Office of Community-Based Learning

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The Office of Community Based Learning coordinates community based learning activities and provides development and support resources for University faculty through grants, workshops, and curriculum development. Community Based Learning (CBL) is an academic experience that involves students working with individuals, groups, or organizations in ways structured to meet community-defined needs.

In keeping with the Jesuit, Catholic mission of The University of Scranton, CBL incorporates a global perspective and understanding through integration of theory with practice, direct engagement with community members and personal and critical academic reflection. Community-Based Learning prepares students to understand common challenges facing humanity, identify systemic problems, and develop a commitment to their communities, especially “people who live and work in poverty, illness, inequality, hopelessness, and other social disparities.”

Community-Based Research (CBR) involves faculty, students and community partners in the research process and recognizes the unique contributions of each. Research is action-oriented and focused on concerns relevant to the community. There is a reciprocal transfer of knowledge, skills and capacity to sustain a long-term commitment.

In light of the dynamic situation surrounding the spread of SARS-CoV-2, and in alignment with the University's "Royals Safe Together" guidelines, Community Based Learning in Fall 2020 will be completed remotely. The Office of Community Based Learning has worked with our community partner agencies to identify remote ways to continue our partnerships to foster mutually beneficial collaborations between the University and the greater Scranton community. Faculty are encouraged to view our list of suggested remote options and can also contact either Julie Schumacher Cohen, CBL Chair at julie.cohen@scranton.edu or Carolyn M. Bonacci, coordinator of community and civic engagement at carolyn.bonacci@scranton.edu, to learn more about community partnerships for the Fall semester.

Remote CBL Project Ideas for 2020-2021

As Faculty prepare for fall courses, we encourage all to utilize our compilation of CBL Anti-Racism Resources. The page linked below comprises a variety of resources, including from the AJCU network, Campus Compact and other partners, on how to work toward anti-racism in the context of community-based learning and community engagement, including teaching tools, academic articles, and local organizations. This is not a comprehensive list of resources, as we are still learning ourselves. Faculty with suggestions for additional resources, can contact carolyn.bonacci@scranton.edu to suggest additional resources. 

CBL Anti-Racism Resources