Engaged Scholar Courses

The Swearer Center develops and teaches courses that offer students the chance to explore their interest in social change both in and outside of the classroom.

Spring Courses 

Community, Language and Literacy: An Education Practicum

ETHN1900B * Janet Isserlis

This course examines adult language and literacy learning and approaches to teaching in community settings. It is designed to support students’ work teaching language and literacy to immigrant adults. Working with the Swearer Center and its community partners, students will explore theories informing educational practice, and will gain skills and practice in providing language and literacy instruction to adult learners in the community. This practicum specifically addresses issues of language acquisition, acculturation, and broader contexts framing adult education. We especially welcome students who are currently teaching in community programs as well as those who would like to learn more about this work. For more information, email Janet at Janet_Isserlis@brown.edu.

From Theory to Practice in Engaged Scholarship: Creating Community Based Learning Courses

EDUC1290 * Kerrissa Heffernan

This course will explore theories of community-based learning and engaged scholarship within the context of higher education. The course is designed to provide students with an understanding of the possibilities in the teaching and learning exchange to address significant social concerns. Email Kerri at kerrissa_heffernan@brown.edu with questions or concerns.

Social Entrepreneurship

PPAI1910, formerly ENGN1930Q * Bill Allen & Alan Harlam

This course introduces students to social innovation and social entrepreneurship and engages then in identifying significant issues, problems and solutions that drive social change. It helps students understand the competencies that are needed to be a transformative social entrepreneur and proven tools and strategies to create high performance, high impact entrepreneurial enterprises that offer bold solutions to complex contemporary problems. It highlights unique models of social enterprise from strictly non-profit, through those developing products or services that produce revenue in support of a social goal, to socially responsible for-profit companies. It emphasizes how enterprises are created and sustained. Email Alan at alan_harlam@brown.edu with questions.

Leading Social Ventures: Social Entrepreneurship in Action

PPAI1701Q * M.J. Kaplan and Alan Harlam

Intractable social problems demand new, innovative solutions. Social entrepreneurs, driven by passion to change the world, fuse social missions and savvy business practices to create enterprises that solve these complex challenges. Leading Social Ventures is designed for students who are leading aspire to lead social ventures. The course uses "action learning" meaning students will apply educational content to a specific venture in the early stage of development. Students will work on a venture that they have created or select an existing early-stage venture among provided choices. Enrollment is by application only. Email Alan at alan_harlam@brown.edu for more information.


Interested in social entrepreneurship and innovation? You can find more courses on the Social Innovation Initiative website.