Carnegie Mellon University

Community Service

Carnegie Mellon has been named numerous times to the President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll for supporting exemplary community service programs and raising the visibility of best practices in campus partnerships with the community. The award honors the significant role that higher institutions, their students, staff, and faculty play in helping to solve pressing social problems in the nation's communities.

The English Department offers the following courses that have a community service component: 

Advanced Poetry Workshop with Jim Daniels (76-465)

In addition to reading, writing, and analyzing poetry, this spring semester workshop includes a collaborative mentoring project with literary arts students at the Pittsburgh High School for the Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA). Class members create a series of writing assignments for the CAPA students and meet with them to discuss their work. At the end of the semester, the class publishes Boundary Street, a collection of poems written by workshop members and their CAPA mentees.

Literacy: Educational Theory and Community Practice (76-378)

After exploring competing theories about literacy, students in this course turn ideas into action with a hands-on, community literacy project. Professor Linda Flower and her students meet on campus for eight weeks with teenagers from Pittsburgh's inner city neighborhoods. They earn the opportunity to come to Carnegie Mellon as part of Start On Success (SOS), an innovative internship that helps urban teenagers with hidden learning disabilities negotiate the new demands of work or college. The teens are mentored through Decision Makers (a Carnegie Mellon computer-supported learning project that uses writing as a tool for reflective decision making). As the SOS Scholars create personal Decision Maker's Journey Books and learn new strategies for writing, planning, and decision making, students see literacy in action and develop their own skills in intercultural collaboration and inquiry.

In addition, the following courses typically do projects for non-profits in the region:
  • Online Information Design (76-887)
  • Document Design (76-791)
  • Public Relations & Marketing for Writers (76-479/779)
  • Leadership, Dialogue, and Change (76-355/755)