Community-Based and Service Learning

Community-based and service learning are field-based “experiential learning” with community partners. The idea is to give students direct experience with issues they are studying in the curriculum and with ongoing efforts to analyze and solve problems in the community. A key element in these programs is the opportunity students have to both apply what they are learning in real-world settings and reflect in a classroom setting on their service experiences. These programs model the idea that giving something back to the community is an important college outcome, and that working with community partners is good preparation for citizenship, work, and life.

The Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Center

The Advanced Manufacturing and Robotics Center, also known as the AMRoC Fab Lab, located in University Mall, is one such space for USF students. "It gets them off of campus, out into the community, it helps them to be a positive in the neighborhood and to get to know their neighbors, and it allows the neighborhood to know us,” said Lindy Davidson, Associate Dean for Curriculum & Instruction in the Judy Genshaft Honors College.

You can read more about the AMRoC Fab Lab here.

PHC 4942: Public Health Innovation Studio (PHIS)

The Public Health Innovation Studio course allows undergraduate students to work with graduate-level public health students, faculty, and community partners to identify strategies for building community resilience and social capital. Students are introduced to concepts and methods of quantitative and qualitative research to help document service-learning community-based projects conducted with an interdisciplinary team aimed to identify public health solutions. Students will learn how to use multi-faceted tools and are expected to reflect on the role of research and project design on the individual, family, at-risk community, county, and region.

The Summer Public Health Innovation Studio will focus on critical topics based on pre-identified needs in the Tampa Bay area. Students will team up with community partners to engage with diverse populations and stakeholders in the community. In the past, students have worked with refugee women regarding food security and advocacy, helping to prepare at-risk communities for hurricane season, and helping with community needs assessments for impoverished populations. This is an in-person course where we will go out into the community. Faculty and students will meet in person every Friday from 9:00 am-5:00 pm during Summer B.

For further inquiries, please contact the lead instructor, Elizabeth A. Dunn, MPH, CPH, at