Community Engaged Learning (CEL)

What is Community Engaged Learning (CEL)?

Community Engaged Learning at Western partners with local and international organizations to mobilize knowledge and exchange resources in order to address critical societal issues.  By engaging students, staff, and faculty in meaningful experiential learning opportunities, CEL helps meet community defined needs while promoting students’ sense of civic engagement and social responsibility.  These partnerships help extend Western’s reach beyond campus and foster excellence and innovation in teaching and learning.

From the variety of approaches to Community Engaged Learning, our curricular (for credit) and co-curricular (not for credit) programming forcuses on the application of Community Service Learning (CSL). Community Service Learning (CSL) is "an educational approach that integrates service in the community with intentional learning activities. Within effective CSL efforts, members of both educational institutions and community organizations work together toward outcomes that are mutually beneficial" (Canadian Alliance for Community Service Learning).

What does Community Engaged Learning @ Western do?

We work with Community Partners to:

    • Identify and understand community needs so Western University can become a partner in developing solutions for critical societal issues

    • Promote their engagement in programs that provide access to both the human and physical resources Western University offers, while simultaneously engaging students in  meaningful learning opportunities

    • Make connections with Western University staff and faculty to help address the needs of community partners

    • Provide the necessary support, structure, resources, and recognition to ensure all results from partnerships meet the highest standards in quality

We work with Western University staff and faculty to:

    • Facilitate the coordination of Community Engaged Learning opportunities to ensure that partnerships between students and community organizations are facilitated in an effective and meaningful way

    • Connect with local and international communities to build mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships

    • Enhance curriculum and student learning by embedding Community Engaged Learning opportunities within academic courses and in settings outside of the classroom context

    • Empower students to become agents of change within the community

We work with our students to:

    • Implement community-based projects and initiatives that align with learning outcomes, to help facilitate active and deep student learning

    • Help round out their degrees by offering an outlet to apply their acquired knowledge and skills within real-world settings, locally and internationally

    • Promote the development of transferable skills including critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and leadership through experiential learning opportunities

    • Foster a sense of civic engagement and social responsibility to prepare them for their future roles as community leaders

Interested in CEL?

Email us at cel@uwo.ca

Curricular/Course Credit
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CEL Grants
The Student Success Centre offers several awards that recognize, encourage and support projects undertaken by community partners, Western students and Western faculty that meet an identified need in the community and provide Western students with an increased sense of civic engagement and social responsibility.
"The Student Success Centre offers several awards that recognize, encourage and support projects undertaken by community partners, Western students and Western faculty that meet an identified need in the community and provide Western students with an increased sense of civic engagement and social responsibility."

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Co-curricular/Non-Course Credit

This form of CEL is offered as an out-of-classroom opportunity and no course credit is given. Co-curricular experiences range in length and depth; some are designed as one-day introductory programs and others last over multiple weeks. Though not tied directly to coursework, structured learning activities allow students to connect their service experiences with individual goals, values, academic study and leadership development.

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Community Service Learning Network (CSLN)

The CSL Network is a new program created to focus on year-round local CSL opportunities for teams of Western students.

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Western Serves

This one-day CEL program allows Western students, faculty and staff to serve in a variety of activities with community partners such as the Boys & Girls Club and ReForest London!

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Resources for Students

Some helpful resources related to community service learning.

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Police Checks for Curricular CEL
Information about Police Checks for Curricular CEL Students Read More