Student in front of signs in the Netter Center for Community Partnerships

Netter Center for Community Partnerships

Connecting the University’s mission of civic outreach to the needs of neighboring communities, Penn’s Netter Center for Community Partnerships supports programming and course work that gives Penn students opportunities to integrate learning and service.

At the heart of the Netter Center’s activities are the 160 Academically Based Community Service (ABCS) courses through which Penn students earn academic credit while engaging in field-based research, teaching, and community problem-solving. More than 60 ABCS courses are offered throughout the curriculum each year. Approximately half are created thanks to inspiration from students who recognize problems and want to find solutions.

The Center serves local communities while generating knowledge of global significance, creating understanding of common issues and offering innovative solutions. The work done by the Netter Center also benefits Penn—enlivening our curriculum and creating forums for practical, innovative learning.


Examples of ABCS Courses

Students will examine the connection between anthropology and policy, theory and practice research and application. They will study these connections by reading about historical and current projects. As an ABCS course, students will also volunteer in a volunteer organization of their choice in the Philadelphia area, conduct anthropological research on the organization, and suggest ways that the anthropological approach might support the efforts of the organization.

Students from Penn and from Sayre High School work together to develop hands-on educational activities that teach neuroscience concepts to local third- and fourth-graders.

Penn students study and map the risk of lead exposure in a local neighborhood and work with students in West Philadelphia schools to design and disseminate materials explaining the dangers of lead.

Penn students explore the politics that shape food production, marketing, and consumption, as well as the impact of the food industry’s advertising on diet. They research and address problems in several arenas, including campus cafeterias and West Philadelphia schools.

Music in Urban Spaces explores the ways in which individuals use music in their everyday lives and how music is used to construct larger social and economic networks that we call culture. Students will read musicologists, cultural theorists, urban geographers, urban educators and sociologists who work to define urban space, arts education and the role of music and sound in urban environments. Penn Students will also work with a group of students in the music programs at West Philadelphia High School and Henry C. Lea Elementary to begin to formulate our theories of the musical micro-cultures of West Philadelphia and education’s role in shaping socio-economic realities.