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DePaul University Steans Center records

Identifier: DPUA0021

Scope and Contents

The files contain administrative, planning, assessment, and event records from DePaul's Steans Center. These items document the implementation of community-based service learning into university-wide curricula. The collection also includes reports and proposals evaluating the development of these service learning initiatives at DePaul, as well as a sampling of syllabi and student papers. Syllabi and student work are included as examples of the types of course projects and reflective learning that occurred within service learning courses, and no attempt has been made to represent all courses with service components.


  • Creation: 1990-2017
  • Creation: Majority of material found within 1998-2011

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research use. Abbreviations used - CBO: Community-based Organization; CbSL: Community-based Student Learning; EL: Experiential Learning; SL: Service Learning.

Biographical / Historical

In the spring of 1996 Richard J. Meister, DePaul's executive vice president for academic affairs, expressed the hope that DePaul University would grow to exemplify the New American University, a university that contributed to the public good through acts of service. In addition, strategic planning initiatives developed goals that called for the increased integration of community-based service learning projects throughout university-wide curriculum. In response to these objectives, the Strategic Initiative Committee, composed of staff across multiple disciplines, submitted a proposal recommending the establishment of a center that would support faculty and students as they worked to promote community-based service learning at DePaul. On September 4, 1998, Dr. Richard Meister announced the establishment of the Office of Community-based Service Learning (CbSL). The Office was directed by Laurie Worrall, who had previously worked as Associate Director of DePaul's Msgr. John J. Egan Urban Center. From its earliest beginnings the CbSL office has worked to support students and staff participating in service learning courses. Unique to the CbSL office is its emphasis on obtaining input from community partners into the design, implementation, and ongoing work of the office and its programs. In 2001, a donation from the Steans family led to the office's independent status as a center as well as its renaming to the Irwin W. Steans Center for Community-based Service Learning and Community Service Studies. Today, the Steans Center has grown into one of the largest service learning programs in Illinois higher education.


10 Linear Feet (18 boxes)

Language of Materials



The collection is organized into eleven series, which are individually described: 1. Steans Center Founding Records; 2. Administrative Records; 3. Service Learning in Academic Courses; 4. Community Service Studies Minor; 5. International Courses and Programs; 6. Community Programs and Partners; 7. Events; 8. Publications; 9. Addition of 2011; 10. Addition of 2013; 11. Addition of 2014. Most series are further divided into subseries; see series level descriptions for further details.

Physical Location


Immediate Source of Acquisition

Accession 2010.06; 2010.23; 2011.17; 2013.52; 2014.013; 2015.078. The records from the first accession were maintained by Laurie Worrall, the founding Executive Director of the Steans Center. Subsequent records come from Steans Center staff.

Related Materials

DePaul Community Service Association (DCSA) and University Ministry Egan Urban Center; DePaul Course Bulletins; DePaul University College of Liberal Arts and Social Sciences records

Processing Information

M. McCoy 2010; C. John 2011; L. Geiger 2016; P. Chavez 2019; revised by P. Chavez 2019

Guide to DePaul University Steans Center records
M. McCoy 2010; C. John 2011; L. Geiger 2016; P. Chavez 2019; revised by P. Chavez 2019
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English

Repository Details

Part of the DePaul Special Collections and Archives Repository

John T. Richardson Library
2350 N. Kenmore Ave.
Room 314
Chicago Illinois 60614