The Partnership for Action Learning in Sustainability (PALS) is administered by the National Center for Smart Growth at the University of Maryland, College Park (UMD). It is a campus-wide initiative that harnesses the expertise of UMD faculty and the energy and ingenuity of UMD students to help Maryland communities become more environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. PALS is designed to provide innovative, low-cost assistance to local governments while creating real-world problem-solving experiences for University of Maryland graduate and undergraduate students.
The wide range of disciplines collaborating through PALS allows the partnering jurisdiction to address many real-world challenges. Faculty, who volunteer for the PALS program because of their interest and commitment to action learning, incorporate the jurisdiction’s specific issues as part of their course’s applied exercise. Students then get to put classroom concepts and inventive thinking to work to complete these sustainability-focused projects while working with a real client and producing a useful product for the partner city or county.
Students benefit through the real-world application of course concepts and meaningfully impacting Maryland communities.
Faculty benefit through teaching existing courses in exciting, innovative ways and directing their academic efforts towards helping Maryland become more sustainable.
Maryland communities benefit from access to University resources and expertise as well as over 50,000 student-hours to help them create a more sustainable future.