Student Success Centre

Community Engaged Learning

Community Engaged Learning Banner

What is Community Engaged Learning (CEL)?

Community Engaged Learning at Western partners with local and international organizations to mobilize knowledge and exchange resources in order to address critical societal issues.  By engaging students, staff, and faculty in meaningful experiential learning opportunities, CEL helps meet community defined needs while promoting students’ sense of civic engagement and social responsibility.  These partnerships help extend Western’s reach beyond campus and foster excellence and innovation in teaching and learning.

From the variety of approaches to Community Engaged Learning, our curricular (for credit) and co-curricular (not for credit) programming focuses on the application of Community Service Learning (CSL). Community Service Learning (CSL) is "an educational approach that integrates service in the community with intentional learning activities. Within effective CSL efforts, members of both educational institutions and community organizations work together toward outcomes that are mutually beneficial" (Canadian Alliance for Community Service Learning).

What does Community Engaged Learning @ Western do?

We work with Community Partners to:

  • Identify and understand community needs so Western University can become a partner in developing solutions for critical societal issues
  • Promote their engagement in programs that provide access to both the human and physical resources Western University offers, while simultaneously engaging students in  meaningful learning opportunities
  • Make connections with Western University staff and faculty to help address the needs of community partners
  • Provide the necessary support, structure, resources, and recognition to ensure all results from partnerships meet the highest standards in quality

We work with Western University staff and faculty to:

  • Facilitate the coordination of Community Engaged Learning opportunities to ensure that partnerships between students and community organizations are facilitated in an effective and meaningful way
  • Connect with local and international communities to build mutually beneficial and sustainable partnerships
  • Enhance curriculum and student learning by embedding Community Engaged Learning opportunities within academic courses and in settings outside of the classroom context
  • Empower students to become agents of change within the community

We work with our students to:

  • Implement community-based projects and initiatives that align with learning outcomes, to help facilitate active and deep student learning
  • Help round out their degrees by offering an outlet to apply their acquired knowledge and skills within real-world settings, locally and internationally
  • Promote the development of transferable skills including critical thinking, problem-solving, communication, and leadership through experiential learning opportunities
  • Foster a sense of civic engagement and social responsibility to prepare them for their future roles as community leaders

Interested in CEL?

Email us at