Next steps for instructors

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  1. Plan the community-engaged learning course well in advance
    • Reach out to us as soon as possible, no later than one month before the start of the quarter.
  2. Write (or revise) the syllabus to reflect integration of community-engaged learning
    • Send a copy of your syllabus–even from prior quarters - to so we can best match community partners with your course and your learning objectives for the course.
    • A syllabus for a community-engaged learning course should include the following components:
      • What is community-engaged learning?
      • Why community-engaged learning is valuable?
      • Why community-engaged learning is a key component of the course?
      • How community-engaged learning will work in this particular course?
  3. Introduce community-engaged learning to the students in the first week
    • Community-engaged learning is often a new concept for students. While the relevant information is also documented in the syllabus, a best practice is to introduce and discuss community-engaged learning in the class during the first week to underscore its connection and relevance to the course content and its capacity to offer dynamic experiences to students.
  4. Ensure ongoing support and integration
    • Through intentional community-engaged learning course design, faculty should consider how they are regularly providing space for students to reflect on their community-engaged learning and integrate this reflection with their academic learning. Incorporating community-engaged learning into class discussions, reflection prompts, and course assignments are all ways to ensure students have the guided space to make these connections. 

Frequently asked questions

We work closely with course instructors to identify learning objectives for students while simultaneously working with community-based organizations to identify their volunteer and community needs and the educational opportunities they would like to offer for students. Courses and organizations are subsequently matched to meet both the learning objectives of the instructor and the community-identified needs and learning opportunities of the organization.

Community-engaged learning has the following components:

  • three to five (or more) hours of volunteering each week, from the second week of the quarter through the last week of classes, depending on the organization’s needs.
  • meeting the commitment students are making to the organization, and to thoughtfully integrating their experiences in the community with classroom work.
  • the community-based organization provides a structured learning experience for the student.
  • the faculty member or instructor assists the students in thoughtfully integrating their community experiences into course assignments and discussions.
  • the quarter-long opportunity usually culminates in a reflective paper or related project, demonstrating the student’s understanding of classroom theories applied to community involvement.

At the end of the quarter, the CELE will ask the student's site supervisor to complete an online evaluation of their community-engaged learning commitment. This evaluation will be shared with the course instructor and the CELE team.