Course Re-design Mini-Grant Application

The College of Natural and Social Sciences (NSS) invites all instructional faculty at Cal State LA to submit proposals for course redesign/modification to incorporate and utilize data from LA City Open Data.  We are asking for applications to redesign/modify existing 2000-, 3000-, and 4000-level courses to use data from the City’s open data portal and/or GeoHub. 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 should be part of the Spring 2022 schedule.
  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 areas such as Social Justice, Urban Environment, the Arts, etc.
  3. Courses must be taught on a regular basis. Continuous updates and workshop training may be required. All products funded by this grant are the property of NSS & the home college of faculty and will be shared with others via multiple venues.
  4. Interested faculty (tenure-track, tenured, and lecturers) are invited to attend an information session on October 15, 2020 (1:00-3:00 PM) to learn about the project goals, LA City’s Open Data portal, and the non-profit landscape.. 
  5. Interested faculty should reach out to their department chair for consultation ASAP.

Mini-grants will provide for course redesign/modification, which includes working with the LA Mayor’s Data Team and Community Partners, administrating civic engagement activities, and working with the grant team to collect data, provide assessments, and identify transformational stories (i.e., student success stories). For civic engagement activities (i.e., data collection, analysis, and visualization, and presentations to the non-profits), students will be matched with non-profit organizations by Community Partners.

The final syllabus for selected courses must be submitted to the committee for review and approval before the start of the Spring Semester.

Please send applications to [email protected], with the subject line NSF Big Data Application.  Send applications in PDF format by Monday, October 22, 2021, at 4:00 PM.  Selected faculty will be notified by November 1, 2021, via email. Selected faculty need to be available for all of the following:

• Technical workshops (two hours) on using big data, GIS, and the LA GeoHub on Fridays: November 12, November 19, and December 3. Workshops will also connect faculty and student projects to appropriate city departments and/or non-profits, and provide input on syllabus development.
• A final syllabus review, project design workshop, and technical training session will occur on Friday, January 7, 2022, between 12:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m.

Should you have any questions or require additional information please contact Dr. Dawn Dennis ([email protected]).

Download the application here. 

Faculty may view previous course re-design participants here

Faculty may view Spring Course Redesign Information Session (held on Oct 2, 2020) here.