Center for Community Learning



Course Development
The Center for Community Learning supports civically engaged curriculum development in two main areas: service learning courses and internship courses. We also work with faculty and academic departments to develop opportunities for undergraduates to collaborate with community partners on research projects. Contact Director Dr. Kathy O'Byrne to schedule a meeting to discuss how the Center for Community Learning can support your teaching.

"Engaged learning" raises expectations of students, enables them to consider how their learning affects and is affected by its application, and enhances the educational process by increasing their involvement in learning.

– The American Association of Colleges and Universities (“Bringing Theory to Practice,” 2012)


SERVICE LEARNING COURSES

What is service learning?
According to the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse, service learning "is a pedagogical approach that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities." Research suggests that adults learn best through active learning. In service learning courses, students learn through active participation in thoughtfully organized service within the community that is connected to academic, credit-bearing courses. Potential learning outcomes for service learning include increased critical thinking, problem solving, oral and written communication skills, and experience working in diverse communities.

Service learning also sparks student interest, energy, and creativity, and offers lessons for a lifetime. Both faculty and students have an opportunity to develop real-world connections for academic curriculum by collaborating with community partners on projects that foster reciprocal benefit for all parties.

Overview of Service learning at UCLA
  • Students typically work 3-4 hours per week at a pre-approved off-campus site, for a total of at least 20 hours during the quarter.
  • Students work on meaningful projects designed by their community partners.
  • Students engage in reflection that is built into class discussions and graded assignments to create equal parts "service" and "learning."

Getting Started
The keys to success are to plan well, start early, and consider the options for your service learning course. There is no single model, but many options exist to implement your vision for the course.

Utilize the Center's resources:
  • Books and journals on the history, best practices and national models of service learning
  • Downloadable resource guides providing tips for civically engaged course development (see below)
  • Assistance with designing or revising your syllabus to align the course with Academic Senate guidelines
  • Help in identifying potential community partners that are well-established, organized, safe for students, and have worked with other faculty previously -- check out our Engaging LA map!
  • Logistical support including timesheets, liability forms, site selection forms and evaluation tools.

Other useful resources for developing service learning information include Campus Compact and the National Service-Learning Clearinghouse. On the "Faculty Resources" page of the Campus Compact website, you can browse sample syllabi and explore models of service learning at many different institutions. The NSLC website includes service learning toolkits, and also allows you to browse by topic, resource type, your professional field or you can search and use filter tools to narrow your results.

For more information about service learning at UCLA, download one or more of our resource guides:

SL Syllabus Requirements
Handouts for Students in SL Courses

INTERNSHIP COURSES

At UCLA, undergraduate students are strongly encouraged to seek internship opportunities in nonprofit agencies, government organizations, and corporations. Each year, hundreds of undergraduates enroll in a 195CE internship course developed in collaboration with academic departments and administered by the Center for Community Learning. Email Director Dr. Kathy O'Byrne if your department is interested in developing a new academic internship course or would like to explore how the Center can help support the curriculum for your existing internship program.

Overview of Internship Courses at UCLA
  • Juniors and seniors are eligible to enroll in four-unit 195CE internship courses and typically work 8-10 hours per week at an approved off-campus site, for a total of at least 80 hours during the quarter.
  • Students engage in meaningful work with their community partners.
    Students engage in reflection and complete research-based writing assignments that ask them to synthesize academic knowledge with experiential learning.
  • The UCLA Career Center maintains the BruinView database of internship opportunities and regularly collaborates with the Center for Community Learning to support academic internship courses.
Sample 195CE syllabi can be downloaded on the Center for Community Learning's Internship Course Website.

New Reflection Journals on e-Pubs! FREE for faculty and students!

Now on Purdue's ePubs are two new Service-Learning reflection journals available for download, and it's free! These academic tools were created to help students with Service-Learning and Academic Community Engagement assignments and projects. One of the journals titled Service-Learning Reflection Journal, consisting of more than 100 pages, provides a guide for Service-Learning projects that may last from a few days to a few weeks. One of the items it offers is a quantitative assessment for the beginning and the end of the Service-Learning project. The journal has reflection assignments to help prepare for the Service-Learning project, as well as the conclusion of the project.

The second journal, the International Service-Learning Reflection Journal, is specifically created for international study abroad courses. It provides pre-entry assignments and re-entry assignments to help with the reflective process. The journal also has a quantitative assessment for the beginning and end of the project.

Reflection in the classroom is an important teaching tool for critical thinking. Students have the opportunity to enhance their learning experience by answering prompted questions that stimulate thoughts and ideas. For more information and to download these journals, go to International Service-Learning Reflection Journal or for the Service-Learning Reflection Journal.