Teaching and Student-Centered Work


Many community-engaged projects have teaching and student-centered work at their core. This may look like service-learning or field school. It may also take the form of working with youth or training teachers. And, sometimes, it looks like an interdisciplinary plan of study or incubator space that makes room for student-led creative experiment.

Ohio State students

  • Barnett Center for Integrated Arts and Enterprise Field Schools: Formerly known as Think Tanks, Barnett Center field schools are an interdisciplinary group of graduate students, faculty and/or staff who work collaboratively on case studies to solve critical artist-defined issues and to identify and develop new models for organizational management structures.
  • Center for Folklore Studies Field Schools: The Ohio Field Schools, led by Cassie Patterson (staff, assistant director of the Center for Folklore Studies) and Katherine Borland (Department of Comparative Studies and director of the Center for Folklore Studies), are offered as COMPSTUD 5189S to take students into communities throughout Ohio to document the ways that diverse communities express and preserve a sense of place in the face of economic, environmental, and cultural change.
  • Center for Humanities in Practice: CHIP promotes career diversity among graduate students at Ohio State University by enabling graduate students to put their skills and interests to work inside and outside the academy, mobilizing university resources to support professional and career development among graduate students, and connecting graduate students with opportunities in the central Ohio community and beyond.
  • Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in the Fine Arts: The GISFA, founded and directed by Professor Michelle Herman (Department of English), is a 12-credit interdisciplinary graduate specialization focused on bringing artists from all disciplines at Ohio State together to build collaborations, reflect on their practices and develop new skill sets.
  • InterACT Theatre Project for Social Change: InterACT is co-sponsored by the Department of Theatre and the University Center for the Advancement of Teaching (recently folded into the University Institute for Teaching and Learning). Developed by Professor Robin Post and now led by Elizabeth Wellman (lecturer, Department of Theatre), InterACT uses the techniques of theatre to help university community members talk about difficult and complex issues in a safe and controlled environment. It accomplishes this work through an undergraduate service-learning course — Theatre 3921S — that creates work with a campus partner in each semester. 
  • Lab Series: The Lab Series is a student-driven, department-nurtured production research laboratory. Produced by Jennifer Schlueter (Department of Theatre), it provides a venue for students to generate new performance works, some of which have held a community-engagement element within them.
  • Lord Denney’s Players: LDP (artistic director, Sarah Neville, Department of English) is housed in the Department of English and was founded in 2014 to demonstrate the value and vitality of student-driven academic theatre.

K-12 teacher training and support

  • Center for Slavic and Eastern European Studies Educator Outreach: CSEES is part of the Department of Slavic and Eastern European Studies. Its Educator Outreach program aims to work with K-12 schools, community colleges and other educational institutions to promote the knowledge and understanding of Eastern Europe and Eurasia throughout the state of Ohio and the Midwest. CSEES does this by offering lectures and presentations, loaning classroom materials, developing lesson plans and curriculum guides, organizing teacher training workshops and providing funding for professional development opportunities. CSEES divides its focus between K-12 initiatives and higher-education initiatives.
  • History Teaching Institute: Founded by Saul Cornell (Department of History) and John Tully (Department of History) with a BETHA grant and sponsorship from the Goldberg Center for Excellence in Teaching, HTI serves as the primary outreach unit of The Ohio State University Department of History. HTI works with teachers to develop curriculum and to incorporate the best practices of using technology in the classroom, all in an effort to improve both teaching and learning at Ohio State and in schools around the state. Its website provides a series of lesson plans and tutorials for P-16 teachers. In the past, HTI supported summer institutes.
    • eHistory offers a vast collection of primary sources, documentary material, video projects and more. It offers a window into the past for students and scholars of history.
  • School of Music Community Education Programs: Focused on teachers, middle, and high school students, the Community Education Programs from the School of Music aim to share Ohio State expertise. Programs include but are not limited to:
    • Ohio State String Teacher Workshop: Directed by Robert Gillespie (School of Music), the Ohio State String Teacher Workshop offers continuing education to middle and high school teachers.
  • Summer Seminars Abroad for Spanish Teachers: The Center for Latin American Studies and the Department of Spanish and Portuguese support multi-week summer workshops that allow teachers to obtain “an opportunity to analyze and practice the Spanish language in a natural linguistic and cultural context, and to receive graduate university credit for that experience.”

K-12 student interactions

  • Digital Animation: A Technology Mentoring Program for Young Women: This summer program is led by Professor Maria Palazzi (Department of Design) and supports seventh- and eighth-grade students.
  • Philosophy and Critical Thinking Summer Camp: PACT enrolls high school students from across Ohio in two sessions in order to introduce students to philosophy through learning experiences that are rigorous, engaging and fun including a poster project, two formal debates, a trip to the Cartoon Library, a movie screening, a scavenger hunt and guest lectures by several Ohio State philosophers.
  • School Tours
    • Department of Dance: The Department of Dance supports an annual dance tour group which tours to local schools.
    • Department of Theatre: The Department of Theatre supports a Theatre for Young Audiences production each year which tours to local schools. 
  • Young Writer’s Workshop: YWW is a week-long summer program for high school students in Columbus City Schools, charter schools in the City of Columbus, South-Western City Schools and Reynoldsburg City Schools. The Executive Director of YWW is Professor Michelle Herman, Department of English. Each year, the Ohio State creative writing faculty choose 30 students from the application pool to come live on campus and study writing with writers from around the country, including current students in and alumni of the Department of English's MFA Program in Creative Writing. Students are selected based on the promise of their writing — YWW doesn't ask for grades or letters of recommendation, just a statement of intent and writing samples. The program is entirely funded by a generous donor, and all participating students receive full scholarships. 
  • Youth Summer Music Programs: Directed by Scott A. Jones (School of Music), the Youth Summer Music Programs from the School of Music support both day and resident camps for students from the state and region. The program has been operational for 30+ years.


  • Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Community Outreach: WGSS notes that feminist studies often focus on the lived realities of marginalized, oppressed and exploited people. WGSS scholarship cannot be disconnected from the activist and social justice work being done in our communities and the connections between grassroots work and feminist thought are reciprocal and vital. The knowledge WGSS scholars create and theorize in our classrooms is rooted in the experiences of our students and faculty, and the communities they come from. WGSS scholars will be happy to come and speak to your group about topics you're interested. They can work with you to match your interest and/or group objectives with one of their experts to host an enriching conversation on a variety of topics.