UCARE supports faculty in integrating community engagement into their courses to deepen and enrich the learning that goes on in the classroom. By working in collaboration with local organizations, students are able to experience concepts learned in the classroom in real-world applications while helping to address community needs.
Community-Based Learning serves the Ursinus College mission by providing a framework for students to fulfill their educational and personal goals while also giving back to the communities in which their learning takes place. In this sense, community-based learning closes the circle on an experiential learning cycle, and provides benefits to all of those who are involved.
The American Association for Higher Education defines Service-Learning as “A method under which students learn and develop through thoughtfully organized service that: is conducted in and meets the needs of a community and is coordinated with an institution of higher education and the community; helps foster civic responsibility; is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the students enrolled; and includes structured time for students to reflect on the service experience.”
By providing students with opportunities to learn outside the classroom in a variety of venues, including service, research, and internships, community-based learning facilitates both experiential knowledge and an increased sense of social and civic responsibility.