COVID-19 Updates and Changes to CCEL Programs

Following University guidance, our staff are working remotely. The best way to reach us is through email at Individual staff emails can be found here

For up-to-date information on how the University is responding to COVID-19 visit the Safe Campus website. 

Our Values

Public health emergencies, such as COVID-19, often instill fear and anxiety that can lead to finger pointing, blame, and social stigma directed at particular communities or groups of people. In recent weeks, with the rise of COVID-19, several groups have faced increased incidents of racism and xenophobia, particularly person of Asian descent. As professionals, scholars, and students who work to advance mutually-beneficial University-community collaboration and partnerships, we stand in solidarity with those who have been targeted by racist and xenophobic words and actions. We stand with the Asian American community and support the statement issued by the Asian American Studies Program

While our operations have moved online, our committment to our partners, students, and our community is no less diminished. The only way we will get through this is together. May we continue to reach out and support one another. 

Community-Engaged Learning Courses

In-Person Student Community Engagement Experiences Must Recieve Approval to Earn Academic Credit 

Until further notice, all off-campus, in-person activities conducted for credit must be pre-approved either through the student's academic program or through the Center for Community-Engaged Learning, facilitated through this application process

Students Encouraged to Support Organizations through Remote Activities

If possible, students should shift their community-based and field-based activities to an online or virtual format. Various academic departments and colleges are developing policies to guide students in fulfilling their required service-learning, internship, or clinical hours. 

Many organizations, governments, and localities have suspended operations and have canceled most group gatherings, thereby reducing or eliminating opportunities for students to complete community-based requirements remotely.  If fulfilling field work requirements remotely is not feasible, instructors and department leaders are asked to explore ways for students to fulfill their requirements through alternative educational experiences that help students achieve intended learning objectives.

For guidance and suggestions on alternative assignments, see list of resources below.

For more information please visit the Office for Public Engagement website. For questions about specific cases please email For general questions or questions pertaining to curricular and co-curricular community-based learning please contact Laurel Hirt at


Volunteer Advising

Many organizations, governments, and localities have had to alter their programming due to COVID-19 Health and Safety Guidelines and have either suspended or reduced volunteer programs, but others are still running and taking new people to help address current community needs.

  • Volunteer Peer Advising will resume at the beginning of Spring semester, January 19, 2021.
  • Please keep in mind there is a mix of in person and remote opportunities available.

If you have questions or concerns please contact

Community Engagement Scholars Program

Please email to schedule an information session and talk about how CESP can fit into your undergraduate experience. 

For current scholars who are completing hours in person, please read over the process to have your site approved

National Student Exchange (NSE) 

Students placed for 2020/2021:

At this time, NSE exchanges scheduled during the 2020/2021 school year may proceed. NSE Headquarters is closely monitoring the COVID-19 situation. Students should pay close attention to all communications from NSE HQ, the host NSE coordinator, and David Holliday.

Students still looking for an exchange:
All NSE info sessions will be conducted via zoom...send an email to Most NSE campuses are still accepting students for the 2020/2021 school year. See the list of available campuses here.


All Fall 2020 domestic programs are being delivered in a hybrid approach. Spring 2021 programs will continue with a hybrid approach incorporating online discussion and a combination of in person and virtual field work and internships. 

Please visit HECUA's general website for more information. For questions pertaining to specific UofM students, please contact Liza Gorman-Baer at


  • Coronavirus and the Engaged Campus is a compilation of resources from IA/MN Campus Compact with ideas for community-engaged work and campuses moving to online instruction. 
  • This document from Buffalo State University provides information on alternative assignments for community-engaged experiences.
  • This document from Loyola University of Chicago’s Center for Experiential Learning provides reflection question prompts for students to connect learning to this current global pandemic.
  • The Center for Civic Reflection has some resources and discussion questions that may be relevant for your course. They have several relevant options related to responding in a crisis.

We have been compiling a list of the things that is helping our community get through this. Feel free to share widly and add suggestions. 

Uplifting Articles, Quotes, Poems, Etc.