Lang Center
for Civic & Social Responsibility

Engaged Teaching

Engaged Scholarship Courses 

The Lang Center works with faculty and the Registrar to designate certain courses as "ESCH," or Engaged Scholarship coursesEngaged Scholarship is a term first popularized by Ernest Boyer (1996) that has been rapidly gaining popularity at peer institutions. It encompasses Community-Based Learning (CBL), but also a broader range of teaching and research that, in Boyer’s words, connect “the rich resources of the university to our most pressing social, civic, and ethical problems.” Engaged Scholarship denotes an orientation. Engaged scholars direct their energies not solely toward an academic community, or toward the life of the mind—a valuable orientation in its own right, which resides at the liberal arts’ core—but also toward pressing public issues or shared problems. The Lang Center supports Engaged Scholarship (while fully endorsing the value of traditional scholarship and learning for the sake of learning). 

Swarthmore College identifies ESCH courses as those that:

  • address a contemporary issue of pressing public concern;
  • build knowledge about how to ameliorate social problems;
  • engage with various publics and/or include a community-based learning component 

Faculty who are unsure whether or not their course would or could qualify for the ESCH designation are encouraged to reach out to a member of the Lang Center team. ESCH courses can apply for a Engaged Scholarship Teaching Grant. 

Sample Syllabi from Peer Institutions

Click the links below to explore examples of Engaged Scholarship course syllabi from peer institutions. 

Campus Compact
Philadelphia Higher Education Network for Neighborhood Development
Project Pericles