Examples and Partnerships

Examples and Partnerships

The following are just a few examples of Penn State Engaged Scholarship in action. We are collecting stories of experiences from throughout the University with the goal of developing a solid central resource. If you have an example that you’d like to contribute, please contact us!


The Learning Factory

Community Partners: More than 50 company sponsors, including Air Products, ArcelorMittal, Bechtel, Boeing, BP, Chevrolet, Dressar-Rand, Emerson Power Network, General Motors Foundation, Harris, Lockheed Martin, Phillips 66, Shell, Solutionwerks Incorporated, US Steel, Volvo, Xerox

Penn State Partner: Penn State College of Engineering

Purpose: The Learning Factory develops innovative and world-class engineers by integrating design, manufacturing, and business challenges into the engineering curriculum. Faculty, students, and community partners work together to identify challenges that advance that goal. The Industry Advisory Board continuously monitors, assesses, and recommends improvements to the program.


A student works with members of Mashavu, an organization that strives to provide accessibilte healthcare in developing countries.Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE)

Community Partners: National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance, United National Industrial Development Office (Kenya), Children and Youth Empowerment Center (Kenya), Tropical Pesticides Research Institute (Tanzania), Mavuuno Greenhouse (Kenya), Self Employed Women’s Association (India), Appalachian IDEAS Network

Penn State Partners: Inter-institutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge, Penn State Dickinson School of Law International Sustainable Development Projects Clinic, Penn State Altoona Human Development and Family Studies, Tourism Research Lab, Center for Science in the Schools, Africana Research Center, Smeal College of Business Farrell Center for Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship (FCFE), The Alliance for Education, Science, Engineering and Development in Africa

Purpose: The Humanitarian Engineering and Social Entrepreneurship (HESE) initiative of the School of Engineering Design, Technology, and Professional Programs develops innovative and practical technology-based solutions to address the most compelling challenges facing the developing world and marginalized communities. The quest is for solutions with the four hallmarks of sustainability – technologically appropriate, environmentally benign, socially acceptable, and economically sustainable. We seek the convergence of the tripartite university missions of teaching, research, and outreach to educate globally engaged social problem solvers and create sustainable value for developing communities, while generating and disseminating knowledge and lessons learned.


Lower Susquehanna Land and Water Initiative

Community Partners: Conservation Districts from Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Tri-County Conewago Creek Association, South Londonderry Township, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, US Environmental Protection Agency, National Fish & Wildlife Foundation, Susquehanna River Basin Commission, United States Geologic Service, USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service PA, ZedX Corporation, Environmental Credit Corporation, Chesapeake Bay Foundation, Penn State Agriculture and Environment Center

Penn State Partners: College of Agricultural Sciences, Environment and Natural Resources Institute, Penn State Cooperative Extension

Purpose: The Lower Susquehanna Land and Water Initiative seeks to increase and integrate Penn State’s education, research, and extension capacity with partners in south central Pennsylvania. The Initiative’s signature pilot is the Conewago Creek Collaborative Conservation Initiative. This project creates a collaborative and integrated multilevel, multisector partnership. The collaborative seeks to increase community engagement and adoption of practices to improve water quality in a strategically targeted agriculturally impaired watershed in south central Pennsylvania. The project serves as a “discovery watershed” providing Penn State and its partners multiple opportunities for place-based student service learning and College faculty and staff opportunities for research, extension, and outreach.


A student interacts with a community member at the Pittsburgh CenterThe Penn State Center: Engaging Pittsburgh

Community Partner: The City of Pittsburgh

Penn State Partner: Outreach and Online Education

Purpose: The Pittsburgh Center facilitates community-focused learning, student involvement, and solution-oriented research to help enrich the lives of urban citizens, improve the quality of communities, and enhance the success of businesses in the Greater Pittsburgh area. Program areas include community revitalization, energy, land use, storm water management, and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM).


Center for Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems (CIHDS)

Community Partners: Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Susquehanna Health, and Mt. Nittany Medical Center

Penn State Partners: Colleges of Medicine, Engineering, Information Sciences and Technology, and Health and Human Development, and the Office of the Vice President for Research

Purpose: The Center for Integrated Healthcare Delivery Systems capitalizes on the existing strengths of Penn State and promotes a holistic approach to understanding and solving problems of access and quality in health care.


Students interacting at Shaver's Creek Environmental CenterShaver’s Creek Environmental Center

Shaver’s Creek is Penn State’s Outdoor Education Field Lab and Nature Center. Since 1976 the Center has been a University resource for engaged scholarship through a blend of credit and noncredit programming, building a bridge between Penn State students and area schools, organizations, and families. Shaver’s Creek works to find synergy and interrelationships that connect community outreach and service efforts with undergraduate and graduate teaching and research.


Sustainable Communities Collaborative

Community Partner: Borough of State College

Penn State Partner: Sustainability Institute

Purpose: The Sustainable Communities Collaborative (SCC) is the University’s strategic platform and opportunity to develop innovative University/community-based collaborations that engage Penn State faculty and students in existing courses from across the University through real-world, community-identified sustainability projects. Through the SCC, Penn State will initially partner with selected communities in Pennsylvania to meet their sustainability goals. Each project is a facilitated effort, involving interdisciplinary faculty expertise and students, co-led by a key community leader and the University’s SCC staff, to help develop and support thriving, healthy communities and advance student learning and the scholarship of sustainability.


Photo of students with a poster about their SBDC projectPenn State Small Business Development Center

Community Partners: Small business throughout Central Pennsylvania

Penn State Partners: Cooperative Extension, Outreach and Online Education

Purpose: The Penn State Small Business Development Center (SBDC) provides one-on-one consulting and seminars to pre-venture, startup, and existing small businesses located in Centre and Mifflin counties. Consulting is confidential and provided at no charge by a staff of skilled professionals who emphasize education and guidance in finding practical solutions to business problems.


PROmoting School-community-university Partnerships to Enhance Resilience (PROSPER)

Community Partners: Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development; Pennsylvania Council of Children, Youth, and Family Services; National Institute on Drug Abuse ($9.9 million); National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism; Children, Youth, and Families at Risk; Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency

Penn State Partners: Penn State Prevention Research Center, Penn State Cooperative Extension, Partnerships in Prevention Sciences Institute

Purpose: PROSPER utilizes combined efforts of prevention scientists, the Extension system, and local schools and community leaders to develop community partnerships that strengthen families and help youth avoid substance abuse and behavioral problems.

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