Social Impact Practicums (SIPs)

What is a Social Impact Practicum (SIP)?

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

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

Current courses integrating a Social Impact Practicum are listed below but for detailed information about the specific projects and community partners associated with each SIP course, past and present, please explore the link below:

Social Impact Practicum classes for 2018-2019

Current Courses with a SIP Component

20W (January 6-March 6)

  • COMP 76: The Environmental Imagination (Damiano Benvegnu)
    • Upper Valley Land Trust (UVLT): Documenting the synergistic relationship between land conservation and the storytelling that cinematography especially can provide
  • COSC 29.04: Impact Design (Lorie Loeb & Thalia Wheatley)
    • Hartford Autism Regional Program (HARP): Creating personalized experiences of delight for students at HARP
  • EDUC 46: STEM and Education (Dave Kraemer)
    • AVA Art Gallery: Developing professional development curriculum merging experiential and arts -based ways for students to engage with STEAM concepts
  • ENGL 54.05: Animal Studies: Theory, Literature, Politics (Christie Harner)
    • Upper Valley Humane Society (UVHS): Using research and literature to legitimize the funding of animal welfare as a form of broader social work
  • ENGS 15.02: Senior Design Challenge, part 1 (Eugene Korsunskiy)
    • TBD
  • ENGS 90: Engineering Design Methodology:  Project Completion (Solomon Diamond & Douglas Van Citters)
    • Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) & Special Needs Support Center (SNSC): Designing a sensory (deprivation/modulation) pod to de-escalate young people and children with special needs at the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD)
  • ENVS 80.03: Regenerative Design of the Built Environment  (Karol Kawiaka)
    • Hulbert Outdoor Center (within the Aloha Foundation): Conducting a waste audit to improve sustainability in the areas of waste use/reuse and energy/water conservation more broadly
  • PSYC 54.06: Aging and Life Stories (Bob Santulli)
    • Hanover Senior Center; Hanover Senior Housing; Hanover Terrace; The Kendal at Hanover: Collecting life histories and recording memories with patients who have dementia or Alzheimer's
  • SART 66: Architecture I  (Karol Kawiaka)
    • Crossroads Academy: Designing innovative shelving and furniture for a new outdoor classroom
    • LISTEN Community Services: Re-designing LISTEN's food pantry
  • SPEE 26: How New Media Shape Our Lives: Rhetoric, Theory, and Praxis (Yana Grushina)
    • Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD): A social media analysis of CHaD's current strategies, with targeted suggestions for how to better communicate their impact with different stakeholders
    • Maynard House: Exploring the successful social media practices of peer organizations and how Maynard House can incline in that direction in support of their broader community outreach strategy
  • Social Impact Nonprofit Consulting/SINC (Dartmouth Student Group)
    • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center-Arts: Designing innovative ways DHMC can incorporate the arts into their diversity and inclusion initiatives for patients and families representing the full spectrum of identities
    • Upper Valley Habitat for Humanity: Consulting on the structure and proposal of Employer-Assisted Housing (EAH) and how that might be implemented in the Upper Valle
    • Upper Valley Adaptation Workgroup (UVAW): Conducting a regional assessment of key local stakeholders (including staff) in the field of climate change and resiliency work in the Upper Valley

20S (March 30-June3)

  • ANTH 65: Conservation and Development (Ken Bauer)
    • Town of Lyme: Coordinating multi-stakeholder conversations about Holt's Ledge and the many entities who differently benefit from the property
  • EDUC 19: Educational Testing  (Dave Kraemer)
    • Crossroads Academy: Assessing the quantitative praxis between the theory and application of learning
    • The Aloha Foundation: Evaluating the connection between soft skills and more traditional measures of academic performance
  • EDUC 20: Educational Issues in Contemporary Society (Charlie Wheelan)
    • Hanover High School; Lebanon High School; Mascoma Valley High School: Comparing and contrasting educational practices and retention across three school districts: Canaan, Hanover, and Lebanon
  • ENGS 15.02: Senior Design Challenge, Part 2 (Eugene Korsunskiy)
    • TBD
  • ENGS 44: Sustainable Design  (Karol Kawiaka)
    • Upper Valley Habitat for Humanity: A life-cycle analysis of Habitat's housing materials to minimize the costs to homeowners while maximizing house longevity AND Consulting on cost-efficient home designs that maximize accessibility for homeowners as they age
  • ENVS 50: Environmental Problem Analysis and Policy Formulation(Michael Cox)
    • TBD
  • ENVS 80.08: The Practice of Science Policy and Diplomacy (Melody Brown Burkins)
    • Four Winds Nature Institute (FWNI): A policy brief or presentation exploring how to advance educational policy aligned with child development and the benefits from playing in nature
    • Preservation Education Institute for Historic Windsor Inc. (PEIHWI): Educating policy officials  about the disproportionate impact that climate change has on historic buildings and communities
    • Vermont Institute of Natural Sciences (VINS): Communicating and impacting policy about global climate change in a way that educates and empowers rather than discourages or polarizes
  • GEOG 50: Intro. to Geographic Information Systems (GIS)    (David Parr)
    • TBD
  • PSYC 54.05: Consumer Neuroscience (Rose Clark)
    • COVER Home Repair: Website update to accurately reflect the breadth of COVER including their weatherization program and home support
    • Maynard House: A website revision demonstrating the scope of Maynard House's impact, for/with whom, and how others can get involved
    • Twin Pines Housing Trust: An infographic brochure sharing the impact of Twin Pines over the past thirty years providing homes and supportive services for low - and moderate -income households throughout the Upper Valley
  • PSYC 81.09: Storytelling with Data  (Jeremy Manning)
    • The Aloha Foundation: Identifying donor data trends to understand more about those who choose to support nature-based education and how the Aloha Foundation might evolve programming or outreach accordingly
  • SPEE 20: Public Speaking (Yana Grushina)
    • Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD): Targeted writing to share the impact of CHaD, both on-campus with Dartmouth students and throughout the state
    • Upper Valley Habitat for Humanity: Developing public- facing narrative informing the community about Upper Valley Habitat for Humanity.

