Community-Engaged Learning

Community-engaged learning gives students the opportunity to examine diverse perspectives and apply what they are studying in the classroom in real world settings. This high-impact field-based learning enables students the opportunity to reflect critically on their experiences and invest in their own education.

a group of male dancers performing
Dance Alabama, one of the UA dance program’s signature events, showcases student choreography and dancers.

Alabama Science in Motion

Alabama Science in Motion provides high-tech laboratory experiences for students and effective professional development for teachers. ASIM at The University of Alabama/University of West Alabama Regional In-Service Center is a partnership between the universities and the high schools in the region.

Bama on Broadway

Each spring, UA theatre students travel to New York to participate in the Bama on Broadway showcase that is designed to highlight the strength of each student’s skills as they perform for an audience that includes talent agents and alumni.

Frances J. Summersell Center for the Study of the South

The Summersell Center for the Study of the South partners with Central High School to create the History of Us course, the area’s first secondary-level course centered on the history of African Americans in Alabama. Led by Dr. John Giggie and graduate student Margaret Lawson, the class is open to seniors and focused on researching stories of the past here in Tuscaloosa. They also host Queer Alabama, a project started in the Spring of 2019. Students designed Invisible Histories, the first research seminar in queer history offered at The University of Alabama. Students read broadly in the field of southern queer history, worked closely with archivists from W. S. Hoole Special Collections, and dug deeply into manuscript collections about queer life at the university. They prepared a series of research posters and presented them at Queer History South, a national conference that convened in March 2019. For the final stretch of the course, they built Queer Alabama, a digital humanities site to host their research.

Music Ensembles

Faculty and students from the School of Music take part in a range of Vocal and Instrumental Ensembles that are dedicated to performing a wide repertoire around the world.

Music Therapy Program

The music therapy program is the only degree program in the state of Alabama to offer a bachelor’s degree in music therapy, which leads to eligibility for professional certification. The program has a strong clinical training emphasis. Music therapy students experience a scaffolding approach, in which they observe music therapy sessions starting their first semester in school. Student expectations and involvement increases throughout the freshmen and sophomore years; students in their junior and senior years have multiple sessions per week. Students gain clinical experience serving various populations in the community.

New College Life Track

The New College LifeTrack Program (NCLT) was established in 1973 under the name External Degree (EXD) Program as an interdisciplinary undergraduate program through which adults could earn a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree from The University of Alabama. This program is for nontraditional Students who have work and family obligations but have never stopped wanting to learn.

Sella-Granata Art Gallery

The Sella-Granata Art Gallery features student exhibitions as well as visiting artists and is an essential part of the education and development of UA students and our community.

Theatre and Dance Performances

Every year students are on stage offering a range of dance and theatre productions to the campus and community.

UA Gallery at the Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center

Housed in downtown Tuscaloosa’s Dinah Washington Cultural Arts Center, the UA Gallery offers a year-round schedule of exhibitions of artistic works, artifacts, textiles and more from permanent collections held by The University of Alabama as well as works by faculty, students, guest artists and designers.

University of Alabama’s Practitioner Leaders for Underserved Schools in Mathematics

The University of Alabama Practitioner Leaders for Underserved Schools in Mathematics (A-PLUS in Math) is a collaborative partnership effort between The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa City Schools, Tuscaloosa County Schools, and the Alabama Council of Teachers of Mathematics. This project has five goals related to selecting 24 teachers into a Master Teacher Fellowship to become mathematics teacher leaders.

a girl looking into a microscope

Community-Engaged Courses

In community-engaged learning courses, students go beyond the classroom to connect theory and practice. They collaborate with communities to design, implement and evaluate research solutions to reach problems.  These rigorous courses challenge students to grow.

ANT 481/581: Anthropology is Elemental (Dr. Christopher Lynn)

This is a service-learning course in which graduate and upper-level undergraduate students develop lessons and teach eight to 12-week Anthropology courses in local elementary schools as part of the partnership programs with the University of Alabama

BSC 393 Biology Outreach (Jeana Yates)

UA Biology majors create and teach hands-on science lessons to K-12 students in the Tuscaloosa County and Tuscaloosa City Schools throughout the calendar year. Additional community partners include the Boys and Girls Clubs of West Alabama, Tuscaloosa County Park & Recreation Authority, Tuscaloosa Magnet schools, Tuscaloosa’s One Place, I Dream Big, UA Arboretum, the Tuscaloosa Public Library, and the Tuscaloosa Children’s Hands-On Museum

CL 380: Ancient Greek Comedy (Dr. Alecia Chatham)

This course is designed to focus on detailed investigations of specific aspects of Greco-Roman civilization such as ancient drama, women’s lives, ancient religion, and technological achievements. The “therapy through art” service-learning component incorporated working with vets suffering from PTSD in theatre courses.

FR 324: Commercial French (Dr. April Stevens)

This course uses a semester-long experiential approach designed to engage students in performing real-life and business-related tasks in French. In the course, students progress from performing internship-search-related activities to working as an intern for a sustainable travel organization. Analysis of work-related protocols, written and oral communications, CVs, and jobs provide opportunities to develop interpersonal, interpretive and presentational skills as well as engage a critical reflection on local, political, historical, and economic factors that affect tourism in French-speaking countries.

