What is Community-Engaged Learning?
Community-Engaged Learning is an experiential educational opportunity. Students work with a community partner and supplement off-campus learning with academic work under the direction of a faculty sponsor.
Why Community-Engaged Learning?
- Enhance classroom learning
- Foster engaged citizenship
- Gain professional experience in your field
- Support capacity building for critical social issues
- Cultivate reciprocity with our community
How Do I Do It?
What About Credit?
All CEL is “ungraded” (Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory). Students earn credit in the department of the faculty sponsor. To earn 0.5 units, students work with a community partner for 40 hours over the semester and complete 30 hours of academic work with their faculty sponsor. Academic work typically entails keeping a journal, assigned readings and a final integrative report. Student’s grade (satisfactory/unsatisfactory) takes into account an evaluation provided by the agency supervisor in addition to evaluation by the faculty sponsor.
The OCEL upholds the college’s commitment to providing an accessible and inclusive learning environment. Please contact the office if you need any accommodations.
Mission of the OCEL
The Office of Community-Engaged Learning builds reciprocal relationships with community organizations to provide students with experiential opportunities mentored by faculty that help them integrate and deepen classroom learning with real life experience. The goal is to empower our students to become engaged citizens while supporting the work of our partners and investing in the future of our community.
We acknowledge that Vassar stands upon the homelands of the Munsee Lenape, Indigenous peoples who have an enduring connection to this place despite being forcibly displaced by European colonization.
Munsee Lenape peoples continue today as the Stockbridge-Munsee Community in Wisconsin, the Delaware Tribe and the Delaware Nation in Oklahoma, and the Munsee Delaware Nation in Ontario. This acknowledgment, however, is insufficient without our reckoning with the reality that every member of the Vassar community since 1861 has benefited from these Native peoples’ displacement, and it is hollow without our efforts to counter the effects of structures that have long enabled—and that still perpetuate—injustice against Indigenous Americans. To that end, we commit to build and sustain relationships with Native communities; to expand opportunities at Vassar for Native students, as well as Native faculty and other employees; and to collaborate with Native nations to know better the Indigenous peoples, past and present, who care for this land.
Are you interested in learning more about voting as a member of the Vassar community? Vassar Votes is an initiative by the Office of Community-Engaged Learning to ensure everyone has the resources to participate in the democratic process. Follow @VassarVotes on Instagram and Facebook to stay up to date with news and resources on the voting process.