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Planning for Classes: Policies and Resources

7.6 Community Engaged Learning

What is Community Engaged Learning?
Community engaged learning (CEL) is a pedagogical approach that is rooted in the concept of engaged scholarship (public scholarship, civic engagement, community engagement, community-based learning, service learning, and experiential learning, etc.) and is one of the modes of integrating the classroom and curricula in the context of community. It is founded upon the premise that the most profound learning comes from experience that is supported by broad academic knowledge, intellectual analysis blended with thoughtful reflection which informs future action.

The Center for Community Engaged Learning team supports faculty in the development and teaching of CEL courses and all courses related to engaged scholarship. Please see this link,, for more information. Dynamic learning occurs when students combine thoughtful knowledge, personal observation, and community interaction with reflection on a course's themes.

What is a Community Engaged Learning Course?
What is a community engaged learning (CEL) course? CEL courses are courses tied to faculty members' teaching/research, connected to a form of student experiential learning (service learning, civic engagement, or experiential learning), with an intentional form of reflection (Ignatian Pedagogical Paradigm and/or Kolb’s Theory of Experiential Learning), and tied to a public purpose, with the intent of being transformative for the student scholar and the community partner. The aspiration is that once students complete a CEL course they are able to understand the academic underpinning of a particular public issue, and that knowledge is expanded with experience in a community context while being molded by solid reflection which leads to more intelligent action. The goal is that these courses develop students’ capacity to become scholars and civic leaders.