Look into Community Based Learning

by Lauren Reduzzi

3 mins read
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Drew offers Community Based Learning (CBL) classes each semester that give students the opportunity to connect academic learning with real world experiences. CBL classes allow students to use what they learn in their classes to make a difference in the local community and strengthen student-community partnerships that serve the greater good. They fulfill the Off-Campus Experience graduation requirement and qualify as one of the Launch program’s immersive experiences.

Through hands-on work with local organizations, CBL courses aid students in their future careers by allowing students to make connections and build their network while also giving back to the community. 

“I took a Civic Engagement CBL course my freshman year and I strongly encourage students to take a course in this because it provides links between the community and the classroom,” Patricia Dominick (‘23) said. She said that CBL courses allow students to deepen their connection with the community and establish relationships which will help with their future careers.

The CBL classes that will be offered during the Spring 2022 semester include: The Nonprofit Sector, Special Topics in Civic Engagement: Refugees and Resettlement, Choreography and Performance Studies, Applied Analysis of Social Entrepreneurship, Community Literacy and Public Rhetoric in the Archives, Advanced Geographic Information Systems, Medical Geography, Civic Media, Theatre in the Community: The Newark Collaboration and Sociology of Education. 

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Some stand out CBL classes include: Choreography and Performance Studies where students assist in creating dance workshops at public schools and will serve as mentors to high school students. This unique opportunity will conclude in a final performance from the students and mentees on campus and at the high school.

The NonProfit Sector course examines types of nonprofit organizations and their contributions to the community. By studying careers dedicated to the greater good, students will examine topics including public policy, governance, management, finances (including fundraising), organizational culture, partnerships, and strategic planning in the nonprofit sector. When taking this course, students are required to commit 20-30 hours across the semester to off-campus experiences with nonprofit organizations.

The Civic Media course will work collaboratively on the design and implementation of a Civic Media Workshops Series at Orange High School (OHS) in Orange, NJ. Students will study documentary filmmaking through readings, discussions and production-based assignments to tell local stories and facilitate civic engagement through media practice. 

For more information on CBL classes, students can contact the course instructors or the Center for Civic Engagement at engage@drew.edu.

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