Students work on problem tree activity

Community Based Learning for Students

Community-Based Learning courses offer undergraduate students the opportunity to experience service-learning as part of an existing course. A Community-Based Learning course has met 8 criteria to be designated by the Center of Community Engagement & Service and the Registrar as a CB course. CB courses are unique in having community engagement embedded into course content and prioritized in learning outcomes. Students practice, re-examine, and deepen their classroom learning through 20 hours of direct service or a project with a nonprofit organization.

Spring 2023 CB Courses

Criteria for a CB Course are: 

  1. The entire class is involved in community-based learning; it is integral to course learning goals and course content informs and enhances the service-learning that occurs. 

  1. The community work can take different forms : Direct service, with a minimum of 20 hours of service per semester expected; a comparable project or product if that better suits the course; or a collaboratively designed or planned community-based research. 

  1. Reciprocity is a key characteristic of the service-learning partnership. The community partnership/s meets community or organizational needs and the learning needs of students. 

  1. Faculty prepare students for community involvement and responsible participation and communication with community partner staff through academic readings and conversation. 

  1. Activities and assignments in the class provide a means for students to critically reflect on what they are learning through their community experience. These activities take multiple forms, including group discussions, online reflective questions, journals, and participatory classroom activities. 

  1. Academic credit is given for the completion of required academic assignments, not for service alone. 

  1. The class fosters learning from other students, from the instructor, the staff of the nonprofit, and the community; all serve as co-educators. 

  1. Assessment of service-learning courses is essential. Evaluative feedback is needed from: students, community partners, and the faculty member.