Service Learning Locations

Nearly 800 University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB) students were engaged in service learning for credit at 181 sites in Baltimore City during the 2014-15 academic year.  

Frequently Asked Questions

What is service learning?

Service learning is engaging students in activities that meet human and community needs defined by the community together with structured reflection intentionally designed to meet student learning outcomes.

— Barbara Jacoby, faculty associate for Leadership and Community Service-Learning at the Adele H. Stamp Student Union-Center for Campus Life at the University of Maryland, College Park, and author of Service Learning in Higher Education: Concepts and Practices.

What does it mean when I select more than one school or affiliate?

An example will help here. Consider the map below where both “Law” and “Promise Heights” are selected. The map will show every site where law students are involved and every site that is part of the Promise Heights Initiative. 

An example of how the filtering works on the SWCOS map.

What is a Community Statistical Area or CSA?

Most demographic information is available by census tract, not by neighborhood. Created by the Baltimore Neighborhood Indicators Alliance (BNIA) with the Baltimore Department of Planning, Community Statistical Areas or CSAs are areas made up of a number of census tracts that come close to representing neighborhoods. Per the BNIA, clustering neighborhoods into CSAs was necessary since most of the 270-plus neighborhoods in Baltimore do not have boundaries that fall along census tracts. As neighborhoods change, CSAs provide consistent representation of the conditions occurring within particular neighborhoods.

Four guidelines were established for constructing the CSAs:

  • CSA boundaries had to align with census tracts.
  • CSAs would consist of one to eight tracts, preferably with total populations in the range of 5,000 to 20,000.
  • CSAs would define relatively demographically homogenous areas.
  • CSAs should reflect city planners’ understanding of residents’ and institutions’ perceptions of the boundaries of the community.

Hey! I did community work at a site that’s not on this list! Why was my site left out?

There are a number of reasons why your site may not be on the map. First, the site may not be in Baltimore City. Second, your work at the site may not have been service-learning (see definition above) and connected to one of our UMB courses. Volunteer community service locations are not on this map. The map does not currently include service-learning that is offered on-site in one of the seven schools at UMB. For example, the School of Pharmacy’s "A Bridge to Academic Excellence" and the School of Dentistry’s “Give Kids a Smile Day” both take place on campus and therefore are not on the current map. Only those Carey School of Law legal clinics that are held off campus are included in the map. In addition, “clinical placements” for dentistry, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy students are not included in the current map; however, it does include off-campus field work, externships, and internships (sometimes referred to as “clinical placements”) for students at the Carey School of Law and the School of Social Work. We are hoping to include these types of services in the next version of the map.

I know a FANTASTIC community organization that would LOVE to partner with UMB. How do I get them connected?

The Office of Community Engagement (OCE) website connects community organizations with UMB. CBEL will work with OCE to find a faculty member and course that might work.

Why are there more social work and law sites on the map than sites connected with other schools?

The map shows law clinic placements for students at the Carey School of Law and clinical placements for students at the School of Social Work. Clinical placements for dentistry, medicine, nursing, and pharmacy students are not included.

What about service learning that happens on campus?

UMB has great programs on campus where students do service learning such as the School of Pharmacy’s A Bridge to Academic Excellence or many of the Carey School of Law’s legal clinics. This map, however, only shows sites where students engage in service learning off-campus.

How can I learn more about service learning and the sites where it happens?

CBEL is your resource for service learning and other community-based scholarship. We have the course and site details in a database used to create this map. For example, if you are interested in all the sites where social work students are placed with nursing students, we can use the database to help you find those locations. Or if you are applying for a grant on diabetes prevention and you would like to partner with sites in the neighborhoods with the highest fast food outlet density, CBEL can use the map database to help isolate those sites and tell you what kinds of students are already engaged there. Please contact the director, Jane Lipscomb, or associate director, Lori Edwards, to learn more.