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Amanda Harrison
Manager, Honors and Scholars Programs

Anderson Hall, Room 112 on a map

Community-Based Research Scholars 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW Washington, DC 20016 United States

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Where Scholarship Meets Action

All first-year students admitted to the DC Community Impact Scholars program will enroll in an exclusive section of Complex Problems and Community Scholars Lab during their fall semester. In the spring semester, students will continue to build on their learning from the fall through enrollment in the second part of the Community Scholars Lab, where they will start learning about the unique research methods associated with community-based participatory action research.

In their sophomore year, Impact Scholars engage in a yearlong course in which they complete, as a cohort and led by faculty, a research project with a community partner. It's where scholarship meets action!

Fall CBRS Courses

 All first-year CBRS students will enroll in IDIS-101 and choose one section of CORE-106.

CORE-106 Creating Social Entrepreneurs   

Professor Brett Gilbert 

This course introduces students to how social entrepreneurs can be created and supported. Social entrepreneurs create businesses to address social problems or needs that are unmet by governments and current markets. These social entrepreneurs generally work with, not against, market forces and are typically motivated by social benefit, but may also attain clear economic benefits as well in order to become sustainable and survive a turbulent marketplace. Social entrepreneurs recognize an opportunity to create social value, which then leads to the development of an enterprise concept. They then gather resources and seek to launch and grow their ventures. This course explores this process by giving students the opportunity to start their own social enterprise and incorporates multiple points of view. The course analyzes and synthesizes a diversity of perspectives on how best to create and support social entrepreneurs and emphasizes discussion, active learning, and opportunities to meet with guest lecturers and associated groups in the greater Washington, DC area. It also utilizes on campus resources such as the AU Bender Library and Kogod's Center for Business Communication and Financial Services & Information Technology Lab (FSIT). The course also includes optional off-campus site visits.

CORE-106 Navigating Childhood

Professor Jane Palmer

This course focuses on the extent to which inequality and public policy affect a child's experience of childhood. The course draws on historical, sociological and legal perspectives to examine what rights children have (and when they might lose them), the role of the state in protecting children and how the zip code where a child is born may affect a child's life trajectory. The course will primarily focus on children's diverse experiences within the United States, but there will be some content related to international contexts.

IDIS-101 Community Scholars Lab I
Ms. Amanda Harrison

In this multidisciplinary course taken by all first-semester Impact Scholars, students learn the principles of responsible and ethical engagement with DC communities. This lab will focus on preparation for and beginning service in the DC community, emphasizing cultural humility, understanding systemic inequities, and gaining the historical and contemporary context of issues facing DC communities. 

Spring Course

IDIS-102: Community Scholars Lab II

Introduction to community-based participatory action research and its methodologies. Focus will be on ethical conduct of research using interviews, focus groups, surveys, observation, and photo voice.