Berkeley Changemaker Curriculum Grants

If you have an idea for a Berkeley Changemaker course, please contact:

Congratulations to our Spring 2021 Berkeley Changemaker Curriculum Grant recipients!

Please keep reading for a description of their *new* Berkeley Changemaker courses:

Berkeley Changemaker: Humanists at Work

Submitted by: Kathleen Donegan, Associate Professor of English, Associate Dean of Arts and Humanities, and Daniel E. Koshland, Jr. Distinguished Chair in Writing

Instructor: TBD

Spring 2022

Berkeley Changemaker: Humanists at Work intends to connect the work students do in arts and humanities classrooms to the social and professional worlds at large. We show how skills like critical thinking, analytic writing, persuasive speaking, original research, and project-management can translate into the workplace – be it in private industry, public service, entrepreneurial ventures, or the arts themselves.  We endorse the passion, curiosity, and imagination that inspire students to explore the arts and humanities in the first place, and give them the confidence and vision to see how these inner qualities can result in substantial contributions to the world.

Berkeley Changemaker: Labor Research for Action and Policy (Labor-RAP)

Instructor: Anibel Ferus-Comelo, UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education and Goldman School of Public Policy 

Fall 2021

The one-unit Practicum accompanies an existing American Cultures community-engaged course titled, PP 160AC Work, Justice and the Labor Movement that provides a broad, interdisciplinary overview of the U.S. labor movement as a catalyst for progressive change. The practicum will provide students with an opportunity to work in teams to apply research methods and digital tools in an action-research project to advance the interests of California’s working families in partnership with a local labor organization. 

Berkeley Changemaker: Critical Studies in Education

Instructor: Christyna Serrano, Graduate School of Education

Fall 2021

Berkeley Changemaker: Critical Studies in Education (W190A) develops students’ critical consciousness and unleashes agents of change through a co-constructed learning experience that leverages a democratic education structure and grounds students in foundations of critical theory and critical pedagogy. Additionally, students engage in “praxis” (applying theory to practice) via the course’s capstone: the Digital Changemaker Project (DCP).  The DCP’s objective is to use the course as a platform through which students can, in some way, and as a team, address an intersecting social and educational issue about which they are passionate. Students leverage digital tools (e.g., blogs, podcasts, social media campaigns, educational websites, etc.) and the online world to engage their topic of interest and as agents of change.

Berkeley Changemaker: Big Ideas Social Leadership OnRamp

Instructor: Jorge Calderon, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

Fall 2021

Designed to accelerate the development of social ventures from ideas sparked within Berkeley Changemaker courses, this class parallels the Big Ideas fall application process. This hands-on course will introduce undergraduates to live cases and best practices, as well as the process and tools necessary to transform their socially transformative ideas into viable products and services.

Berkeley Changemaker: Big Ideas “Special Topic” Innovations OnRamp

Instructor: Joe Dougherty, Haas School of Business, University of California, Berkeley

Spring 2022

This course creates a new, tailored, learning opportunity for students interested in a particular sector of social entrepreneurship with the topic selected each semester through "crowdsourcing”. The course will provide instruction, coaching and consultation on social business questions designed to augment the student’s knowledge about the topic and sharpen their entrepreneurial skills.

We thank the Yazdani Family Endowment for making this grant program possible.

The Berkeley Changemaker Curriculum Grant Application is Closed.

If you have an idea for a new or re-designed Berkeley Changemaker course, we would love to hear from you. Please contact Thank you for your interest.


