Community-Based Learning is experiential education that simultaneously – and in roughly equal balance – promotes student learning and meets community needs. CBL courses aim to benefit both students and communities through:
directing education toward the pursuit of co-creating solutions to complex social challenges and in so doing impacting the public good; and
actively developing engaged citizenship knowledge, skills, and motivation to empower students to build the worlds they imagine.
Criteria of the Community-Based Learning (CBL) tag
To be tagged as CBL, the course must minimally meet criteria 1 and 2. Criteria 3 and 4 are strongly encouraged as best practice.
The course incorporates an experience or project that directly interacts with, and benefits, communities beyond the campus. This community component may include an experience that seeks to address a mutually-defined community need and/or a research project that seeks to co-create solutions to complex social challenges.
Community-based work is an integral component of the course, enhancing and enhanced by knowledge from the curriculum. The course provides structured opportunities for students to learn from the experience, and academic assessment evaluates this learning; credit is not given solely for participation in community work.
Community-based experiences are co-created, designed, and implemented by professors and community partners, guided by both learning goals and community-driven needs.
The coursework and experience aim to equip students with engaged citizenship skills, knowledge and identity development to build their capacity to influence the common good – both during their undergraduate experience and throughout their lives.