Goals of community engaged learning:
- Enhance student learning outcomes by connecting course objectives to real, complex challenges and opportunities facing our world today.
- Better connect students with their academic and professional pursuits by translating coursework into tangible, high-impact partnerships with community partners in their field of study.
- Strengthen core skills needed for academic and professional success, including critical thinking, communication, application of technical knowledge and expertise, and working across differences.
- Prepare students to become educated, engaged citizens with their local community and the world.
- Deepen relationships between community partners and university faculty, staff and students.
- Address critical societal issues and enhance quality of life in our local and global communities.
Principles of Community Engaged Learning:
The pedagogical approach to community engaged learning is grounded in decades of scholarship about principles and best practices for creating and administering engaged learning courses. While each course may look different based on the subject-matter taught or the community partner project, the following are key principles to follow to ensure a quality educational experience for all stakeholders.
Assessment of student outcomes and the community partnership itself is prioritized
Assessment occurs before, during, and after engagement activities to provide a baseline and evaluate students progress formatively during the course. Students and community partners are provided opportunities to assess the strengths, weaknesses, challenges and opportunities of the community engagement partnership.
Shared goals and objectives are established by stakeholders
All stakeholders, including faculty, staff, students and community partners are involved in creating mutually shared goals and objectives for the course and partnership.
Community partnership is integrated into course syllabus and learning objectives
Course syllabus clearly identifies the community project, providing information on how the partnership will operate throughout the semester and the expected learning outcomes for students.
Reflection occurs throughout the course
Students have multiple opportunities for reflection, based on observations and shaped by instructor and peer feedback.
Student engagement is prioritized
Students are active participants throughout the community engaged course and are collaborating with all four of the following: 1. The instructor, 2. Themselves (reflection), 3. Peers (collaboration/feedback) and 4. The community partner