome opportunity!"

Advice from ACE Faculty

"Plan, plan, plan. Working with partners in the community can be incredibly rewarding, but what you get on the output side of a project depends very strongly on building relationships, understanding, and expectations on the input side. It's hard work, so don't enter into it lightly. And always respect and honor the needs of the partner--after all, it's their project and their need."

"Take seriously the commitment to teach the course three times in five years, and make sure to have a commitment from Dept. chair to count the course as part of your teaching load."

"Focus on team work and included others (students/graduates students) in the planning process."

"It is vital to meet with community organizations first, before sending students out to meet with 'the community.' This should be built into your methodology. Our students also found it very helpful to develop their set of 'best practices' for working with the community, so that they were intentional and deliberative about their interactions."

"Use some form of journal or blog so you can assess how the UVa students are responding, and their growing and changing sense of the experience. This not only helps you guide them, and keep your finger on their pulse and the pulse of the class, but articulating their growth is rewarding for them. The challenges of these engagement experiences can be stunning, overwhelming, and working through them is really helpful."

"Be clear about your goals for involving the community and take time to adequately prepare community representatives for what they might expect from the students. Often, the community is not familiar with the academic context and sometimes even a bit intimidated by it."