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.

Most Recent Social Impact Practicums Brochure

Current Courses with a SIP Component

2019 Winter Term


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


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


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.


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

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


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

(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 engineering course.