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Community-based learning (CBL) is an opportunity for students to apply their knowledge and skills to real-world experiences while serving their communities.
Professors and community partners work together to develop projects that allow students to enhance their classroom knowledge, develop leadership skills, network with community leaders, and meet identified community needs.
Designated CBL courses can be applied toward the Community Engagement Certificate. The CE certificate is a 13-credit/five-course certificate that promotes student understanding of community needs, facilitates networking opportunities, and looks great on a resume whether applying for future employment or graduate school.
Amy Garrigan, Community Engagement Specialist
How many times have you spent hours on a paper or project, only for it to be seen and graded by the instructor, and then filed away or thrown out?
With community-based learning, you do real projects that make a difference in the community. For example: instead of creating a brochure for an invented company, you produce a brochure for a local nonprofit organization that is used long after your grade is recorded. During this process, you:
Community-Based Learning, or academic service-learning, is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
The Community Engagement Office can help you:
If you are interested in learning more about community-based learning or integrating it into your courses, contact the Community Engagement office at email@example.com.
Local community information:
Reflection is a key component of community-based learning that guides students to examine critical issues related to their civic engagement. Reflection asks the following questions:
Community-based learning projects match faculty and students to the needs of the nonprofit, government, and business community.
WHY PARTNER WITH UW-PARKSIDE
Sample projects include research, marketing plans, strategic plans, graphic design, web page design, database design, security audits, GIS mapping, communication plans, personnel training, conflict resolution, applied health sciences, and more.
Organizations interested in working with a Community-Based Learning project should contact. Amy Garrigan firstname.lastname@example.org or (262) 595-2312 at the Community Engagement office.
At UW-Parkside each year approximately
Organizations interested in working with a community-based learning course should contact Amy Garrigan at (262) 595-2312 at the Community Engagement Office
Big Things can come from Small CBL Projects
Students at UW-Parkside have the opportunity to take classes that offer a wide variety of Community Based Learning (CBL) projects, in many disciplines including Business, History, Applied Health Science, Communications and Sociology. One of the most popular CBL classes is Health Exercise and Sport Management (HESM) 280. It is a lower level class in which students volunteer for about 3 hours at a nonprofit organization in Racine or Kenosha County that addresses related to food security and nutrition. The project provides students a chance to see how many people in these areas do not have access or funds to affordable fresh food and how the community comes together to solve this problem.
One student, however, saw an opportunity for something a little more intensive. Andy Berg, at the time a Business student, thought it was wonderful that his fellow students were signing up so enthusiastically to help out the community. As a veteran and father of three, he knew he could do more for the community and wanted to be a strong, positive role model for his children. So Andy and his wife Mercy concocted a plan to create their own urban garden in Kenosha. He contacted local politicians in order to receive written support for the garden. In addition, Andy contacted WE Energies to receive permission to use property adjacent to his house as a garden site. Once he received this approval, he solicited garden tools, seeds and monetary donations from local businesses. Andy incorporated all he learned creating the garden into his class work in HESM 280 and vice versa.
In the three years since the garden was christened the Garden of Eatin', Andy, Mercy, their children and a small group of volunteers have expanded to a second garden. They continue to grow fresh fruits and produce, donating all of the proceeds to local food banks, pantries and homeless shelters-over 3,500 pounds of food to date! The garden's achievements have been highlighted in local media, and has attracted much support from the community.
Andrew graduated from UW-Parkside in Spring 2016, but he is still very active on campus as an alumni and a newly elected Kenosha County Supervisor. If you are interested in volunteering with the Garden of Eatin' or in starting your own local garden, contact Amanda DesLauriers at email@example.com.
Dr. Lisa Kornetsky, Associate Professor in the Theater Department at UW-Parkside, believes that it is important to demonstrate to her students the many different ways the theatrical arts engage with the community. We engage with theater in many ways beyond attending a play in a traditional performance space. So, Dr. Kornetsky has begun to incorporate a community-based learning course into her Sophomore Seminar. In doing so, her students develop a deeper understanding of how theater shapes community, in addition to exposing them to potential career avenues once they graduate from UW-Parkside.
This fall semester, Dr. Kornetsky partnered with Rita Lewis, principal of Racine Montessori School, in a project that would introduce different aspects of the theater and the arts to students. Seventeen students in the Theater Sophomore Seminar participated in the CBL project, visiting Racine Montessori classrooms once a week. The Parkside students broke up into groups based on their expertise: performance, stage design or costumes. Each group was then paired off with a group of elementary students to participate in a different activity.
The group working on stage design created templates of scenery to be used for the school's spring production of Alice in Wonderland. The costume group played a game of "Guess who". With help from the Parkside students, Racine Montessori students would take turns (picking from a pile of costume pieces and props) dressing up as a famous character or person and the rest of the group would take turns guessing who they were. Finally, the performance group would do a different series of acting exercises, such as a mimicking game.
Both the Racine Montessori and the UW-Parkside students enjoyed their experiences with the CBL project. Parkside students appreciated the opportunity to get outside the classroom, and use the skills and talents they had acquired in a new setting. The Racine Montessori students (and teachers) appreciated the excitement these activities brought to their day. It also provided an opportunity for these young students to begin to think about college, perhaps attending UW-Parkside one day.
This 13 credit certificate centers on courses that have real world applications that complement your learning objectives. If you want to graduate with experience related to your field while contributing to the community, this certificate is for you.
How can I get this certificate?
You need thirteen CBL credits to receive the certificate: