Community engaged learning
With community engaged learning CEL, you'll connect course content with real-world experiences; contribute to community; and build your understanding, your CV and your network. There are over 100 opportunities for CEL in the social sciences at UVic.
CEL can be course-based and for-credit (curricular) or extra-curricular and not-for-credit (co-curricular). Activities include field courses, self-directed studies, practica, and co-op. CEL also includes actively volunteering within an already existing community volunteer program or taking on a volunteer role specifically designed for you.
In all cases you connect that experience with your learning through assignments, discussion and/or guided reflection. These experiences can involve direct (person to person) engagement with community or indirect engagement (e.g. gathering and presenting secondary data for a community research question).
Examples of CEL learning activities:
- Develop an ecological education game while on the Environmental Studies field school in the Gulf Islands, ES 470: Community and regional coastal-marine conservation.
- Present your findings from a community engagement process to City Council in GEOG 491: #biketoria.
- Acquire archeological techniques while mapping and recording historical data for the Congregation Emanu-El cemetery in ANTH 395: Heritage and Historical Archaeology.
- Take on a leadership role that includes training and reflection through facilitating student volunteering with Student Orientation and Project Serve Day
There are so many possibilities for building your skills, knowledge, network, and sense of civic responsibility!
Contact the Social Sciences CEL Coordinator to learn more about these opportunities, to access support for community engaged activities, and to share your story of CEL (we want to spread the word about your great work!).
You have many opportunities to participate in field courses in the social sciences. The field courses listed below are community engaged and are offered most years. There is also a field school student support fund to help with the extra costs associated with these experiences.
Advanced Principles and Concepts in Ecological Restoration; ES 441
Advanced Field Study: Practical Permaculture Applications; ES 470
Advanced Field Study: Peru Field School; ES 470
Field Methods in Ethnoecology; ES 481
You can participate in a field trip that engages with communities all across Vancouver Island.
ANTH 315: Living Technologies
ANTH 449: Archaeology of the Northwest Coast
ES 384: Systems Theory: An Introduction to Natural and Social Systems
ES 415: Integral Systems Theory: Philosophy and Practice
ES 423: Traditional Systems of Land and Resource Management
GEOG 357: Parks and Protected Areas
HDCC 300: Climate Change for Social Transformation
POLI 332: Urban Politics
POLI 351: Public Policy Analysis
You can volunteer in the community, and reflect with your class on these experiences and their significance to course material.
Within the opportunities listed below, community engagement is either an optional or required course component. If you opt for a CEL course or course component, your instructor and the Social Sciences CEL Coordinator are here to support you.
ER 312B: Field Study in Ecological Restoration II
ER 400: Seminar in Environmental Restoration
ES 470: Advanced Field Study: Practical Permaculture Applications
ES 480: Advanced Environmental Topics in Political Ecology: Capstone Course in Environmental Practices - Applied Policy and Action
ES 481: Advanced Environmental Topics in Ethnoecology: Introduction to Permaculture Design
ES 481: Advanced Environmental Topics in Ethnoecology: Field Methods in Ethnoecology
HDCC 200: Introduction to Human Dimensions of Climate Change
POLI 323: Issues in Politics
POLI 351: Public Policy Analysis
PSYC 435G: Autism: Theory and Practice
PSYC 492: Research Seminar in Psychology
SOCI 206/306: Crime and defiance
You can take initiative in your learning and your connection with community through self-directed CEL experiences. Community engagement is an option within the courses listed below. If you opt for a self-directed CEL experience, your supervisor and the Social Sciences CEL Coordinator are here to support you. See the resources section below for further supports.
ANTH 380: Directed Experiential Learning in Anthropology
ANTH 491-495: Directed Studies in Anthropology
ANTH 499: Honours Seminar
ECON 496: Directed Experiential Learning in Economics
ECON 499: Fourth Year Honours Thesis and Seminar
ER 490: Directed Studies in Environmental Restoration
ES 250: Directed Experiential Learning in Ecological Restoration
ES 490: Directed Studies in Environmental Studies
GEOG 499A; 499B: Honours Thesis
POLI 390: Directed Experiential Learning in Political Science
POLI 490: Directed Reading in Political Science
POLI 499: Honours Seminar and Essay
PSYC 390: Independent Study in Psychology
PSYC 490: Independent Study in Psychology
PSYC 499: Honours Thesis and Seminar
SOCI 499: Honours Seminar and Thesis
CEL doesn't happen only through course work. You can take initiative to get involved in your community in a meaningful way that benefits your personal and career goals as well as your community. Below are some examples. Contact your Social Sciences CEL Coordinator for more information and for support in making these experiences of ultimate benefit to you and your communtiy.
- Take on a leadership role that includes training and reflection through Student Orientation and Project Serve Day
- Live on campus in a Leadership and Civic Engagement focused community
- Take part in Alternative Reading Week and Alternative Spring Break
Here is a list of some tools and resources available at UVic for your CEL endeavours. The SOSC CEL Coordinator can provide support in navigating these and other resources.
- The Learning and Teaching Centre offers academic support to students as well as the Jamie Cassels Undergraduate Research Award which could support your community engaged research.
- The Office of Community-University Engagement (OCUE) has an interactive engagement map that showcases UVic community engaged research and learning. They are developing an institution-wide impact framework for community university engagement.
- The Centre for Indigenous Research and Community Led Engagement (CIRCLE) provides resources on protocols of engagement with Indigenous communities as well as sharing opportunities for involvement in research and training.
- Research Services houses the Human Research Ethics Board which provides guidance related to the ethics of research. All of your community engaged research (CER) requires approval from the ethics board. Ethical considerations in CER is an important area for critical refection in CEL.
- The First Peoples House houses the Office of Indigenous Affairs and the LE’NONET program, which provides support for Indigenous students, supports Indigenous resurgence at UVic, coordinates the Indigenous Co-op Program, and faciliate requests for guidance from elders.
- Co-operative Education and Career Services offers many opportunities for CEL and career and personal development. Social science co-op coordinators are available to support co-op students. They have created great tools like the competency kit for understanding and recognizing the many possible benefits of CEL.
- International Student Services provides information about working, studying and volunteering abroad.
- The Community Mapping Collaboratory provides support for accessing online digital storytelling and community mapping tools for community engagement and online platforms for knowledge mobilization.
- A document overviewing CEL and Community Engaged Research in the Social Sciences
- A document to provide some guidance in developing your relationship with community partners