Community Engaged Scholar Program Overview


The Community Engaged Scholar (CES) program develops and supports students' commitment to and capacity for sustained, informed, and deliberate community engagement. By enrolling in the program, students commit to

  • Consistently engage in community work throughout their undergraduate careers
  • Take an effort to learn from, and apply learning to, those experiences.
Throughout the program, students integrate this engaged work into a reflective portfolio online that helps them to articulate their personal story of engagement. By the end of the first semester of junior year, student decide if they want to pursue the Community Engaged Learning concentration (CEL), see more information below.

All students are eligible to join the Engaged Scholars program through the end of their third semester.

If you are a junior, you can petition to be a late addition to the program if you can demonstrate a significant amount of community engagement during your first and second year at CC. This requires a meeting with the Student Engagement Coordinator to map out a plan to finish the 300hr program and learning experiences.

Start your application now by clicking the button below!


Program Component Overview

To successfully complete the program, students engage in (and document) the following activities over the course of their time at Colorado College. Please click on the links to review each program component in more detail.


Step 1: Apply! Then...

  • Attend an orientation session to learn more about the program and your definition of community engagement. Offered once a block, registration in Summit. 
  • Complete roughly 10 hours of community engagement each block. Students should enroll in the program in their first year and work towards completion of the 300-hour requirement over the course of their four years at Colorado College.
  • Document engagement activities in a journal-like reflective portfolio in which students respond to brief critical thinking questions when they log experiences.
  • Attend 8 Changemaker workshops offered by the CCE.
  • Attend 1 campus event or talk per year in the program that connects with issues you are passionate about. 
  • Attend the CCE Senior Symposium in which graduating CCE engaged students gather to share what they've done, what they've learned, and goals for their future.
  • Apply to graduate with CES distinction (in Summit, spring semester of senior year) 

If these commitments are fulfilled, graduating students will be eligible to apply for the distinction of "Community Engaged Scholar," celebrated with a graduation reception & graduation stole.


Interested in the optional Community Engaged Learning (CEL) concentration? In addition to the core expectations above, students would also complete: 

  • Attend 4 junior focused capstone Changemaker workshops
  • Submit reflections on 3 classes over your time at CC
  • Submit a capstone proposal at the end of your junior year
  • Attend 4 senior focused capstone Changemaker workshops
  • Present your capstone at the CCE Senior Symposium

Program Summary (Core and optional CEL)

Watch a video overview of the program

Contact Sarah Elsey,, with questions.

Benefits of the Program

CES3Benefits for the Students

  • Supporting opportunities for engagement experiences to contribute to, and be informed by, what students are learning in and outside of the classroom at CC. In doing so, the program helps community engagement develop into community-based learning experiences.
  • Challenging students to deepen their critical understanding of why and how they engage, and aspire to approach the community in increasingly thoughtful and deliberate ways.
  • Promoting career preparation through helping students integrate a diverse range of co-curricular experiences into one story, and developing students' ability to articulate their personal commitments, goals, and competencies.
  • CES students looking to further develop their community-engaged learning skills can move into the CEL concentration their spring semester of junior year. 


Benefits for the Community

  • Encouraging students to commit to sustained, ongoing engagement.
  • Challenging students to deepen their understanding of why and how they engage, and aspire to approach the community in increasingly thoughtful and deliberate ways.
  • Developing students' capacity to engage in their communities in meaningful ways.
  • Help direct student engagement to meet community-driven needs by providing opportunities to educate students on identified community needs.

Benefits for the College

  • Strengthening the culture of community-engaged learning.
  • Complementing and building on the block plan by encouraging a continuous commitment to the community, but allowing for this commitment to take the form of sequential experiences - in which the form of community engagement students participate in may change from block to block.
  • Through encouraging students to engage with diverse communities, students develop skills to develop inclusive and equitable communities on and off campus.
  • Because this program works to provide a framework to existing campus programming, it promotes and supports the work of other offices, facilitating interoffice collaboration and building on a heavily programmed campus.
  • The Engagement Portfolio captures student experiences, providing data useful for institutional reporting on: trends in student engagement (including inequities and barriers to engagement), program evaluation, community partners, and other types of data that help us to improve access to and outcomes of engagement experiences.
Report an issue - Last updated: 07/26/2023