Students gain a more adaptable skill set by engaging in experiential and community-based learning, better preparing them for post-graduation. This approach also provides a deeper connection to class content by encouraging students to apply their classroom knowledge to a real-world setting. Students work alongside our strongest community leaders and are able to expand their professional networks and potential career paths. Finally, students grow their intercultural understanding and values by having the opportunity to work in diverse communities and settings.
Faculty that implement community engagement within their classroom promote active learning and incorporate different learning styles within the classroom. This can help engage discouraged students and attract highly motivated students. The community-engaged approach also curates a more interactive and inclusive classroom atmosphere in which students are more valued and heard. Bringing community into the classroom also cultivates new relationships, strengthens existing, and creates the opportunity for future collaboration.
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By engaging students into the organization, students are not only impacted personally but are able to contribute to the overall impact of the organization by increasing awareness, helping work towards the mission, and by expanding necessary human resources. Organizations are also able to develop and strengthen relationships with the University of Minnesota staff/faculty and provide civic mentorship opportunities for tomorrow’s leaders. Engaging young people in an organization’s mission helps build future stability and curate wider perspectives within the organization itself.
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Community Engaged Learning by the Numbers
Every year, Community-Engaged learning on the U of M, Twin Cities campus includes:
- approximately 120-130 undergraduate and graduate courses
- approximately 28 academic departments
- approximately 2,700 students!
- Our Community Partners: Links and info about more than 200 organizations in the Twin Cities area.
- Our Resource Library and recommended materials
- Reflections: An important tool in the teaching of service-learning classes. This section is geared toward service-learning faculty.
- Outstanding Community Partner Awards
- Contact info: Our Community-Engagement coordinators
- International service-learning programs for credit are handled through the Learning Aboard Center.