Lang Center
for Civic & Social Responsibility


The Lang Center for Civic & Social Responsibility provides project grants, internship funds, and research opportunities that link the campus, community, and curriculum.

CBL Courses | Collaborations | Faculty Curriculum & Research Development Grants | Faculty-Sponsored Engaged Research
Forms & Applications | Grant Programs | Internships | Projects | Request a Space | Transportation

CBL Courses

For Students and Faculty: Community-Based Learning (CBL) is a pedagogical approach that is based on the premise that the most profound learning often comes from experience that is supported by guidance, context-providing, foundational knowledge, and intellectual analysis. The Lang Center staff supports faculty in teaching rich CBL courses. The opportunity for students to bring thoughtful knowledge and ideas based on personal observation and social interaction to a course's themes and scholarly arguments brings depth to the learning experience for individuals and to the content of the course. The communities of which we are a part can benefit from the resources of our faculty and students, while the courses can be educationally transformative in powerful ways.

CBL Courses

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For Community Members: The Lang Center hosts many events throughout the year that align with its mission to promote a more just and compassionate world. We’d love to partner with you in bringing speakers, workshops, trainings, and events to campus. Have an idea? Let us know! Contact: Jennifer Magee or Arto Woodley.

Need more? Let us know how to better partner with you.

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Faculty Curriculum & Research Development Grants

For Faculty: Faculty Curriculum & Research Development Grants support courses that connect students to external communities in direct ways through the creation of new courses or enhancement of existing courses. Funds may be used for expenses of developing and/or offering the courses, as well as for costs of re-offering a previously developed course.

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Faculty-Sponsored Engaged Research

For Students and Faculty: A faculty member may approach a student with an opportunity to participate in an engaged research project. Engaged research denotes an orientation; engaged scholars direct their energies not solely toward an academic community—or the life of the mind—but also toward pressing public issues or shared problems. Applications for faculty-sponsored engaged research funding will be received through our Common App.

Examples of Engaged Scholarship Projects:

  • Ideation at the Social Innovation Lab (Swarthmore Foundation)
  • Pilot Project, including community assessment, feasibility study, prototyping, and testing (Swarthmore Foundation)
  • Major Project with funding for more than one summer (Lang Opportunity Scholarship Program)
  • Multiyear Group Project (Project Pericles Fund)

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Forms & Applications

For Students:

  • Internship application questions
  • Project application questions
  • Faculty-led engaged scholarship application questions

APPLY FOR SUMMER FUNDING HERE. If you anticipate needing ADA-related accommodations to complete an application, please contact Jennifer Magee at 610-328-7320 or, or stop by the Lang Center.

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Grant Programs

For Students: The Lang Center student project grant programs exist to empower students and their partners (including faculty and staff as well as community members and organizations) to build impactful solutions—that is, solutions that are sustainable, measurable, innovative, and socially valuable to key stakeholders—to pressing societal problems by providing opportunities for students to integrate their experiential learning and undergraduate coursework.

To this end, the Lang Center commits to preparing students for responsible, ethical action via academic coursework and co-curricular training; supporting students with human, social, and financial capital; and building dialogue and social networks among students, alumni, staff, faculty, and community members (including advisers, collaborators, and partners).

Students can apply for three types of grants through the Lang Center: internships, projects, and faculty-sponsored engaged research. Applications for each type of grant are submitted to the Lang Center online via Qualtrics. Announcements of the availability of grants are made in the fall semester, along with instructions for application procedures. All applicants are required to have an advising session with a Lang Center staff member before they apply.

Summer opportunities like internships, research experiences, and social-action projects can be a crucial bridge between your academic pursuits and the people and issues you care about. The Lang Center staff is here to help you build such bridges! There are many examples: Check out a digital list of past Swarthmore Foundation pilot projects that received funding and a sample of past internship placements. The Swarthmore Scholarship section of our website provides a snapshot of community-engaged research or public scholarship by faculty and students. All grantees of the Lang Center write short reports and reflections that you are welcome to review. Contact: Jennifer Magee (jmagee1)

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For Students: An internship is on-the-job training in which students focus on the attainment of specific learning goals and skill targets that will add dimension to their undergraduate course work while advancing the host site’s mission, goals, and objectives. (Includes the Chester Community Fellowship Program, the Summer Internship Support Program, and the Summer Social Action Award.) The Lang Center funds summer internships that help students connect their academic interests with the issues they care about most (e.g. educational equality, public policy, environmental justice, or the school-to-prison pipeline). Students interested in exploring ways they could spend their summer connecting academic interests with societal issues are encouraged to meet with Lang Center staff members to discuss possibilities. Applications for internship funding will be received through our Common App.

