Loyola University Maryland

York Road Initiative


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Interested in incorporating York Road engagement into your course?

Options for Class-Based Engagement    
Context Based Course Example      
What is Service Learning?      
Is Service Learning Right for Me?  
Service Learning Course Example  
Deliverable Versus Service  
Civic Engagement Spectrum  
Potential Projects  
Articles and Resources  
MOUs and Community Partnership Agreements  

Options for Class-Based Engagement

Context-Based - Use the York Road Community as a lens through which to focus an academic pursuit.

Service Learning - Utilize mutually beneficial partnerships and relationships with the York Road Community to enhance student learning and provide community members opportunities to be co-educators of your students. Students can produce a deliverable (ex: marketing plan) or can perform course-related service (ex: tutoring).

Context Based Course Example

Business Course
  • The professor used the York Road corridor and its commercial strengths and opportunities as context for his course on social entrepreneurship.
  • Students developed profitable business models that met a market need on the York Road commercial corridor. 
Best practices:
  • Ensure students understand big picture of the community, its history, demographics, and how market analysis plays a role.
  • Great to engage knowledgeable community business owners and partners to speak directly to students from their experience, but make sure their time is valued and they understand what they can expect out of the students' work.
  • Great option (not mandated) for student learning, ensure engaged students participate.

What is Service Learning?

"At Loyola University Maryland, service-learning refers to experiential learning within academic courses that is gained through structured reflection on community-based service ... Essential components of service-learning include: learning and service which enhance on another, reciprocal partnership with the community, and meaningful, structured reflection."

Is Service Learning Right for Me?

Do you have a commitment to both community learning and student learning?

Do you have the time, desire and capacity to develop strong, mutual relationships with community members and/or community partners, often extending past one semester or academic year?

Do you believe in the benefits of reflection?

Service Learning Course Example

Course Example:

  • Writing Course


  • After meeting with the Richnor Springs Community Association, the professor developed a relationship with this York Road community. Over three semesters, his students have attended association meetings, participated in walking tours, and designed written materials, including flyers and a website that met community needs and increased association meeting attendance dramatically.

Best Practices:

  • Strong, ongoing partnership development with a local community group, led by the faculty member.
  • Clear need assessment and mutually beneficial projects.
  • Combination of on the ground learning with clear connections to the course syllabus.
  • Clearly defined expectations of the faculty member's role, the students' outputs and timeline, and the role and needs of the community partner, an MOU or other agreement is highly desirable.

Deliverable Versus Service

  • With a deliverable, the engagement is the time spent on the deliverable. With service, the engagement is direct service.
  • With both approaches, the engagement goes hand-in-hand with the course material.
  • Both approaches require an equally strong relationship between the community partner(s) and the faculty member and ample interaction between the community partner(s) and the students.

Civic Engagement Spectrum

The greater interaction between the community partner(s) and the students and the deeper the relationship between the faculty member and the community partner(s), the more useful the project will be to the community partner and the more the students will learn.

Potential Projects

Marketing Plans

  • To attract new businesses to the commercial corridor
  • To promote existing businesses and the commercial corridor as a whole
  • To promote housing, community amenities, neighborhoods, etc
  • To promote the community as a whole
  • To promote the local community associations and their events

Business Plans

  • For local businesses, a self-sustaining community recreation center, or a nonprofit organization


  • Content for community blog, local papers (both electronic and print), and The Greyhound
  • Social media campaigns


  • Urban Agriculture and Food Access
  • Financial Education
  • Community & Neighborhood Association Best Practices
  • Community Development/Asset Based Development Best Practices
  • Main Street/Commercial Revitalization Best Practices
  • Business and Organizational Management Workshops
  • Tax Increment Financing (TIF) uses and benefits

Articles and Resources

Click Here for a link to our Resources Page.

MOUs and Community Partnership Agreements

  • Loyola College in Maryland, Incorporated Acceptance of Risk for Community Service in a Service-Learning Course
  • Loyola University Community Partner Agreement
  • Loyola Student, Instructor & Community Partner Contract