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Educational Outreach

The University of North Florida has developed a wide range of programs designed to integrate and connect the university’s academic mission with community needs and issues. These are:

Jacksonville Commitment Initiative
As a way to increase community access to and diversity in higher education in the Northeast Florida region, the presidents of Edward Waters College, Florida Community College at Jacksonville, Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida have agreed to offer scholarships to Duval County students who are eligible for the federal Free and Reduced Lunch Program and who meet the academic standards to attend their institutions.

Professional Development Schools
UNF's program prepares new teachers by moving their courses to an inner-city school in Jacksonville. It places professors at four Duval County schools, where they teach UNF students on site and help with their one-on-one teaching with children.

Transformational Learning Opportunities
The TLO program provides resources for faculty to develop and students to participate in experiential learning projects. Many of these projects have had a community engagement emphasis, both local and beyond.


A transformational learning opportunity is a learning opportunity inside or outside the classroom that potentially enriches or augments student learning and personal development. Transformational learning opportunities (TLOs) may take a myriad of forms: they may be semester-long internships or practicums, or they could be service learning or civic engagement projects. They may be study abroad experiences or faculty supervised research activities. They might even include participation in a learning community where students and faculty embrace active learning strategies. Some examples of faculty-led community and civic engagement TLOs include:

  • Service Learning in West Africa. Accra, Kumasi, Tamale, Wales, Elmina, Ghana Honors Program students participate in The Ghana Project, which is based on an interdisciplinary team-taught course where students learn about West Africa and the developing world on campus for a semester and then participate a 25-day study trip to Ghana. The heart of the trip is a week-long service project where teams of students led by faculty mentors work with local people on community projects.

  • Service Learning/Research Fellowships Students will spend a portion of their time engaged in service-learning activities. These activities will involve the students applying knowledge and skills developed in regular classes to the needs of the greater University and Jacksonville community. This could involve something like cataloging and organizing artifacts excavated from local archaeological sites. Fellowship students will also complete a student-designed research project with mentorship of a faculty member.

  • Senior Capstone Events
    The Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice will organize a Senior Capstone Seminar Event to which key policy makers and agency heads (i.e. the state attorney general, local sheriffs, prosecutors and elected officials, sitting judges) will be invited to participate with graduating seniors in devising an on-campus public colloquium on a policy issue of their design.

  • Medical Signal Classification in Collaboration with Mayo Clinic for Undergraduate Research
    At the request of the Liver Transplant Center at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, our electrical engineering students are working to help record the Electrocardiogram (ECG) and Arterial Blood Pressure (ABP) monitoring signals. A wide range of patient samples are being collected for the research and analysis of the medical signals in this project.

  • Disability: Rights, Realities, and Representation
    This TLO is open to all undergraduate majors but especially those in Health, Education (Spec. Ed), Political Science, Public Administration, English, History, and Philosophy. This community-based TLO will combine study of disability rights and cultural portrayal of the disabled with volunteer work each week for at least two hours at the Mt. Herman School for Exceptional Students, a school for children with disabilities (located near Shands Hospital in downtown Jacksonville). 

  • An Immersive Field Experience in Miami's Hispanic and Haitian Communities: A Cultural Transformational Journey
    Provides students with the opportunity to experience the multicultural educational and community settings of Miami, Florida. Students examine multiple facets of multiculturalism namely ethnicity, class, religion and language of Hispanic and Haitian communities and engage in dialogue with faculty and administrators who teach in diverse urban schools. TLO students will participate in panel discussions with academically successful students from various ethnic backgrounds. They will also be immersed in the cultural communities of the schools through neighborhood tours and seminars with school-community liaisons, visits to ethnic restaurants, local museums, churches, and other community events.

Summer 2010 Academic Affairs
Development Grants – Community-based Focus

UNF’s Faculty Development Grants are designed to provide summer support for faculty research and course design projects. This year faculty have been encouraged to submit faculty development grant proposals that advance the theme of community engagement and that are consistent with the university’s Quality Enhancement Plan for “Community-Based Transformational Learning”. These include:

Scholarship Grants:

  • Suzanne Simon: Transparency Claims and Opaque Experiences: An Ethnographic Exploration of Community Based Resistance to Wind Park Construction in Oaxaca, Mexico  
  • Chris Leone: Why is Child Abuse Underreported in Communities? The Role of Stereotyping, Neurobiological Resources & Personality differences in Perceptions of a Child
  • Erin Jiang: Life Cycle Analysis of Solar Photovoltaic for Northeast Florida Residential Homes

Teaching Grants:

  • Chris Brown: Development of a Hybrid Learning Graduate Course and Filedtrip Podcasts in Groundwater Hydrology
  • Charless Clossman: Voices from the Stream: An Environmental History of the St. John's River
  • Chris Baynard: Alternative Energey
  • Adel Elsafty: Teaching structural failures 
  • Cliff Ross: Implementation of a Marine Botany Lab Course
  • Keith Cartwright: ReadingJAX
  • Kareem Jordan: Diversity/Multiculturism in the Criminal Justice System

Continuing Education
Continuing Education provides a wide range of courses and certificate programs designed to offer convenience, flexibility and exceptional value.

Florida Institute of Education
Florida Institute of Education continues its commitment to improving public education by engaging in systems thinking, collaborative problem-solving, research-focused evaluation, instructional and leadership development, and practice-focused research and development. FIE serves as a catalyst for improving the quality of education for all Florida children by translating research into practical curricular and instructional tools, validating effectiveness and resolving conflicting findings, transferring evidence-based and effective tools and strategies into widespread use, answering outcome questions, and informing policymaking and ongoing knowledge-building.

Community Nursing Flagship Program
Community Nursing Flagship Program is a community-based, population-focused curriculum. In 2002, the nursing program refined its curriculum to correspond to changes in health care delivery trends. Understanding community environments, as well as how individuals and families with health challenges reintegrate into their home communities, is important for today’s health care providers.

Coastal Biology Flagship Program
Coastal Biology Flagship Program has direct value to the city and the region by offering a series of seminars on coastal biology issues and projects.