Community-Engaged Learning (CEL) is a pedagogical approach that involves students, community partners, and instructors working together to analyze and solve community issues. This approach involves experiential learning, in which students apply their learning and skills to solve real world issues and reflect on the process. Simultaneously, the communities, students, and instructors also benefit from this collaboration with access to institutional resources and skill-sets. CEL programs “model the idea that giving something back to the community is an important college outcome, and that working with community partners is good preparation for citizenship, work, and life” (Association of American Colleges & Universities). 

Various forms of community-engaged learning can include: 

  • Community-Based Research (which involve examining a question or need articulated by a community partner that can be addressed through research or academic study) 
  • Community-Based Participatory Research (which involve engaging community residents alongside student and faculty researchers to address a question or need posed by community) 
  • Service Learning (where courses involve short-term project assignments for students with a partner in a community context)
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