Community–based learning: Community-based learning includes service, community based research, and other applications of course-related skills to assist local (and sometimes global) service organizations. There are many definitions, but all reflect the principles captured in this definition from the Campus Compact National Center for Community Colleges:

[It] is a teaching method which combines community service with academic instruction as it focuses on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility. Programs involve students in organized community service that addresses local needs, while developing their academic skills, sense of civic responsibility, and commitment to the community

Field studies: Field studies is an immersion model in which classroom material is explored and applied within a given field experience. The center defines “field experience” broadly to encompass a wide spectrum ranging from the natural world to human populations in their respective social and cultural contexts and settings, including how individuals behave in families, neighborhoods, and communities. Within these field experiences, students apply their theoretical classroom knowledge in “real world” settings, through the collection of empirical data (whether quantitative or qualitative), which then becomes theoretically interpreted using a praxis model of application. Field experiences offered through Field Studies at SAIL create educational experiences that bridge the classroom and the community.

Integrative learning: Refers to the integration of ideas and information from multiple perspectives and across numerous disciplines and experiences.

Socially responsible leadership: reflects a conceptual shift from leader-centric, hierarchical approaches to leadership, to more collaborative, values-based approaches more appropriate for operating in a global networked era. These approaches focus on leadership as a process where people collaborate in order to produce positive change.

Action research: Action research involves the process of actively participating in an organization change situation while conducting research. Action research can also be undertaken with the aim of improving strategies, practices and knowledge of the environments within which shared practice. As designers and stakeholders, researchers work with others to propose a new course of action to address community needs and issues.