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Community Engaged Learning (CEL) Courses

At its most basic, CEL involves students, faculty and community partners working together to apply knowledge in authentic settings in order to address community needs while also meeting instructional objectives. CEL enhances and deepens students' understanding of an academic discipline by facilitating the integration of theory and practice. This high impact teaching method provides students with experiences that develop life skills, with opportunities to engage in critical reflection, and with the intellectual space to understand and contribute to the public purpose of their chosen major or discipline. It is a strategy, a process, an experience that involves both action and reflection.

  • Meets instructional learning objectives through course content, faculty-structured service, engagement, and critical reflection and is meant to prepare students to be civically responsible members of the community
  • Generates and applies academic knowledge in a community-based setting; student service and engagement address the needs of the community as identified through mutually beneficial collaboration with community-partners
  • Helps our University anchor itself in the public square by providing meaningful connections between our teaching, research, and service, and the issues our community is grappling with everyday

  1. Course design incorporates community engagement to facilitate and/or enhance student learning
  2. The course identifies learning outcomes that address both academic understanding and community needs identified in partnership with the community
  3. Reflection is utilized throughout the course to enhance learning, understanding, and broader connections to society

  • Develop and apply the abilities needed to influence positive community change including research skills, project management, leadership, critical thinking, communication skills and/or intercultural competence
  • Increase their awareness of and reflect on the interconnectedness between individuals, society, and public policy
  • Develop habits related to ongoing community engagement
  • Articulate an increased sense of responsibility and commitment to the public purpose of their chosen discipline
  • Enhance awareness of their sense of place in and ownership of community issues, especially issues of diversity, justice, environmental sustainability, and/or equality.
  • Further develop professional life skills: showing up, being reliable and punctual, keeping colleagues “in the loop”, maintaining project deadlines, etc.


Community-based experiential learning, open to all majors!


Over 200 CEL designated courses at the U

Community Engaged Learning (CEL)


Type "BENN" in the search window to view only BENN courses

CEL Certificate & Bennion Scholars

Learn how CEL designated courses (including our BENN courses) can be applied to these academic opportunities below!

Community Engagement Certificate

21 credits (minimum of 15 CEL) and a capstone project over 2 semesters


Bennion Scholars Transcript Designation

9 credits (CEL/BENN), a 100 hour capstone project, and 200 hours of community service


Additional Resources

CEL Academic Advising

Email us a request to meet


CEL Faculty Landing Page

Prospective or current faculty


Last Updated: 7/10/24