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Community-Based Learning

2014-2015 Exemplary Achievement in Community-Engaged Teaching
This award honors a faculty member who has artfully woven academic scholarship with rigorous community-based work in transformative and innovative ways. Recipients of this award encourage students to make powerful connections between theory and practice, support the development of civic-skill building and civic identity, and prepare liberal arts students to serve as change agents in a complex and challenging world.

Recipient: Jessie Dubreuil

In addition to her commitment to integrating Community Based Learning into the First Year Experience curriculum, Jessie Dubreuil taught the CBL course "The Rhetoric of Health and Illness" in the fall of 2014. This course partnered with the Moab Free Health Clinic, and allowed students the opportunity to conduct patient and volunteer interviews, develop outreach materials, and update the clinic's community resource guide, followed by lively critical discussion and planning each night. This interdisciplinary course combined an exploration of literature with an examination of community health in a regional context.

The Collaborative for Community Engagement supports faculty interested in using Community-Based Learning (CBL) pedagogy and connects students to courses of interest.

Community-Based Learning is education that simultaneously – and in roughly equal balance – promotes student learning and meets community needs, and is thoroughly integrated into students' course work.  Community-Based Learning includes class projects that draw upon student and faculty intellectual expertise to clarify and begin to seek solutions to problems facing the community.

These classes can require student internships in community organizations, course fieldwork within a community context that encourages students to reflect on and refine theoretical ideas and provides feedback to members of the community, and opportunities for students to teach – and learn – about their major discipline in off-campus settings.

Information for Faculty

Community-Based Learning presents an opportunity for faculty of every discipline to use innovative, effective pedagogy to achieve curricular goals. CBL cultivates the intellectual skills that serve as the backbone of a liberal arts education: critical thinking, problem solving, complexity of understanding, and high level abstract processing. These experiences often provide a “real world” context through which students critically interpret assigned readings and become co-creators of academic knowledge.

Please visit the additional links to learn about the resources and support offered by the Collaborative. Contact Dr. David Harker via email at or via telephone at 719.389.6885 for more information or to find out about upcoming opportunities and workshops.

Information for Students

Community-Based Learning integrates rigorous academic inquiry with collaborative community-based work and facilitates rigorous analysis, synthesis, and integration (ASI). This not only acclimates students into the Colorado Springs community, but also makes academics relevant to everyday life. CBL helps to prepare students for active, responsible citizenship and assists them in discovering more about their personal and civic identity.

Community-Based Learning can take many forms in various courses, depending on the community needs and course objectives. Please visit the courses section to learn more about CBL opportunities at Colorado College.