The project team was fortunate to be chosen for a grant from the National Science Foundation “Improving Undergraduate STEM Education” program, for 5 years starting in Fall of 2019. The project has three parallel tracks:

  • Instruction focuses on the continued development and coordination of the classes.
  • Research focuses on understanding the impact to faculty, students, communities, and the university.
  • Integration focuses on fostering changes at UConn that will better enable efforts like the E-Corps.

Our goals are to:

  • create a more meaningful and relevant service learning experience for undergraduates in STEM fields.
  • provide meaningful STEM-related assistance for communities that helps to bridge the gap between municipal responsibilities and capacity.
  • encourage and empower faculty to develop innovative and interdisciplinary service learning courses through changes to the faculty training, support, incentive and reward systems.

Our research questions are:

  1. What is the nature of instructors’ use of High Leverage Instructional Practices and the impact on students’ service learning experience?
  2. What is the nature of instructors’ use of tools and how does this impact their use of the high leverage practices?
  3. How do policies, practices, and incentives (within the University and in the host communities) need to be aligned in order to foster and support the E-Corps model?  What factors contribute to successful coordination and realignment?

To answer these questions, data is collected and thematically analyzed from interviews with students, instructors, and administrative faculty supporting the program, observations of project team meetings, and collection of project artifacts such as meeting agendas, course syllabi, and instructional rubrics

Journal Articles

Barrett, J., and C. Arnold. 2024. University of Connecticut’s Climate Corps promotes undergraduate workforce development and climate adaptation. Oceanography 37(1):75,

Park, B-Y., Campbell-Montalvo, R., Campbell, T., Hannah, C., Sidorova, O., Arnold, C., Chrysochoou, M., & Diplock, P. (2023). Applied environmental teaching using caring pedagogy is essential in educational disruptions. Research Issues in Contemporary Education 8(1).

Park, B-Y., Campbell-Montalvo, R., Campbell, T., Hannah, C., Arnold, C., Volin, J., Chrysochoou, M., Diplock, P. (2022). The Development of High Leverage Practices in Environmental Sustainability-Focused Service Learning Courses: Applications for Higher Education. Environmental Education Research.

Campbell-Montalvo, R., Campbell, T., Park, B., Arnold, C., Volin, J., Chrysochoou, M., and Diplock, P. E-Corps’ implementation of environmental sustainability-focused service learning: conditions supporting the establishment of an epistemic community. (2021). Journal of STEM Outreach 4(1): 1-12.

Arnold, C., J. Barrett, T. Campbell, M. Chrysochoou, and N. Bompoti. (2021). The Environment Corps: combining classroom instruction, service learning, and extension outreach to create a new model of community engaged scholarship at the University of Connecticut. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement 25(2): 215-231.