students giving poster presentation

Student and Faculty Resources

What are Students Saying?

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Students

The Sage Project connects classes at San Diego State University with high-priority, high-need community projects. By enrolling in courses that participate in the Sage Project, you can get real-world experience outside of the classroom and provide meaningful service to the community, all while completing the units you need to get your degree.
  • No additional volunteer work: You get experience for working on real-world community-based projects that are already integrated into your class.
  • We connect with courses from a wide range of disciplines, including city planning, civil engineering, geography, graphic design, homeland security, marketing, public administration, public health, and many more!
  • By working closely with community partners, you can make professional contacts that can lead to professional opportunities, internships, and full-time jobs.
  • Build your resume: Develop skills that are directly translatable to the workforce and look great on your resume.
  • Talk to your professors about collaborating with the Sage project;
  • Contact us to find out how you can volunteer, do independent study, or apply for an internship!


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for Faculty

The Sage Project focuses several courses per term for one or more academic years from disciplines across the University on projects that assist our communityn partner with addressing their quality of life and sustainability goals. By connecting a group of courses enrolling hundreds of students with high-priority, high-need community projects, the Sage Project provides students with experience working on real-world projects that create momentum and provide real service to the community.

This program is for any faculty member who:

  • teaches an undergraduate or graduate course with an applied learning, service learning, or project-based component
  • would like to incorporate a real-world project from our community partner into their class
  • would like to assist a community by incorporating and analyzing community data, and/or creating designs and solutions for the community

Impact—on our community and students—is the reason the Sage is such a success. By focusing your existing course on a community-identified project, you link your students to a larger effort with a visible impact in our partner community.

We recognize that many faculty are already engaged in community-based projects that promote student success. The Sage Project seeks not to replace but rather enhance these activities by connecting individual courses to a community-wide initiative and creating a critical mass of impact and interest that will have a dramatic impact in the community.

Little or no additional time is required to participate. You do not need to have a lot of free time to incorporate the project into your course. In fact, we will do much of the setup work for you. We recognize that faculty have many demands on their time and our goal is to minimize or eliminate this barrier by connecting with existing courses and providing support before, during and after your course. While there may be a small upfront time investment to plan your class, the Sage Project provides support that will save most faculty time and effort over the term.

The Sage Project benefits faculty by matching courses with engaging real-world projects from our community partner and providing the support, information, and infrastructure to make the project a drop-in for existing courses.

  • Staff support. We provide assistance for your service or applied learning activity.
  • Funds. Faculty may apply for up to $1000 to support course activities. Funds can be used for materials and resources, field trips, guest speakers, or other approved uses.
  • Publicity. The Sage Project works with campus and local media to share your course successes and ensure you receive recognition for the good work you and your students are doing in the community.
  • Interesting, meaningful work for students. Which is more likely to engage your students—the same hypothetical data set for your Statistics course OR data from a local community that could be used to develop solutions to real-world problems?

The benefits for students include:

  • Enhanced learning experience from engaging with a real-world project
  • Skills and experience that they can list on resumes
  • A personal connection with a local community through course-based service
The Sage Project staff will assist faculty members in identifying a project, connecting with community partners, gathering information or data sets, accessing city resources, setting up learning activities—all the components to make your course involvement successful. 
  • Sage Project staff will facilitate contacts with city and community partners. We work with you and partner staff to develop the initial concept into a project that is appropriate for your course and learning outcomes. We will assist with data and information gathering and ensure that you have what you need for your project before the semester begins.
  • In addition, Sage Project staff will communicate with partner staff throughout the project to maintain collaborative relationship and provide technical assistance. We will communicate project successes to campus and local media, and present project findings to the community and stakeholders as needed.
  • Finally, in certain cases, Sage Project staff will work with a paid student from your course to develop a report which serves as the final deliverable to you and the city. This occurs following completion of the semester in which your class participates.

As a faculty participant we ask that you:

  • Maintain open lines of communication with Sage staff.
  • Incorporate at least one activity that focuses on a community-identified project where students present their work on the project to partner staff.
  • Assist the Sage Project with identifying a high achieving student with whom they can contract and coordinate to create the summary report.
  • Facilitate the transfer of materials to the report writer.
  • Review a draft of the report during the term following the project and provide feedback on the draft. The Sage Project and the student writer are ultimately responsible for generating the final report.
The final deliverable to the community partner for each project will be a summary report of the best designs, solutions, and products generated by your class. At the end of the semester, Sage Project staff will contract with a student in the course to write the report, outside of class, which is typically in the months following the class participation. Reports will be posted on the Sage Project website and faculty will receive a digital copy.
No, your expertise can help our partner meet their sustainability goals whether or not you have a background in sustainability or explicit course focus on sustainability. For instance, a course project that provides recommendations that could lead to financial savings, staff efficiencies, or increase citizen access to community services all support the Sage Project goal of contributing to quality of life and the sustainability of our partner communities.
While the Sage Project focuses on simply directing activities that are a part of existing courses to a community, faculty are welcome to develop and offer a new course to connect with the program.
  1. Let us know you are interested! Contact the Sage Project at [email protected] to find out more or to share your ideas.
  2. Check out the list of projects identified by our community partner to connect with your course.
  3. Meet with Sage Project staff to link with community partners and develop your course project.

Want to learn more?

Contact us at [email protected].