19F (September 16-November 19)

  • ENGL 52.16: God, Darwin, and the Literary Imagination (Christie Harner)
    • Fairbanks Museum: Creating an interactive museum exhibit entitled "Deus Ex Homine," exploring evolutionary and religious narratives as constructions of mankind
  • ENGS 89: Engineering Design Methodology: Project Initiation (Solomon Diamond & Douglas Van Citters)
    • Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD) & Special Needs Support Center (SNSC): Designing a sensory (deprivation/modulation) pod to de-escalate young people and children with special needs at the Children's Hospital at Dartmouth (CHaD)
  • ENGS 174: Energy Conversion (Mark Laser)
    • City of Lebanon (Public Works): A feasibility study assessing the use of vegetable oils as a carbon neutral energy source for fuel and heating
    • Connecticut River Conservancy (CRC): An energy conversion feasibility analysis of battery storage for three distinct hydroelectric plants
  • PBPL 45: Introduction to Public Policy Research (Ron Shaiko)
    • **Grant-writing For**: City of Lebanon; Good Neighbor Health Clinics (GNHCs); Headrest; Maynard House; Preservation Education Institute for Historic Windsor Inc. (PEIHWI); Restore Hope-Liberia; Special Needs Support Center (SNSC); Twin Pines Housing Trust; Upper Valley Community Nursing Project; Upper Valley Habitat for Humanity; We The People Theatre
  • PSYCH 53.10: Social & Affective Motivations in Decision-Making (Luke Chang)
    • AVA Art Gallery: Proposing creative solutions to how the AVA art gallery can support the new (younger, more digital) creative economy of the Upper Valley
    • City of Lebanon (Solid Waste and Recycling): Exploring how best to educate the public about proper waste removal, what is/is not recyclable, and what happens when items are mis-allocated
    • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC)-Arts: Analyzing why attendance has been low at DHMC's quarterly art shows (and what could be done differently to engage more people)
  • PSYCH 80.04: Neuroscience of Obesity  (Ann Clark)
    • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC)-Community Health Department: Researching evidence-based practices in curriculum and pedagogy for school-aged youth regarding obesity and its related health consequences
  • SART 17: Digital Design (Karol Kawiaka)
    • Senior Solutions: Designing a new logo moving away from the term "Senior" as a way to identify aging older Vermonters
  • SART 66/69: Architecture II/III (Karol Kawiaka)
    • Norwich Public Library: Re-envisioning the NPL's children's section to enhance movement "flow", organization, and educational programming
    • Upper Valley Humane Society (UVHS): Architectural designs for a new UVHS clinical and educational "campus"
  • SOCY 10: Quantitative Analysis of Social Data (Jason Houle)
    • Upper Valley Community Nursing Project (UVCNP): Analyzing health outcome data to explore whether and to what extent there are significant differences in health across the region
  • SOCY 11: Research Methods (Kimberly Rogers)
    • Headrest: Designing a methodological tool to measure the success/sustained recovery from clients once they leave the Low-Intensity Residential Treatment facility
    • National Center for Special Education in Charter Schools (NCSECS): Identifying a methodological process to determine the traits (qualitative and quantitative) associated with the most effective school leaders
    • Norris Cotton Cancer Center (NCCC): Creating a methodological process to assess the barriers and facilitators for rural cancer survivors' transition out of active cancer treatment back to their primary care providers (PCPs)
    • The Upper Valley Haven: Assessing the Haven's longitudinal impact on generational poverty and exploring the ideal "dose"/length of engagement
    • WISE: Redesigning the survey for the Court Observers program so WISE can better assess how to support survivors during and after they appear in court
  • SOCY 35: Sociology of Mental Health  (Jason Houle)
    • Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center (DHMC)-Arts: Connecting with the 99 Faces exhibit and creating a response piece about the current and evolving stigma associated with mental illness
  • SOCY 65: The Social Psychology of Inequality (Kimberly Rogers)
    • The Upper Valley Haven: Assessing the Haven's longitudinal impact on generational poverty and exploring the ideal "dose"/length of engagement
    • WISE: Redesigning the survey for the Court Observers program so WISE can better assess how to support survivors during and after they appear in court 
  • Other Dartmouth groups addressing Social Impact Practicum/SIP projects:
    • Foundations in Social Impact (First-Year Leadership Program through DCSI)
    • Primary Care Progress (Health Research Consulting Student Group)
    • Social Impact Nonprofit Consulting (Dartmouth Student Group)
    • TUCK: Tuck Community Consulting (TCC)​​​​​​​

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 engineering course.