UVic Learn Anywhere

Virtual Centre for Student Learning

Community-Engaged Learning

Community-Engaged Learning is a reciprocal, mutually beneficial partnership between community, faculty and students. You can make a vital impact on the community by contributing your skills, enthusiasm and knowledge. Community also plays a vital role in enhancing your learning experiences by guiding you through real-life projects that directly relate to your studies

What is Community-Engaged Learning?

Community-Engaged Learning is a reciprocal, mutually beneficial partnership between community, faculty and students. You can make a vital impact on the community by contributing your skills, enthusiasm and knowledge. Community also plays a vital role in enhancing your learning experiences by guiding you through real-life projects that directly relate to your studies.

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How can I participate?

There are several ways to integrate CEL into your course-work:

Community Service Learning

  • Volunteer in unpaid community service addressesing community needs and reflect on the experience in a for-credit course
  • This option typically involves starting in the classroom (4 weeks), followed by volunteer service (7 weeks) and ends with a 2 weeks reflection in the classroom

Field Experience

  • Immerse yourself in an on-site work experience relevant to your field of study (generally 1-3 weeks)
  • These do not require supervision of a registered or licensed professional and the completed work experience hours are not required for professional certification
  • Field experience do not include: co-op, clinic, practicum and internship

Applied Projects

  • Collaborate with a community partner by creating a project related to your learning objectives while also contributing to the community
  • Applied projects are generally not research-based

Applied Research

  • Completing a project (or work on part of a larger ongoing project) for a community partner while supporting your own learning objectives
  • While applied research projects often look like literature reviews or policy analyses, these can also occur as consulting projects, design projects, or as community-based research projects

Current Opportunities

Living with Climate Change, a Student-Led Learning Series

Connect with students from across campus in five separate events culminating in an Exhibition of climate change-related art, a Roundtable Cafe and lunch, and a Field Trip centred around the question of how you live with climate change and the various ways we can work together during these times.

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Spectrum of Engagement

The Spectrum of Engagement illustrates the levels and types of engagement and the corresponding levels of reciprocity between students, instructors and community members. The level of engagement is negotiated between students, instructors and community partners according to their needs, expectations, and capacity.

Spectrum of Engagement Examples

Inform

Example: Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps discussing the urban food system with students in the Growing Community Class.

    Consult

    Example: Students studying Comparative Electoral Systems joint with local political organizations to host community outreach events around electoral reform in BC.

    Involve

    Example: Psychology students work with the Centre for Autism Research Technology and Education to enhance the social and emotional skills of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

    Collaborate

    Example: Anthropology students learning about Indigenous cartographies and ethnographic mapping through collaboration to protect ancestral sites with Hul’qumi’nun elders and Parks Canada.

    Co-create

    Example: Archaeology Field School: Students excavating at an ancient Tseshaht First Nation settlement in the Broken Group Islands unit of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

    Community Stories

    When CEL Doesn’t Go to Plan

    Sociology 439: Community Engaged Sociology is a two-semester course (split into parts A and B) focused on applied sociology and community-engaged learning. Taught by Dr. Bruce Ravelli, the course...

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    We acknowledge and respect the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on whose traditional territory the University of Victoria stands, and the Songhees, Esquimalt and W̱SÁNEĆ peoples whose historical relationships with the land continue to this day.