Community-Engaged Learning Course Tag

The CCE manages the CC community-engaged learning course tag, which tracks which courses offered at Colorado College use community-engaged learning pedagogy. 

What is Community-Engaged Learning (CEL)?

Most fundamentally, a community-engaged learning (CEL) course promotes student learning and community impact.  Practically, CEL courses include collaborations with community partners* for applied projects, assignments, or experiences that aim to help students learn course content and benefit communities beyond the academy.

*Partners include mission-centered organizations such as non-profits or grassroots organizations, government agencies, or social enterprises; or community leaders and changemakers.

Tag Your Course

If you teach or plan to teach a community-engaged learning course at CC, please apply for a course tag so that we can tag your course in the course schedule.  Questions about the tag or application? Email Dr. Jordan Travis Radke, CCE Director, at

The application link below will take you to the CC Summit site.  Please use your CC ID to log in. 

Frequently Asked Questions

The following criteria are the core, essential aspects of community-engaged learning pedgagy.

  • The course incorporates an experience, assignment, or project that interacts with, and benefits, communities beyond the campus. The most well-known form, service-learning, integrates community service into the classroom experience, but there are several ways to teach for community impact! Some other models that work on the block include: capacity-building projects, community-engaged research, consulting for the public good, learning from and with community, place-based engagement and co-creative expression and storytelling.
  • Community-engaged work is an integrated learning 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 incorporates learning from community experience.  This does not mean that the community-engaged component needs to be graded separately, but that it informs students' learning on which they will ultimately be assessed.

Still not sure if the class you teach is community-engaged learning? Ask yourself the questions below.  Please note that the spirit of the tag is capturing and sharing courses taught with a community-engaged orientation to teaching and learning.  It is about identifying examples and stories of efforts to ensure higher education has a public purpose, prepares students to be engaged citizens, and bridges academic theory and real-world practice. It is not about gate-keeping courses based on the ticking off of checkboxes.  

√ Do students in my course engage with communities beyond the campus?  This can be direct interaction (e.g. leaving campus and interacting with community members in-person) or indirect engagement (e.g. completing a project for a community organization).  This does not need to be a local community, though we encourage local engagement.  This can be other geographic communities domestic or international, as well as communities of identity, shared experience or concern, and online communities. 

√ Who benefits from the community experience, assignment, or project?  The intent of community-engaged learning it not only to study the real-world (community as an "object" of study) but to benefit communities beyond the campus through investing academic pursuits in community-driven, societal priorities and challenges.  Given the condensed nature of the block, sometimes this community benefit is also deferred and happens after the block.  For example, this might be bringing in community leaders and activists to share with students how they might get involved in an issue, or visiting a place with the intent to inspire students to respond to a societal concern in an ongoing way.  

√ Did students learn course-related disciplinary knowledge or skills from the community experience, assignment, or project?  Community-engaged learning is an evidence-based pedagogy that has been demonstrated to enrich students' learning, and should have explicit learning goals related to course content.  Engaging in community experiences or projects unrelated to the subject matter toward other goals (student bonding, for fun, etc.) is a worthy pursuit, but would not be considered community-engaged learning.

Tagging your course enables the CCE to:

  • Promote engaged teaching through publicizing CEL courses to students in addition to institutionalizing incentives for students to enroll in CEL courses.
  • Honor and celebrate engaged teaching by sharing course models and outcomes through CCE networks as well as campus-wide and off-campus publications.
  • Share CEL courses as models to targeted, interested faculty to promote and enhance the use of the CEL pedagogy.
  • Enable us to gather data on faculty interests, partnerships, and projects so that we can share opportunities and resources (conferences, articles, awards) as well as make connections (between faculty, staff, students, and partners) in a targeted fashion.
  • Gather data on existing partnerships in an effort to inform a strategic process of partnership development - deepening existing partnerships and identifying gaps.
  • Gather more input on how we can better support faculty moving forward.
Language can feel like it's ever-changing, we know!  We made this change to be consistent with the evolution of the field of civic engagement, which now uses the language of community-"engaged" learning. Why? To "base" learning in community connotes that community can serve as a site for learning (which is true), yet doesn't capture the idea of reciprocal partnership, co-creation, or community impact as nicely as "engage." Additionally, and especially on the block, there are many ways to engage with and impact community that are indirect, project-based, or even virtual - and so many still take place on campus.  In general, community-engaged learning better captures the best practices and intended outcomes of this pedagogy, so we made the switch to the newer term!
  • Community-engaged experiences are co-created, designed, and implemented by professors and community partners, co-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.
  • If you need a thought partner in designing your course or applied assignment, please reach out to CCE Director Dr. Jordan Travis Radke at  
  • If you need support in brainstorming and connecting to community partners for your course, please reach out to CCE Community Partnerships Coordinator Niki Sosa Gallegos at

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Develop a CEL Course

Are you interested in developing a community-engaged learning course, but not currently teaching one? 

Check out the "Developing a CEL Course" page for tons of ideas and resources to support you.

Report an issue - Last updated: 08/28/2023

CEL Quick Links

Current CEL Courses