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

2018 Fall Term

  • COSC 29.04/PSYCH 15: Impact Design
    Hartford Autism Regional Program (HARP): "Creating an experience of delight for students of HARP"
  • EDUC 15: History and Theory of Human Development and Learning
    Crossroads Academy: "Exploring the research-practice continuum: creating a professional resource detailing developmentally appropriate experiences for K-8 students that capitalize on the intellectual resources at Dartmouth."
  • ENGL 52.17Victorian Children's Literature: Fairytale and Fantasy
    Norwich Public Library: "Designing an interactive display at the Norwich Public Library to re-envision classic fairytales for the current generation of young leaders."
  • GEOG 4.01: Global Poverty and Care
    Senior Solutions: "Analyzing the valuation/devaluation of elder care through both weekly immersion in direct service and co-creating an ethical care analysis."
  • GEOG 57: Urban Applications of GIS
    Norris Cotton Cancer Center: "Mapping the spread of hrHPV in Honduras."
  • PBPL 5: Introduction to Public Policy
    CHaD: "Grant Writing: Finding new financial sponsors for the CHaD Hero."
    Connecticut River Conservancy: "Grant Writing: Developing arguments for energy policy around battery storage in relation to hydroelectric plants."
    "Grant Writing: Advocacy campaign around extended producer responsibilty in NH."
    "Grant Writing: Supporting additional water quality testing and aquatic invasive species inventories in the Connecticut River."
    Crossroads Academy: "Grant Writing: Supporting the building of a new middle school."
    Hartford Autism Regional Program (HARP): "Grant Writing: Acess to digital technologies supporting the learning of students on the Autism spectrum."
    Montshire Museum: "Grant Writing: Cultivating new support for the Montshire STEM alliance."
    Senior Solutions: "Grant Writing: Support for Senior Solutions' Friendly Visitor program."
    Twin Pines Housing Trust: "Grant Writing: Building playgrounds for children at several Twin Pines housing project sites."
    Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup (UVAW): "Grant Writing: Initiatives related to Lyme Disease prevention and education on its link to climate change."
    Upper Valley Trails Alliance: "Grant Writing: Financing trail building and maintenance efforts." 
    Vital Communities: "Grant Writing: Pitching place-based education to expand the reach of Valley Quest throughout the Upper Valley."
  • PSYC 45: Behavioral Neuroscience
  • SART 17.08: Digital Drawing
    Good Beginnings-Upper Valley: "Designing an updated logo for Good Beginnings of the Upper Valley."
    Hartford Autism Regional Program (HARP): Designing a mission-aligned logo for HARP."
  • SOCY 10: Quantitative Analysis of Social Data
    Willing Hands: "Analyzing food survey data to better understand the service population and impact of Willing Hands."
  • SOCY 11: Research Methods
    LISTEN: "Measuring the connection between shame/pride and poverty; recommendations on reducing the stigma associated with using local services."
    Twin Pines Housing Trust: "Designing a longitudinal survery to assess the connection between healthcare costs (financial and otherwise) and housing/being housed."
    Upper Valley Trails Alliance: "Designing a methodology to assess the student learning impact of engaging with the Upper Valey Trails Alliance."
    Dartmouth College Student Wellness Center: "Creating a campus culture supportive of talking openly about mental health." 

(Tentative) 2019 Winter Term

  • EDUC 56: STEM and Education 
  • ENGS 171: Industrial Ecology
  • ENVS 7: Ecopsychology
  • FILM 47.01: Found Footage
  • PSYCH 54.05: Consumer Neuroscience
  • PSYCH 54.06: Living with Dementia
  • SOCY 10: Intro to Statistics
  • SPEE 20: Public Speaking

(Tentative) 2019 Spring Term 

  • ANTH: Artivisim in the Americas
  • 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.


The list below highlights some of the community organizations that have partnered with the Dartmouth Center for Social Impact on this initiative:

  • Aging Resource Center (DHMC)
  • ALL Together (DHMC)
  • Aloha Foundation
  • Child and Family Services
  • Connecticut River Conservancy
  • Crossroads Academy
  • David’s House
  • Dismas House of Vermont
  • Four Winds Nature Institute
  • Good Beginnings of the Upper Valley (GBUV)
  • Good Neighbor Health Clinic
  • Grass Roots Soccer
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Hartford Autism Regional Program (HARP)
  • Hartford Police Department
  • Hartford School District
  • Inspiring Kids
  • Kendal at Hanover
  • Lebanon School District
  • Marsh-Billings Rockefeller National Historic Park
  • National Center on Special Education in Charter Schools
  • National Park Service
  • Norris Cotton Cancer Center
  • Potter’s House
  • Public Health Council of the Upper Valley (PHC)
  • Second Wind Foundation
  • Senior Solutions
  • The Family Place
  • TLC Family Resource Center
  • Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup (UVAW)
  • Upper Valley Educator’s Institute (UVEI)
  • Upper Valley Land Trust (UVLT)
  • Upper Valley Trails Alliance (UVTA)
  • Valley Court Diversion Programs (VCDP)
  • Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences (VINS)
  • Vital Communities
  • White River Partnership
  • Willing Hands
  • WISE
  • Women’s Health Resource Center (DHMC)

outlines the faculty, courses, and community partners who were involved in the Social Impact Practicum initiative last year.