Community-Based Learning


Community based learning (CBL) is a pedagogical approach that intentionally links what is being taught in the classroom to the surrounding communities.  CBL is grounded in mutual respect and the belief that all communities have educational assets and resources that can enhance learning experiences for students.  While the specific form that CBL takes varies across courses, it is characterized by: sustained, extensive work outside the classroom; meaningful student reflection; significant integration of community perspective; and alignment between community and classroom learning.


CBL can help students:


  1. Integrate or synthesize classroom and community work in a way that demonstrates understanding of course concepts and awareness of the complexity of community issues.

  2. Communicate – both orally and in written form – with audiences from diverse social, economic, ethnic, and professional backgrounds.

  3. Support the community’s ability to develop its assets and address its self-identified concerns.

  4. Reflect on their experiences in the community in order to assess their personal and academic development and commitment to civic engagement.



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