SUPPORT FOR COMMUNITY BASED LEARNING

The CCE provides resources for faculty interested in incorporating community-based learning into their teaching and research.

 

Why consider community learning for your course?

CONTEXTUAL UNDERSTANDING

Students apply key knowledge and course content to community contexts, using it to explore and address complex questions and test their own ideas and understanding.

SKILL DEVELOPMENT

Activities such as field trips and community based projects offer students the opportunity to practice key skills (e.g., ethnographic research, writing, observational research, and working in partnership with peers and community members).

STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

Community based learning and community engaged projects help students recognize the ways in which their work impacts the lives of others, and inspires them to be accountable both in and outside of the classroom.

 

How can the Center for Community Engagement help?

COURSE PLANNING AND CURRICULUM DEVELOPMENT

From courses designed around a semester-long project to field trips that introduce students to local contexts, CCE staff can help imagine the possibilities, facilitate connections with community partners, assist with project development, and/or provide direct support for course activities.

FUNDING, TRANSPORTATION, AND LOGISTICAL SUPPORT

CCE staff guide faculty as they navigate administrative systems and serve as partners as they plan and implement their courses.

Funding is available to support:

  • for site visits and off campus presentations;
  • teaching and research assistants;
  • field trips and travel;
  • course materials and fees.

During the 2022-2023 academic year, funding of up to $2,500 per course is available from the CCE for community-based learning courses. Faculty members interested in requesting funding should email cce@amherst.edu with a description of the class and a budget request. Department staff will work with faculty members to fully fund each course (from a range of sources across campus) and ensure that students have the resources they need to fully participate in the class.

CCE staff can also assist with arranging transportation and other logistical support for community-based courses.

TOOLS AND TECHNIQUES TO SUPPORT LEARNING BY DOING

The CCE offers resources designed to help students link analysis and action through:

  • Reflection activities such as facilitated discussions and collaborative assignments
  • Frameworks that provide concrete structure for student project processes
  • Opportunities for students to develop skills relevant to course work and project work
GRANT OR PROPOSAL SUPPORT

For grant proposals that include impact or community components, CCE staff can help faculty explore possibilities and make connections with community partners.

SUPPORT FOR STUDENTS AS IDEAS GROW BEYOND THE CLASSROOM

The CCE can guide students as they move from idea to action – this includes projects students envision or begin in a course and want to continue beyond the end of the semester.

Support for summer experiences, including off-campus thesis/capstone research, allows students to immerse themselves in further inquiry or project work.

 

For more information

Sarah Barr
Director
sbarr@amherst.edu
(413) 542-2982

Zoë Jacobs Feinstein
Associate Director
zjacobs@amherst.edu
(413) 542-2972

Christina Santana
Associate Director of Community Learning
csantana@amherst.edu
(413) 542-5641

Center for Community Engagement
Converse Hall, Suite 202
https://www.amherst.edu/academiclife/experiential-learning/cce