The Penn State Center Philadelphia engages Penn State faculty/staff and students to explore the complexities of urban experience in support of community-based learning, knowledge exchange, and mobilization.

Our faculty development programs are building a community of Penn State faculty who are working with innovative, place-based approaches to research, teaching, and learning through collaboration with community leaders. Urban engagement opportunities available to students can take on a number of forms, including research, professional experiences, travel, community-based learning, creative accomplishments, courses with an out-of-classroom component, organizational experiences, and self-directed learning.

The Center supports several communities of practice that arise through the work of assisting faculty, students, and community members in implementing practical changemaking skills in the Philadelphia landscape. The Center is also an active member of Penn State’s Consortium for Social Movements and Education and regularly participates in an interactive speaker series with social science and humanities faculty.

In addition to providing a venue for sharing research, the Center invites participating faculty to deliver educational sessions on topics of interest to Philadelphia-based audiences and to partner to create new research and learning initiatives.

Seeding Change Grant Program

The Seeding Change program encourages Penn State faculty from any college or campus, regardless of their level of experience in urban, community-based research, to apply for a seed grant for Philadelphia-based research or student engagement projects, in partnership with the Penn State Center Philadelphia.

Learn more about the Seeding Change Grant Program

Consultation and Professional Development

Formal and informal opportunities for consultation and professional development are available to support faculty in building relationships, gaining meaningful exposure to Philadelphia issues, and advancing a variety of relevant skills. Structured sessions and experiences allow faculty to: reflect on their teaching and research practices; identify problems, successes, and opportunities for cultivating open mindsets and transforming student perspectives; gain insights into the experiences of diverse urban populations and incorporate these into their pedagogical and research practices; and design new initiatives that expose students to the values and practices embedded in critical methods of research.