Features of Community Engaged Learning

Community engaged learning works by providing:

Reciprocal Community Partnerships

Fitz Center staff actively sustain many community partnerships that are based on reciprocity (all are equally planning, learning, teaching, etc.) and community voice. High value is placed on impactful engagement that meets a public good as determined through an intentional and equitable collaboration with the community.

Orientation & Training

The CEL team staff provides trainings/orientations for students in courses, internships, LLC’s, and programs. Such orientation and training help students prepare to be effective and appropriate partners in the community engaged learning experience. Important elements include reflecting on concepts embedded in “community engagement” (reciprocity, doing "with" not "for," creating common ground, etc.), discussing multiculturalism, examining power and privilege, reviewing risk and liability information, discussing a code of ethics for community engagement (acting professionally, accountability, respect, etc.), and reflecting on the value of community.

Meaningful & Impactful Experiences

To gain the most meaning and impact for the community, the community partner is involved in the planning, implementation, and evaluation of the experience. Furthermore, the activity addresses the needs/issues as identified by the community in a way that the community can appreciate. 

To gain the most meaning and impact for faculty and students, there is evidence that the partnership and experience (and pedagogy) are most appropriate for and will enhance student learning based on the outcomes.  Furthermore, the experience and intended outcomes are developmentally appropriate for the students involved.

Student Learning Outcomes (SLO)

The CEL team uses learning agreements between students, faculty, and community partners to share goals, expectations, and student learning outcomes. Community Engaged SLO’s can include academic, personal, and/or civic outcomes. 

The most impactful community engaged learning experiences are realized when SLO’s are closely aligned with community engagement goals, when the content of the course and the community engagement experience lead students to learn more about the other, when the process of engagement is realized both in and out of the classroom, and when SLO’s are appropriate for the developmental stage(s) of the students.

Critical Reflection Integrated Throughout

The Fitz Center staff have access to many research-based effective reflection methods and use them frequently in their student programs and community partnerships. Creating many opportunities for students to reflect on their community engagement experience encourages them to make links between the course content and the experience, and it generates and deepens knowledge, skills, and competencies.

Evaluation & Assessment

In Fitz Center programs, all partners are involved in evaluating the students, the projects, and the community impact to enhance learning experiences and develop students. Receiving feedback from all partners embraces the reciprocity embedded in "community engagement" and creates a comprehensive approach to evaluation. 

Assessment of SLO’s can be done through critical reflection methods and can be used to generate and deepen learning and to check alignment and reciprocity of the partnership.

Find Us.

Fitz Center for Leadership in Community

St. Joseph Hall 433 
300 College Park 
Dayton, Ohio 45469 - 1445