Community Engaged Learning

Community Engaged Learning (CEL) at Western partners with local and international organizations to mobilize knowledge and exchange resources in order to address critical societal issues.  By engaging students, staff, and faculty in meaningful experiential learning opportunities, CEL helps meet community defined needs while promoting students’ sense of civic engagement and social responsibility.  These partnerships help extend Western’s reach beyond campus and foster excellence and innovation in teaching and learning.

CEL offers a number of valuable benefits to students, including:

  • Meaningful connections to local and international communities
  • Context to apply academic learning outside the classroom
  • Hands-on experience to aid in building a resume
  • Development of critical thinking skills
  • Enhanced understanding of diverse cultures and communities
  • Opportunities to learn/practice transferable skills including communication, teambuilding, and problem-solving
  • Increased sense of civic engagement and social responsibility

For more information, visit Western Student Experience.

CEL Opportunities for English Students:

The structured reflections and supportive learning environment cemented the application of course concepts and learning outcomes, which only strengthened the benefits of this active learning experience. (Erin Anderson, Student, Honours Specialization in Creative Writing and English Language and Literature)

English 3580FG - Canadian Literature: Creativity and the Local
This course explores the rich literary cultures of Southwestern Ontario. Through Community Engaged Learning projects, field trips to local cultural sites, and guest speakers, students will learn how creativity grows out of, interacts with and transforms this place, and will draw on their own creativity to support and contribute to local culture. Reaching back to the Regionalist movement in literature, performance, and visual art of the 1970s and extending to the present moment, readings, lectures, and activities will help students think about how local literature (and the institutions and activities that emerge from it) accesses the public and builds communities, relates people to the environment and landscape in which they live, connects the local to national and transnational cultures, retrieves and revalues hidden stories and histories, and represents a diversity of voices and values. 3 hours, 0.5 course

Previous projects include: Create, promote, organize and host a campus poetry slam/open mic event in partnership with the London Poetry Slam organizers; Create a mini-documentary about the slam, helping students integrate with the community and get a sense of what the London Poetry Slam does on and off stage; Compile edited video presentations of historic Eldon House to be used for outreach into the community, internal oral history capture and promotion.

 Click here to read more from a former student!