Proposals will be prioritized based on the following criteria:

  • Grants must support the BC curriculum with an emphasis on critical thinking, effective communication, and productive collaboration.
  • Courses should culminate in a “changemaker project,” experiential project, or simulation (see Guiding Questions below).
  • Proposals should be endorsed by or expected to be endorsed by the Department Chair or School Dean. If potentially an issue, please note.
  • Submissions should include a one-page qualitative summary of teaching evaluations. We recognize that COVID may present access issues to student evaluation forms, if this is the case, please provide a self-assessment of your teaching.
  • Proposals should include an estimated timeline for the course (re)design. Course should be taught in the 2021-22 academic year.
  • To respond to student demand, priority will be given to courses that satisfy University, campus, or College requirements.
  • We plan to assess impact of courses on students’ self-perceptions as changemakers. As such, proposals should indicate a preferred assessment approach. This will be incorporated into the learning-community meetings noted below.
  • To clearly demarcate a course as part of a Berkeley Changemaker suite whose fundamental content is tightly integrated, proposals should indicate explicit references to BC in course materials, e.g., assignments, lectures, etc.  Proposed course titles should be linked to BC, preferably as in “Berkeley Changemaker: XXX.”
  • Proposals should describe how the skills taught in the course will foster intercultural dialogue and engagement with diverse leaders.
  • We encourage instructors to consider how students will be able to communicate or advance their action plans across multiple communities.
  • Proposal submission deadline is January 31, 2021. The main proposal should be no more than 3 pages.

About Berkeley Changemaker Connector Courses

Connector courses fall into three categories:

New Courses:

These are custom-built for the Berkeley Changemaker (BC) and offer deep dives within a single discipline (e.g. Becoming a Changemaker in Public Health) or that utilize BC concepts to offer a multidisciplinary (or pan-professional) perspective on changemaking (e.g. Berkeley Changemaker: Philosophy and Values). An example is: Berkeley Changemaker®: Writing the Change We Seek.


Existing courses whose curriculum is revised to link tightly with BC content pillars (critical thinking/collaboration/communication) to also include a changemaker experience/project.


Existing courses, whose curriculum references BC concepts, to which a one-unit practicum is added that both explores BC concepts in greater detail and includes a changemaker project/experience. An example is: Berkeley Changemaker®: Topics in International Ethics.

Guiding Questions:  Further Defining BC Connectors

Most fundamentally: Does the course incorporate i) critical thinking, ii) communication/storytelling, and iii) teamwork/collaboration in the process of creation/innovation and/or problem solving?

Also important: Does the course include an experiential component where students plan and design an action that makes change/impacts others? Does the course emphasize the role of empathy and community in providing a path for translating theory/analysis/plans into action?

Fine Print

The course-design stipend and the teaching appointment awards are flexible in how they are allocated. Based upon the instructor’s preference, the $10,000 stipend could be received as a general grant, or specifically to augment a research budget, or even to partially fund a graduate student. The teaching appointment could – based on departmental and instructor approval – be taught on overload, be a part of normal course credit through a department, or be compensated via summer support.


Berkeley Changemaker courses are built from foundations in three areas of student development:

Critical Thinking:     

  1. How to select and frame a problem that matters
  2. How to ask the right questions, form hypotheses, design experiments, and listen with empathy
  3. How to craft a strong approach/solution


  1. Public speaking and presentation
  2. Analytical writing
  3. Building trust and connection


  1. Working on a project team
  2. Working across boundaries
  3. Diversity as an asset

The Berkeley Changemaker gateway “Course 12” is organized in four parts:

Part 1: You are a Berkeley Changemaker 

                        Purpose: Shifting mindsets to see yourself as a leader.

Part 2: Changemaking as Questioning

                        Purpose: See more clearly what needs to change/what questions to ask, what

hypotheses should be tested, and what experiments need to be run.   

Part 3: Changemaking Together 

Purpose: Learning how to work with and through other people to effect change.  

Part 4: Changemaking in Practice 

Purpose: Discovery Experiences — Discovering how to turn ideas into action.

Qualitative assessment of learning outcomes from BC courses show that students leave these courses with a heightened sense of community, belonging, and creativity.

BERKELEY CHANGEMAKER is a registered trademark of The Regents of the University of California through its Berkeley campus.  It is not affiliated with any third parties using “changemaker” or similar terms.