What are CECs?

Community-Engaged Courses (CECs) offer students a unique experiential education opportunity through a partnership with an organization not affiliated with the University of Iowa. Collaborating with a community partner to identify their needs, working in class to develop materials aimed at helping meet those needs, and reflecting on the project at the end of the semester, students are able to put in-class learning to practice in the “real world.”

An example of a CEC is a marketing class that works with the Shelter House in Iowa City to plan and execute a rebrand. Another example is a chemistry class in which students work with a city in Iowa to test and interpret nutrient levels in their drinking water. CECs are not limited to any academic discipline, and many CECs actually incorporate multidisciplinary concepts!


Why are CECs important?

Community-Engaged Courses are important to the mission of the University of Iowa, as a public institution partly funded by taxpayer dollars, to serve the state. Many Iowans may only ever interact with the University through their experience with a CEC. While CEC partners are certainly not limited to organizations in Iowa, it is critical to engage these important stakeholders in a meaningful, impactful way.

Besides the benefit of CECs to the University and community partners, experiences with CECs give students the practical skills many employers are looking for. Applying academic concepts to real-world challenges is an experience that can be added to resumes, written about in cover letters, and discussed in interviews.


Who should take CECs?

Students who are looking to take their education to the next level and serve their community should consider taking a CEC. While some CECs require a little more out-of-class work than traditional classes, the benefit of a CEC experience is worth the effort. Students of all ages and at all points in their academic journeys are valuable to CECs and their community partners.


How do I take a CEC?

To register for a Community-Engaged Course, look for the CEC Designation on MyUI.