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Work with UVic as a community member

Community-engaged learning (CEL) brings community and students together.

This type of course-based learning is a partnership between community groups, businesses and organizations or all shapes and sizes, and UVic students and faculty.

Through CEL, students gain meaningful hands-on experience that supports and honours the community.

The goals of CEL are to:

  • contribute to community projects
  • foster meaningful learning experiences
  • honour and learn from community wisdom and experience
  • provide opportunities for students to recognize themselves as members of community and to buidl reciprocal relationships

Need help? Email us and we'll answer your questions.

Take part in CEL

As a community member, you can engage with UVic through CEL in a range of ways:

Share information

You and students inform each other about initiatives and developments (e.g., Former Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps discussing the urban food system with students in the Growing Community Class).

Task students with tangible projects and research

Students consult on your community project by providing research and other support

E.g., students studying Comparative Electoral Systems joint with local political organizations to host community outreach events around electoral reform in BC.

Involve students in your day-to-day operations

Students are actively involved and participate in your initiatives.

E.g., psychology students work with the Centre for Autism Research Technology and Education to enhance the social and emotional skills of children and adults with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Collaborate on an initiative

You collaborate with UVic students and/or faculty to develop and implement projects together.

E.g., anthropology students learning about Indigenous cartographies and ethnographic mapping through collaboration to protect ancestral sites with Hul’q’umi’num’elders and Parks Canada.

Co-create and deliver projects

You work directly with faculty to co-create, co-deliver and co-evaluate community-engaged learning.

E.g., archaeology field school: Students excavating at an ancient Tseshaht First Nation settlement in the Broken Group Islands unit of Pacific Rim National Park Reserve.

Types of CEL

At UVic there 4 main types of community-engaged learning:

1) Community-service learning courses

These for-credit courses are a blend of classroom experience and volunteering or unpaid placements with community groups, where students dive into the day-to-day operations and connect their community experience with course content. 

Example: Community Engagement 300, an interdisciplinary course in Social Sciences where students learn about the role of non-profit organizations through a 40-hour placement with regional non-profits like the Sandown Centre for Regenerative Agriculture

2) Field-based learning courses

These courses typically include 1 to 3 weeks of place-based and/or land-based learning with community.

Example: The I-witness field school, where students explore the ways in which the Holocaust has become memorialized in Central Europe through visits with relevant community groups in Europe.

3) Community-engaged projects

In these CEL courses, students work on a community project that supports a community initiative and student learning goals.

Example: the Media Production for Writers course, where two students created journalistic content for Tao Wellness to showcase their work and their members.

4) Community-engaged research courses

In this type of course, students do research requested by or developed with community that supports community initiatives and student learning goals.

Example: Chem 399, a research experience course, where a student applied and built chemistry research skills while reducing drug-related deaths with Substance Drug Checking.

How to take part

Contact us and we can help you:

  • identify opportunities for CEL in your organization
  • connect your community initiatives to student learning
  • navigate UVic systems and processes
  • explore funding opportunities

Funding opportunities

There are several funding opportunities available to students taking part in community-based learning, including:

Field school funding

Funding through the StoryMaps program:

  • This grant provides $250 to the student and $400 to the community partner
  • Students will receive support to use a storytelling software called StoryMaps to share their field school experience and learning (you may collaborate with another student)
  • Students will also complete a post-program survey for the funding partner (Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada)
  • Ask questions and get support

Applied research course funding 

Funding through CEWIL:

  • This grant provides $1,200 to the student (higher level undergraduate or graduate student) and $500 to the community partner
  • Students will be part of a cohort that complete online and in-person workshops, mentorship sessions and more
  • They'll complete a two-hour course on research ethics and share their course experience in a final presentation
  • Students will also complete a post-program evaluation for the funding partner (Co-operative Education and Work-Integrated Learning Canada)
  • Ask questions and get support

Faculty & students