FR 424: Globalization, Marketing and Communication (Dr. Isabelle Drewelow)

This course focuses on a semester-long experiential simulation designed to connect students with current real-world marketing and digital practices in French. With a partner, students create their own fictitious company selling a fictitious product. Throughout the semester, they progress through several collaborative and individual tasks culminating with the co-construction of their company website. Analysis of written, audio, and video communications, advertising, and marketing material, navigation of French company websites, study of French corporate businesses and cultures, and comparisons of marketing strategies and practices develop students’ multimodal, multidimensional, linguistics, and intercultural skills while also engaging reflections on issues of global versus local markets.

HY 400 Southern Memory – Lynching in Alabama (Dr. John Giggie)

Examines the history of lynching. Working with the Equal Justice Initiative based in Montgomery, students have investigated the documented lynchings in Tuscaloosa and Pickens County.

NEW 237 and 238: Cooperation and Conflict

This seminar explores significant social problems in contemporary society and the complex ways in which social change occurs. Students investigate and seek solutions for current social problems. This course has a 12-hour service-learning component.  Working to help community partners and schools with projects they identify is a key component of bringing together academic expertise and citizen know-how.

NEW 226: Organic Farming Seminar (Professor Rashmi Grace)

An intensive, hands-on course in organic farming taught at a local working farm. Covers the basics of organic farming while also addressing questions about organic versus industrial agriculture models in relation to current environmental problems and solutions. The course works with Schoolyard Roots to advance its mission of establishing sustainable gardens at local schools.

NEW 243: Interdisciplinary Sciences classes (Dr. Amanda Espy-Brown)

This seminar demonstrates how the nature of the laboratory experience plays an essential role in the understanding and advancement of science. Several multidisciplinary experiments are performed in geology, chemistry, physics, and biology.

NEW 490: Community Arts Seminar (Dr. Marysia Galbraith)

What functions do arts serve in communities? How do creative activities affect cognitive and social learning? We will explore these questions as we develop and offer arts workshops in local public schools. Arts are broadly defined to include theatre, dance, creative media, language arts, engineering, painting, pottery, etc.

PY 380 Practicum in Community-based Psychology

This is a course that teaches students the scholarship of community engagement and guides them to work with local adolescents on a service project. Students in the course mentor middle- or high-school students to choose a community project, plan it and carry it out. Over the years, projects have ranged from improving recreational areas to protecting stray animals. Offered once a year. Approximately 20 psychology majors enroll in this course each spring.

PY 395 Child Mental Health: Theory and Field Experience

In this course, students learn about childhood mental illnesses while observing children and mental health professionals at Brewer Porch Children’s Center. Offered once a year.  This course takes place partly in the classroom and partly at Brewer Porch Children’s Center. Students learn about child mental health issues in the classroom and then observe and interact with children who are admitted to the BP residential placement. Approximately 15 students enroll in this course each year.

PY 394 Mentoring Students with Autism

This new course helps students gain skills in working with individuals with autism. In the classroom, students learn about the characteristics and causes of autism, while they are matched with a UA student who has autism for peer mentoring. We expect approximately 15 students to enroll in this course each year.

SP 355: Spanish for Native Speakers (Dr. Xabier Granja)

This course focuses on the study of the Spanish language, tailored specifically to native or heritage speakers. Students develop their Spanish skills by applying their learning in a practical manner through grammatical activities, short compositions, and conversations on podcasts. There is also, and preparation for bilingual translation. This service-learning (SL) course works with 3 community partners: Good Samaritan Clinic, Schoolyard Roots and Turning Point.

SP 356: Advanced Grammar and Composition (Dr. Xabier Granja)

This course focuses on Spanish grammar and writing. During the course, students apply their learning in a practical manner by exercising their Spanish knowledge through grammatical activities, academic essay writing about Hispanic literary sources, and extensive bilingual translation. This service-learning (SL) course works with 3 community partners: Good Samaritan Clinic, Schoolyard Roots and Turning Point.

SP 362: Spanish for Healthcare Professionals (Dr. Shirin Posner)

This course is designed to build fluency in both spoken and written Spanish that will enable health care professionals to communicate more effectively with patients. It emphasizes vocabulary acquisition and cultural nuances along with a grammar review for students to work on improving their self-expression and mastering the communication skills necessary in the health care profession. In this service-learning course, all students are expected to engage in a total of 15 hours of volunteering at a local health clinic or a related health fair activity.

SP 389: Spanish Outreach (Dr. Shirin Posner)

This course is designed as a unique service-learning class that seeks to place Spanish majors and minors as semester interns in local schools where they will assist our younger members of society with individual tutoring, comprehension of lesson, personal dialogue, interpretation, and other language-based tasks. At the same time, the UA “Outreachers” can hone their linguistic skills while they serve the Tuscaloosa-Northport community.