Social Impact Practicums (SIPs)

What is a Social Impact Practicum (SIP)?

A Social Impact Practicum is a project-based experiential learning opportunity connecting undergraduate courses at Dartmouth with community needs identified by nonprofit organizations throughout the Upper Valley.

Dartmouth students take the skills and content that they are learning in their academic courses and apply them to relevant projects for, and with, local community partners.

In other words, a SIP is a real-world project with real-world impact.

Ideal SIp Projects

Contact DCSI to receive the Community Partner SIP Guide, which outlines the scope of projects that are best suited for Social Impact Practicums.

For organizational needs that do not intuitively align with Dartmouth's liberal arts curriculum, we also partner with Tuck Business School’s Center for Business, Government & Society as well as the Thayer School of Engineering’s Senior Design Challenge initiative to match projects with the Dartmouth resource best-suited to address them.

Get Involved

The Dartmouth Center for Social Impact conducts a Community Needs Assessment every summer to gather the universe of project-based needs for each organization. That said, we understand that needs are an ever-evolving phenomenon so we are always glad to add additional projects to our database during the academic year as well.

To learn more about the Social Impact Practicum (SIP) initiative or to propose projects for your organization, please contact Ashley Doolittle.

Current Courses with a SIP Component

Winter 2019

EDUC 56: STEM and Education
Montshire Museum
Creating programming concepts via curriculum for children ages 9-14
Vital Communities
Developing ecological guides/lesson plans for classroom and field-based Valley Quest sessions with local elementary and middle school students

ENGS 15.02: Senior Design Challenge
Women's Health Resource Center
Designing an educational tool for parents on how to take care of their new baby 0-18 months
Norris Cotton Cancer Center at Dartmouth
Designing a way (game, etc.) for pre-med students to simulate being on a tumor board

ENGS 171: Industrial Ecology
City of Lebanon
Designing a method to crowd source neighborhood and public opinion about adequate street lighting throughout the day to conserve energy when less needed
Designing a way to dim smart street lighting via local sensors in response to levels of ambient and moon light

ENVS 7.3: Ecopsychology
National Park Service (MBR)
Creating a video to share the stories of under-represented populations and to hear why they enjoy the national parks in their own words
Upper Valley Land Trust
Creating a video to explain the basics behind land conservation and how a land trust functions
Upper Valley Trails Alliance
Creating a new video for UVTA's "Passport to Winter Fun" program
Upper Valley Humane Society
Creating a video to raise awareness around UVHS' mobile pet food shelves around the Upper Valley

FILM 47.01: Found Footage
National Park Service (MBR)
Crafting digital storytelling for the Saint-Gaudens Memorial Park and their upcoming centennial celebration
Upper Valley Land Trust
Telling new stories with existing raw video footage collected over the years at various UVLT properties

PSYCH 54.05: Consumer Neuroscience
Creating a targeted infographic to promote engagement and learning about the CHaD HERO
Hartford Autism Regional Program (HARP)
Creating an editable visual conveying key details of HARP's programming model with children on the autism spectrum and information about changing monthly topics of interest to parents
Public Health Council
Designing an infographic for PCPs to use on the health impacts of heat, heat vulnerabilities in certain populations, and the increasing likelihood of extreme heat events over time

PSYCH 54.06: Living with Cognitive Decline and Dementia
Kendal at Hanover
Collecting life histories and recording memories with patients who have dementia or Alzheimer's
Hanover Terrace
Collecting life histories and recording memories with patients who have dementia or Alzheimer's

SOCY 10: Quantitative Analysis of Social Data
Upper Valley Land Trust
Trend exploration and analysis of demographics associated with supporting land conservation and UVLT

SPEE 20_1: Public Speaking
Montshire Museum
Writing impact stories for the press/social media/printed materials about people whose lives have been influenced by their engagement with the Montshire
Senior Solutions
Writing impact stories to inspire readers to volunteer or make a donation to the new Friendly Visitor Program
Guest blogging for the VINS website or newsletter (with topics already identified such as the importance of getting kids outside, etc.)

SPEE 20_2: Public Speaking
Public Health Council
Blog posts for PHC website raising awareness about key public and community health issues in the Upper Valley
Second Wind Foundation
Media writing for CATV, an NPR spot, etc. with a focus on changing the perception of addiction and those who are seeking (or actively in) recovery from the disease
Valley Court Diversion Programs (VCDP)
Storytelling/Writing showcasing VCDP, its mission and the ability for people of all ages to request court diversion

*n/a_1: Primary Care Progress (Student Group)
Good Beginnings-Upper Valley
Updated research regarding new parent challenges, opiate addiction, parent/child bonding, early literacy and infant development during months 0-6.

*n/a_2: Foundations in Social Impact (DCSI)
Consulting on sustainability possibilities and incorporating new initiatives into LISTEN's mission to expand organizational efficacy and have a greater environmental impact

(Tentative) Spring 2019 Social Impact Practicum Courses: March 25th-May 29th

  • ANTH: Artivisim in the America
  • ANTH 64: Evolution of Pregnancy, Birth, and Babies
  • ANTH 65: Conservation and Development
  • EDUC 51: Educational Testing
  • ENVS 7.04: COVER Stores
  • ENVS 61: Governing the Environment
  • ENVS 80.08 The Practice of Science Policy and Diplomacy
  • FRIT/ITAL: Environmental Italy: Narratives, Landscapes, Ecologies
  • LATS 37: Migrant Lives and Labor in the Upper Valley
  • PBPL 51 Leadership in Civil Society
  • PSYCH 81.09 Storytelling with Data
  • RELI /AAAS: Revolutionary Imagination: Religion, Modernity, and Otherwise
  • SART 66/68 Architecture II/III
  • SPEE 20 Public Speaking

For more information or to suggest a course that you think could benefit from a Social Impact Practicum, please contact Ashley Doolittle.

DCSI also collaborates with Thayer's Senior Design Challenge to match human-centered design projects proposed by Upper Valley nonprofits with this two-term  senior-level engi