Visit Health Watch for COVID-19 updates. Find Employee Return to Campus and Student Return to Campus information.
Emergency Notification

Call for Course Re-design Mini-Grants (NSF Big Data Spokes)

October 29, 2018

Call for Course Re-design Mini-Grants

Bringing Practical Data Skills to the Community-The Community Data Practicum:

Supported by the NSF Big Data Spokes

Cal State LA – City of LA Major’s Office – Community Partners


Course Redesign/Modification and Teach 2000-, 3000-, and 4000-level Courses to include civic engagement with a goal of Transforming Communities in areas of Social Justice, Urban Environment, and the Arts.

The College of Natural and Social Sciences (NSS) invites all instructional faculty-members to submit proposals for course redesign/modification to incorporate and utilize data from LA City Open Data.  This is one component of an NSF grant recently awarded to NSS, City of Los Angeles (LA), and Community Partners. We are asking for applications to redesign/modify existing 2000-, 3000-, and 4000-level courses to focus on using data from the City’s open data portal and/or GeoHub to promote community civic engagement and big data literacy via embedding activities with non-profit organizations.  Course outcomes contribute to the mission of this project, which is to promote civic action and community engagement through awareness of, access to, and utilization of LA City Open Data, by creating sustainable partnerships between Cal State LA, City of LA, non-profit organizations, and the communities we serve. 


  1. Courses already scheduled for spring 2019.
  2. Courses should incorporate LA City Open Data into specific civic engagement activities or research projects to advance big data literacy among students, non-profit organizations, and community members in one or more areas of Social Justice, Urban Environment, and the Arts.
  3. Courses must be taught on a regular basis.  Continuous updates and workshop training may be required after been taught. All products funded by this grant are the property of NSS and will be shared with others via multiple venues.
  4. Interested faculty (tenure-track, tenured, and lecturers) are required to attend a four-hour workshop on November 30, 2018 (1:00-5:00PM) to learn how to use LA City’s Open Data, receive an overview of the non-profit landscape and potential non-profit partners for these courses, and receive training in civic learning strategies and methods before finalists are selected for spring 2019. The announcement for the workshop will follow shortly. 
  5. The interested faculty should reach out to the department chair for consultation ASAP.

The mini grants will provide for course redesign/modification, which includes working with the City of LA Mayor’s Data Team and Community Partners for guest lectures, administrating civic engagement activities, and allowing our evaluation agency to collect data and provide assessments and identify transformational stories (i.e., student success stories). For civic engagement activities (i.e., data collection, data analysis and visualization, and presentations to the nonprofits), students will be matched with nonprofit organizations by Community Partners, a nonprofit fiscal sponsor.

The final syllabus for courses selected must be submitted to the committee for review and approval before the start of the spring semester. The certificate and funding will be awarded during our annual symposium.

Please send applications to, with the subject line Big Data. Send applications in PDF format by 4:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec 7, 2018.  Selected faculty will be notified by Dec 17, 2018 via email.  Two more workshops on GIS, LA Data, and basic civic engagement will be offered on January 9 and 10, 2018 for selected faculty and those who will be interested in the next two years’ mini grants application.

The committee members are:

Dean Pamela Scott-Johnson; Associate Dean Hengchun Ye; Chair René Vellanoweth; and partners at LA Open Data and Community Partners.