Engage Upstate Boot Camp – Summer 2024

In Fall, our first Engage Green instructor cohort led 238 students to blend course content with contributing more than 700 hours serving with the Spartanburg Area Conservancy (see recap). We now invite our second cohort to join this fun and meaning-filled effort!

Engage Upstate, together with CAIFS and the Provost’s office, invites you to apply for a summer 3-day boot camp (Jul 30 – Aug 1) to prepare to include service in your GE course for Fall 2024 (See our student focused support page).

Our primary focus will be on environmental stewardship in General Education, but we welcome faculty interested in bringing other types of service to their classrooms in at any level and in any discipline.

Anticipated Boot Camp Dates: July 30 – Aug 1
(alternative dates may be considered, please email Dave your requests)

Apply by April 15, 2024 for priority consideration.
  • Boot Camp Purpose
    Prepare interested instructors to incorporate 4 hours of service into an officially designated Service Engagement course they will teach in 2024-2025.
    • Our focus will be a unified program across multiple disciplines with general theme of ecological goodness and conservation with Spartanburg Area Conservancy (SPACE).
    • Support will be provided for instructors who choose individualized projects.
  • Service Logistics
    If you partner with SPACE, we manage all the service logistics for you.
    • Community Partner with authentic need
    • Mini-training at the start of each service session: Why & how of our service.
    • Sign-up & sign-in, transportation to service site, tools, t-shirt, photos, celebration, & more.
  • Eligibility
    – First priority will be given to General Education course instructors.
    – Second priority will be given to other first- and second-year courses.
    – We expect to have space available for anyone teaching in AY 2024-25.
  • Compensation
    $750 stipend paid at the conclusion of your SE course offering.
  • Modality 
    3 Days; Face-to-Face
    – Participation in Engage Upstate is open to folks who can’t attend the boot camp, but the $750 stipend is reserved for those who attend.
  • Expectations
    In general, participants are expected to continue teaching their course as SE, serve as a mentor for others interested in making a similar switch, and to share their experiences in unit meetings, at the annual SL/CE showcase &/or at the Upstate Research Symposium.
  • NOTE
    Your department/division chair and course coordinator (if applicable) will need to approve your application.
  • More details are posted on the application form (Estimated time to complete: 6-8 minutes).

Apply by April 15, 2024 for priority consideration

– Live meetings July 30 – Aug 1 (Tues – Thurs).
– Tue 9-12 (basics of environmental stewardship, exploration of SL/CE, & strategizing).
– Wed 9- 2 (welcome, field trip to Chinquapin Greenway, discussion, & lunch with SPACE).
– Thu 9-12 (more environmental stewardship; crafting assignments & syllabi).


  • Theoretical and applied exploration of service concepts.
  • Team-, syllabus-, and community-partner-relationship- building.
  • Collaborative & mutual support, camaraderie, & strategizing sessions on how to best get our students out of the (physical or virtual) classroom and actively engaged in our greater community.
  • Alignment of SE activity with any class in any domain.
  • Fully complete SE components. Walk away on Thursday with assignments, assessments, and syllabus student-ready.
  • Leave energized and motivated to share with others.


  • Primary : General Education.
  • Secondary: Any first- or second-year course.
  • Tertiary: Any course, any level, any discipline (including graduate).
  • How can fostering connections between your course content and the work of a real-world community partner show students the relevance of what they are learning in class?
  • How do land conservation, parks management, and community outreach impact the economic potential of the local community?
  • What can students discover by performing a mathematical or statistical analysis of local environmental data or data about local land use?
  • What is the impact of land conservation and parks on the arts?
  • What can the history or sociology of spaces that are now conservation easements tell us about our changing communities?
  • How do ecology, land conservation, and environmental outreach relate to core concepts in the sciences?
  • Can I engage with a different community partner?
    • Yes. We would love to expand Engage Upstate to new partners. You can participate in all our boot camp activities and shift your focus from SPACE to the partner of your choice.
  • Must I focus on ecology?
    • No. Any domain is welcome. We will support projects beyond Engage Green as we support all SL/CE projects. Talk with Dave Marlow about how you would make a shift to a different focus & partner.
  • If I choose my own partner, will you still handle all the logistics?
    • Probably Not. For one-off projects, we will offer the same advice and support we offer any SL/CE offering, but we cannot offer the complete logistics package we have for Engage Green. We would love to expand into other domains of service that can support 100-200+ students every semester. If you have an idea for this, talk to Dave ASAP & we will explore supporting the new project.
  • I can’t come F2F. Can I still participate?
    • Yes, BUT. We can work with you independently, share the resources with you, and put you on the Engage Upstate team, but the stipend is reserved for those who attend the workshop.