Community Engaged Learning combines community partnerships with academic instruction and critical reflection to create a rich and deep learning experience for students as they transform communities and come to understand what civic engagement and social responsibility means in the 21st century.
Available as a minor or undergraduate certificate.
At a Glance
At Mount Allison, the Community Engaged Learning program provides opportunities to participate in service learning in conjunction with your academic program.
The program places you in community settings as a required element of academic courses or a voluntary co-curricular placement where you'll work with others to address a community-identified need.
This interdisciplinary program helps students build on expertise that they develop in their main area of study, incorporating a range of courses in a number of disciplines.
Students learn how to:
- navigate complex community histories and contexts
- recognize the importance of equity and diversity
- collaborate with community partners
- explore your own personal values in relation to social justice
Students progress through the program participating in sustained partnerships, such as with:
- local K-12 schools
- environmental organizations
- non-profits dedicated to working with marginalized groups
Community Engaged Learning is also complementary by exploring connections with numerous subjects, including:
- Canadian arts and culture
- community planning research
- gender, culture, and identity
- Indigenous studies
- philosophy and ethics
- religious studies
- sociology of communities
The program combines both theoretical and applied learning by requiring practicum courses in areas of the student's design.
Community Engaged Learning is available as:
- a minor (24 credits)
- an undergraduate certificate (18 credits)
CENL 1001 — Intro to Compassionate Communities
This course explores the concept of the compassionate community as a model for how communities might address social injustices such as poverty, homelessness and loneliness in their midst. Drawing on tools from work in community engaged learning, the course gives students the critical and theoretical skills to understand the factors in community making (history, shared values, identity) and the preparations needed for establishing and maintaining community partnerships. The course has a particular focus on the local-Sackville, Port Elgin, Dorchester-and an applied component that directs students in the skills needed to make connections with local potential community partners and assemble the skills and competencies to discern mutually what sort of relationships and projects are best, given the needs of all involved.
CENL 2001 — Community Narratives
This course facilitates community literacy through the analysis of the narratives that groups and institutions develop about themselves or others in order to perform certain functions of community. The word "narratives" is understood broadly and includes such factors as community programming, local events and practices, religious observances, material culture, natural and historical sites, local myths and practices, and family histories. Using a range of relevant critical tools, and focusing on local community contexts, students examine these cultural texts for the shared values and complex identities that they evidence.
CENL 2101 — Community-Engaged Learning
This course involves sustained participation in a major ongoing community project. It introduces students to the field of community engaged learning and facilitates the exploration of models of community engagement. It provides an opportunity to develop the skills and values necessary to establish community partnerships, engage in community advocacy, and participate in non-profit organizations.
CENL 3101 — Community As Classroom
This course provides a deep survey of methods and theories of community engagement. It introduces students to the larger community of praxis of community-engaged learning, and centres students' participation in a major ongoing community project. Students assist in project design, assessment, and formulation of future projects.
CENL 4001 — Advanced Studies in Community Engagement
This course provides students with a focused learning opportunity in community engagement research. Topics will vary from year to year and will be connected with a focused, experiential learning opportunity.
CENL 4101 — Practicum in Community-Engaged Learning
This capstone course applies community-engaged learning methods and practices to an actual case or scenario in the student's local community. Students develop a project in cooperation with a community partner that forms a response to an existing problem that the student and partner have identified. Students and partners reflect on and evaluate the response and evaluate its future implications for the community. The practicum involves a learning environment where students' expertise in their major area of study can be brought together fully with community-engaged learning principles.
Find a full list of community engaged learning courses in our Academic Calendar — Community Engaged Learning.
Whether you're entering the job market or continuing your education, your Mount Allison degree will stand out.
Mount Allison has been recognized by Maclean's as the top primarily undergraduate university in Canada more times than any other university.
With experiential learning and career development opportunities available in every degree, you'll also graduate with hands-on learning and real-world experience.
Our graduates also boast extraordinarily high acceptance rates to top graduate programs and professional schools such as law and medicine.
Popular career paths in community engaged learning include:
- outdoor environmental educator
- community development
- municipal recreation
- early childhood education
- social and economic development
Community Engaged Learning has provided me with unparalleled, hands-on experience working with the Tantramar community. This faculty is unique to others, as it redefines post-secondary education by placing students in an active role in their learning. Community Engaged Learning has empowered me as an individual, a student and as a member of the larger Tantramar community. This once in a lifetime learning experience is not one to be missed.
R-PEACE (Research Partnerships for Education and Community Engagement)
Founded by four Mount Allison faculty members, R-PEACE is a centre for engaged learning that creates meaningful connections between Mount Allison University and the local communities of Sackville, Dorchester, Port Elgin, Memramcook, Amherst, and others.
R-PEACE has a dedicated research space on campus located in Hart Hall, created as a space for flexible and project-based learning with space to collaborate and invite the community.