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SJSU Faculty Educates Students with a CommUniverCity Twist!

Author: Nicole Solis, CommUniverCity Communications Specialist

San Jose State University teachers want to give their students the most beneficial and meaningful educational experience possible. This became undeniably evident by the attendance of over 70 SJSU Faculty members last Thursday at CommUniverCity’s Lunch and Learn: Pathways to Community Engaged-Learning event. SJSU President Mary Papazian kicked off the event with great energy and a solid message about the importance of educating the next generation on inclusion, justice, and transformative change. SJSU is playing a critical role in committing students to service in the public good. Faculty who have already integrated their courses with CommUniverCity’s projects gave invigorating presentations on the success of the process.

Lorri Capizzi, Lecturer from the College of Education, integrates CommUniverCity’s College Day project with her Human Understanding and Development course. The experience allows the students to demonstrate the personal and academic barriers they’ve overcome and the external factors and circumstances that can be used as motivators toward success.

Nikos Mourtos, Chair and Professor from the College of Engineering, has integrated CommUniverCity’s Engineering in Action project with his Aerospace Engineering course. Through the demonstration of their aerospace projects to elementary students, his students benefit from technical skills, communication skills, and professional and ethical responsibility.

Marilyn Easter, Professor from the College of Business, has given her Marketing students the opportunity to work with real entrepreneurs from CommUniverCity’s Marketing Smarts program. They report that their work with the project is empowering, humbling, and instrumental to their education.    

Alora Frederick (left) and Marilyn Easter (right)
Lorri Capizzi (left) and Nikos Mourtos (right)








What exactly is Community Engaged-Learning?

Community engaged-learning is a high impact teaching method that promotes student learning through active participation in meaningful and planned service experiences in the community that are directly related to course content. CommUniverCity helps to facilitate community engaged projects that support the learning objectives of an academic course while also meeting the needs of specific neighborhood designated priorities.

How does Community Engaged-Learning help students outside the in-class learning?

High quality community learning blends academic learning, practical experience, personal exploration and reflection on student roles and involvement in their communities. SJSU courses are preparing students for the real world and real careers. CommUniverCity allows students to gain real world experience with actual community members while applying the subjects learned throughout the course.

“This project is beyond anything I have encountered before. You hear of life changing experiences and here we have been given the opportunity to change not only the life of Aurelia and the other entrepreneurs we are assisting, but our own lives as well.”

-Jim Heintz, Marketing Smarts, SJSU Student

Bridging the Gap

There is a great difference between the classroom and the actual workforce. CommUniverCity’s community engaged-learning opportunities help to connect students with real and meaningful work experiences. Employers want to hire college students who can take what they learn and put it into action in order to do the job they are hired for. SJSU Faculty are giving their students just that, the chance for real preparedness through real experiences.

If you are a SJSU Faculty member who would like to stay connected with service and community engaged-learning opportunities, mark these dates on your calendar:

  • March 10, 12p-2p, CL 547: Community Engagement Collaborative
  • April 10: Application deadline for a Fall 17 Service Learning Faculty Learning Community
  • May 5, 10a-11:30a: Workshop on implementing a service and community engaged-learning project in your class
  • May 5, 12p-3p: Kick-off for faculty in the Fall 17 Service-Learning Faculty Learning Community

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