For Community Members: Interested in hosting a supervised internship that can press your initiative forward and provide a robust learning experience for students? Students are able to apply for internship funding through the Lang Center to work at organizations that have a social mission. Internships are full-time, supervised, 10-week-long experiences that are hosted by organizations locally, domestically, and abroad. Let us know if you have student opportunities that you’d like us to advertise. Contact: Katie Price (kprice1)

Financial support for all summer internships is made possible by the Swarthmore Foundation, a small philanthropic, multiconstituent funding body formed by the College in 1987 and supported by endowments from individuals, foundations, and others. Decisions made by the Swarthmore Foundation committee are administered by the Lang Center.

The generosity of Eugene M. Lang ’38 supports these internship and project awards in addition to others, including the John W. Anderson ’50 Memorial Internship; Believe Current Social Action Award Fund; Cilento Family Community Service Internship; Class of 1961 Fund for the Arts and Social Change; Landis Community Service Fund; Gerry and Marguerite Lenfest Student Fellowship; Miller Internship for Environmental Preservation; John Nason Community Service Fellowship; Penrose International Service Fund; Sager Fund Internship; and Gilmore Stott Service Award.

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For Students: A project may have its own mission, goals, and objectives; be small or large scale; be of a student’s own design or co-created with others; involve feasibility study, assessment of community assets, interests, and needs, and so on; and engage self and others from ideation to implementation through project evaluation and replication/extension. (Includes project grants provided by Davis Projects for Peace, Lang Opportunity Scholarship Program, Project Pericles Fund, and Swarthmore Foundation.) Applications for project funding will be received through our Common App.

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Request a Space

For Students, Faculty, Staff, and Community Members: The Lang Center has reservable space for events, meetings, classes, etc. The Keith Room, adjacent lobby area, and seminar room are the most popular spaces for reservation, although there are also a few smaller conference rooms that can be reserved for Skype/phone interviews and small meetings. Please contact Delores Robinson (drobins2) for more information or to make a reservation.

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For Students, Faculty, and Staff: The Lang Center for Civic and Social Responsibility supports the efforts of students engaged in volunteer direct-service work and political engagement activities by helping make transportation available, if needed and within budgetary limits. If you are serving the community in sites accessible by SEPTA (Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority), train tickets or bus fare may be requested to support your service commitment.

  • Requests for transportation support in the form of public transportation can be made by submitting a Mass Transit Request Form.
  • The Lang Center cannot support transportation for paid employment, academic research, or career development purposes.
  • Requests MUST be submitted in advance; “same-day service” in this regard is not available.
  • Once authorized, tickets and tokens may be obtained at the Lang Center reception desk from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday during the school year.

Chester Shuttle

The nearby community of Chester, Pa., is home to a number of community-service programs. For students interested in volunteering, the Lang Center provides a shuttle van from Monday to Thursday that runs from Parrish Circle directly to the doors of the organizations being served. The vans are driven by trained and certified students and may be reserved for special service, advocacy, and activist events during nonshuttle service days and times. It makes volunteering opportunities nice and easy!

Sites served in Chester include:

  • Better Tomorrows
  • Chester Eastside Ministries
  • Boys & Girls Club of Chester
  • Chester Apartments/The Nia Center
  • Chester Community Charter School (Saturday Program)
  • Community Action Agency of Delaware County
  • God’s House of Glory
  • J. Lewis Crozer Library
  • Unity Center

Van Reservations

For information about other transportation options, please visit the College’s Getting Around page. Please use the Lang Center Van Request Form to request a van reservation.

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