A minor in community engaged learning combines practical experience with critical pedagogies.

See the Academic Calendar for specific course requirements or Connect for class times.

"Being part of the Community Engaged Learning program has been the highlight of my Mount Allison experience so far. CENL classes are unique because they allow students to take agency in their education through experiential learning opportunities. This CENL program has provided me with the opportunity to make meaningful connections with the Tantramar community. The program has allowed me the rare opportunity to see and feel the impact of my work. I will continue to use the skills that I have developed while planning and executing CENL projects for the rest of my life."
Leor Handelsman (Fourth year student)


2024-25 CENL course offerings

Fall 2024

Note: All courses are worth 3 credits.

CENL/RELG 1001: Intro to Compassionate Communities
Dr. Leslie Shumka

What does a compassionate community look like and could it become a model for addressing social injustices such as the poverty, housing insecurity, and loneliness in our midst? We’ll discuss how understanding compassion more fully and using it as a driver of social action we are able to transform our communities for the benefit of all members.  

CENL 1201: Community and Social Change

This course introduces the idea of social change from a variety of disciplinary areas including Religious Studies, Modern Languages, Geography, Environmental Studies, Sociology, Music, Fine Arts and Biology. The course is for students who are looking to contribute to their community by addressing social change but are not sure how to get involved in this type of work. With knowledge garnered from years of community activism and research, this team-taught course introduces students to the conceptual tools that are crucial for community organizing, development and volunteer work. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: CENL 1991: Community and Social Change)

CENL 2101: Introduction to Community Engaged Learning
Dr. Leslie Shumka

What does it mean to ‘blow out the walls of your classroom’? In this course, it means that you are introduced to the field of community engaged learning through an immersive experience in Sackville or a nearby community. This type of place-based learning involves project work, often in a community school, and helps you develop a skill-set with practical applications beyond community engagement.

CENL 3601: Social Aspects of Place
Prof. Sacha Dewolfe

This course explores Indigenous conceptions of place and environment through collaborative partnerships with First Nations people and communities. [Note 1: This course is cross-listed with INDG 3601 and may therefore count as three credits in either discipline.] (Format: Experiential/Lecture)


Winter 2025

Note: All courses are worth 3 credits.

CENL 1991A: Education, Mentorship and Athletics 
Dr. Leslie Shumka

This introduction to community engaged learning is well suited to individuals who already volunteer as coaches and mentors, or those who are considering careers in recreation administration and education. If you’d like to take your learning into a community school on a weekly basis then this might be the experience you are looking for. Will be renamed CENL 1401.

CENL 2001: Community Narratives
Dr. Leslie Shumka

Story-telling has always served as a powerful medium for community groups and institutions as they construct a sense of identity, create awareness of social concerns relevant to them, and encourage members to help solve pressing social issues. We examine storytelling as it pertains to rural communities like Sackville, identify the most effective narratives for a digital age, and identify the tools used to create and tell these stories (e.g., university archives, natural and historical landmarks, our local heritage society, and more).

CENL 3101: Community as Classroom
Dr. Andrew Wilson

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. (Format: Lecture/Tutorial 3 hours) (Exclusions: Any version of UNST 3991/4991 with the same title Community as Classroom) Prereq: 3 credits from CENL/RELG 1001, CENL 2001; CENL 2101; or Permission of the department.