LANDGRANT CENTER RESEARCH REPORTS
Center for Urban Agriculture and Gardening Education
Center for Sustainable Development
Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health
Research and Experiential Learning [Download PDF]
Architectural Research Institute
Center for 4-H and Youth Development
2013 Research [Download PDF]
CAUSES Academic Research and Experiential Learning
The Community is our Classroom
Formed in 2011, the College of Agriculture, Urban Sustainability and Environmental Sciences (CAUSES) embodies the landgrant mission of the University of the District of Columbia. Consistent with its landgrant mission, CAUSES offers academic programs in architecture, nutrition and dietetics, nursing, health education, Water Resources Management and Urban Sustainability; and research based community outreach, workforce development and capacity building programs that serve the DC metro region. Landgrant universities receive their programmatic focus through the farm bill. The 2014 farm bill focuses on food security, food and water safety, combatting childhood obesity, mitigating climate change, and alternative energy. The location of UDC in the nation’s capital gives CAUSES is unique urban landgrant mission with its commitment to Urban Sustainability, Urban Health, and Urban Agriculture.
To ensure the relevant of the landgrant mission to the District of Columbia, CAUSES created five landgrant centers that combine relevant research and community outreach/ education. The centers are well aligned with the District’s Sustainable Development and Pathways to the Middle Class goals. They are: (1) Center for Urban Agriculture, (2) Center for Sustainable Development which includes the Water Resources Research Institute, (3) Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health which includes the Institute of Gerontology, (4) Center for 4H & Youth Development, and (5) Architecture Research Institute.
The dual mission of academic and community based capacity building position CAUSES exceptionally well to meet the experiential learning objectives of UDC, whereby the five centers can serve as effective experiential learning centers for UDC students. The landgrant centers offer diverse services including nutrition education in schools, food safety certifications, green business development workshops, assistance with farmers markets and community gardens, and soil and water quality testing services. UDC students can gain marketable skills through hands-on training, interaction with residents and community organizations, collaborative student and faculty research, leadership development, and networking experiences.
CAUSES faculty and staff established the CAUSES mission and vision in the fall of 2012; in 2013 CAUSES faculty adopted college wide learning objectives for all CAUSES students regardless of their chosen major (see Appendix
The College wide Learning Goals state:
CAUSES graduates are exceptionally well prepared to succeed in their chosen field of study. Our graduates stand out by having distinctive attributes and competencies. CAUSES graduates are:
- Global citizens committed to local relevance
- Adept at solving urban problems
- Committed to health & wellness and food & water security
- Skilled at navigating diverse social, cultural, built and natural environments
- Independent thinkers and collaborative team players; and
- Adaptive lifelong learners
Also in 2013 CAUSES faculty and landgrant program specialists held a joint retreat that further refine the CAUSES learning objectives by developing an explicit learning-by-doing focus across the college (see Appendix 2). Several of the academic programs in CAUSES require clinical and/or professional training and internships to prepare students for success in their chosen field of practice, CAUSES seeks to embed the learning-by-doing model across the entire spectrum of academic programs and in courses that do not have clinical training relevance.
Experiential Learning Strategies
There are three key strategies through which Experiential Learning comes to life in CAUSES: (1) internships, (2) embedded service learning experiences, and (3) applied research.
CAUSES offers five undergraduate and three graduate academic programs. They are:
|Undergraduate Programs:||Graduate Programs:|
|Health Education||Nutrition and Dietetics|
|Nutrition and Dietetics||Nursing (RN to BSN)|
|Environmental Sciences (terminated, and in the teach-out phase)||Water Resource Management|
The college also contributes to the General Education Program of the University, and particularly to the Discovery Science and Frontier Capstone course offerings. These general education courses stress Urban Sustainability and Sustainability Literacy and are taught by both faculty and landgrant specialists.
Figure 1 summarizes the three experiential learning strategies and their contributions to the undergraduate and graduate programs in CAUSES. Each course or program ties specific learning outcomes to the experiential learning strategies offered. Course Syllabi and program Standards provide evidence of the specific learning outcomes objectives associated with the experiential learning components of the courses or program.
Figure 1: CAUSES embedded experiential learning model AY 2014 and 2015
RN to BS in Nursing
The RN to BSN program in nursing focuses on practicing nurses who have received a clinically focused baseline nursing education within an associate degree program, and who have obtained licensure as Registered Nurses. LEARN MORE
Nutrition and Dietetics
The program offers a comprehensive evidence-based curriculum that places students in a variety of practical experiences in the community. Learning objectives include cultural competence, problem solving, effectiveness and teamwork. LEARN MORE
Urban Architecture and Community Planning
In their third and fourth year architecture studio courses, students are required to work with actual clients on projects that can be located on or off campus. The purpose of these studios is to provide the architecture students with the skill needed to work in an architecture firm upon graduation. LEARN MORE
Students in Health Education are required to have a practicum experience before graduation. The practicum places students in off-campus learning experiences to observe, assist and participate in health programs under the jurisdiction of the District of Columbia Public Health Commission, and other sanctioned public health agencies. LEARN MORE
The interdisciplinary and practically oriented graduate program includes an internship in employer workplaces in the public, private and non-profit sector. The mission of the PSM degree program is to prepare graduates not only in the theoretical knowledge of hydrological science, but also in effective science communication, problem solving skills, entrepreneurship, and technical innovation in order to address the global challenges of food and water security, water management and urban sustainability. LEARN MORE
CAUSES Academic Programs
RN to BS in Nursing – Dr. Pier Broadnax, Program Director
Nutrition and Dietetics - Dr. Prema Ganganna, Program Director
Urban Architecture and Community Planning - Dr. Susan Kliman, Program Director
PSM in Water Resources Management - Dr. Tolessa Deksissa, Director
Health Education - John Slack, Program Director
CAUSES Land-grant Programs
Center for Urban Agriculture & Gardening Education – Che' Axum, Director
Center for Sustainable Development & Resilience – Dr. Dwane Jones, Director
Water Resources Research Institute – Dr. Tolessa Deksissa, Director
Center for Nutrition, Diet and Health - Dr. Lillie Monroe-Lord, Director
Institute of Gerontology - Claudia John, Director
Center for 4-H and Youth Development – Rebecca Bankhead, Director
Center for Architectural Innovation and Building Science (CAIBS) - Clarence Pearson, Director