The Experiential Learning Design Accelerator (The Accelerator) builds on the vision of 100% Engagement by directly supporting faculty with dedicated time, incentives, and community to (re)design courses that integrate community engaged experiential learning for undergraduate students.

The Accelerator is a week-long summer Intensive that launches a one-year Fellowship to provide:

  • Mentorship from faculty who are actively practicing engaged learning pedagogy
  • Support for developing and sustaining community partnerships   
  • Training in human-centered design and iterative problem-solving as it applies to course design
  • $3,000 to faculty and $1500 to community partners to co-create course offerings 
  • Participation in a research study examining how community engaged experiential learning impacts students across multiple academic and career-related dimensions

We are accepting applications for our AY23-24 Fellows cohort. The deadline to apply is June 1.   

More Information (click to expand)

The Experiential Learning Design Accelerator Fellowship (The Accelerator) provides dedicated time, financial incentives, direct support, and mentorship to faculty who wish to design new and existing undergraduate courses to integrate community engaged experiential learning. Accelerator Fellows and participating community partners receive financial support to complete this work.

Accelerator Application Deadline – June 01, 2023

In addition to a short application, prospective candidates are asked to create a short (3-min) video pitch responding to the following questions:

  • Why the Accelerator? Why now?
  • What is your course idea and how might community partnership(s) be integrated?
  • How could the Accelerator help you to accomplish this?

Pre-recorded videos may include up to three (3) slides. 

2023-2024 Accelerator cohort announced – July 01, 2023

If selected, fellows will are required to participate in the week-long Intensive.

Five-day Intensive – August 7 – 11, 2023, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM MST via Zoom

In a highly facilitated and rigorous five-days we will move from a concept towards a desirable, feasible, and viable prototype of your course (re)design. Our focus is the design of the student experience that will bring the topics of your courses to life, following an adapted design sprint structure:

  • Day 1: Map
  • Day 2: Sketch
  • Day 3: Decide
  • Day 4: Prototype
  • Day 5: Test

  • Full-time, Tenured, Tenure-track, and Career-Track Faculty teaching undergraduate courses in AY23-24;
  • Faculty who can clearly and convincingly identify the potential of the course disciplinary content to catalyze innovative and responsive student-driven solutions to a particular authentic challenge facing an organization or community;
  • Faculty who can demonstrate intention and capacity to make sustained, authentic partnerships with community organizations central to the new or redesigned course experience;
  • Faculty who can demonstrate there is a significant and diverse group of student learners who will engage in experiential learning by participating in this course;
  • Faculty who can articulate how the new or redesigned course(s) fit into department curricular strategy and the department’s commitment to providing experiential learning to its majors and others;
  • Faculty who can demonstrate successful implementation of innovative assessments of student learning, documentation of curricular innovations leading to improved learning; evidence of faculty teaching excellence;
  • Faculty do not need to have an identified community partner when applying;
  • Faculty who are passionate and committed to reimagining the student learning experience and believe in the transformational potential of community engagement.

  • Complete (re)design and schedule course during the 2023-2024 academic year;
  • Commit to participation in the Accelerator research study which includes student pre and posttests; faculty and community partner surveys;
  • Faculty are expected to attend all five days of the Intensive and participate in scheduled workshops, events, and 1-1s throughout the academic year;
  • Faculty will benefit from interdisciplinary sharing and networking across academic units and academic content.

“There’s nothing I can say to my students in the classroom that will impact them like walking through a muddy estuary, or seeing how happy someone is after they designed them a logo or website. It’s that one-at-a-time connecting, the fact that the work they are doing is benefiting a cause they care about.” – Ellen McMahon, Associate Dean, Professor, Art

“It’s a two-way situation. We’re learning from them, as they’re learning from us. It’s about genuine partnership. We’re not making up work for them to do, so they can learn something. We see them as a force multiplier. There’s a mutual need. They need to place students and we need an expansion or enhancement of what we’re doing that we can’t do without the support of the University.” – T. Van Hook, Community Stakeholder, Habitat Tucson

“The community work completely changed my career path. I went from law enforcement to social work. I found that I worked so well with kids. I still want to be in public service. But not the one that regulates and protects, the one that encourages children to be what they want to be, even if they have disadvantages. ” – Lexi Austin, Student Participant

Accelerator Testimonials

Request More Information (ELDA)

To be used only for inquiries regarding the Experiential Learning Design Accelerator.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Questions can be directed to:

Annie Kurtin

Lead, Experiential Learning Design