Design Age Friendly Environments
Janet Loebach’s community-engaged learning course, Designing Age Friendly Environments, focuses on how built and designed environments can support or limit healthy development and aging. The largest component of the course, comprising approximately half of the coursework hours, is a community-engaged project in which students explore, critique, respond to or propose age-friendly conditions, designs, initiatives and/or policies in partnership with one or more local community partners.
As a Faculty Fellow in Engaged Learning, Loebach is extending her expertise and learning new strategies and tools for facilitating student-community collaborations, and sharing these strategies with students. She is also working on ways to make the course more valuable to community partners, ensuring that they are highly involved in driving the development and outputs of projects.
“I want the course to be an opportunity for students to really listen to the needs of the community (and develop the skills and strategies for doing so), but also to recognize the value that community members and organizations bring to table. My intention is to frame the community-engaged projects as work with community members not for them.” —Janet Loebach