Community-Engaged Learning

Service learning students

Community-engaged learning, or service-learning, is a type of experiential learning that allows you to develop professional and academic skills in the context of meaningful, applied work with a community or business organization.

CCV’s community-engaged learning program provides educational experiences that cultivate learning through your active participation in service that meets community needs.

CCV is a learning community dedicated to the conviction that education enriches lives and strengthens Vermont communities.”
~ Community College of Vermont

Participation in community-engaged learning will:

  • encourage you to perform relevant, meaningful work that stems from course essential objectives;
  • provide structured time for you to think, talk, or write about what you did and saw during the actual service activity;
  • provide you with opportunities to use newly-acquired skills and knowledge in real-life situations in your own community;
  • enhance what you are taught by extending your learning beyond the classroom and into the community; and
  • help to foster your development of a sense of caring for others.

What is community-engaged service learning?

Community-engaged learning is a teaching approach that combines what is learned in the classroom with real-world experiences.  When engaged in service-learning, you learn by doing and use the community and your experiences as a “live textbook” for the course—another powerful source of information to complement course readings, class activities, lectures, and discussions.

When a CCV instructor integrates a service-learning component into a course, he or she has decided to use service as a vehicle for student learning.  The service performed is not “extra work.” Rather, the service is often in lieu of a different teaching and learning method, such as assigned readings or research papers.

Students who have completed courses with community-engaged learning components most often feel a great sense of satisfaction—not only have they actively learned new information, gained new skills and met new people, but they have also helped to meet a community need.

CCV offers numerous courses with community-engaged learning activities for you to take each semester; these courses are listed in the CCV course schedule.

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  • "At CCV you get the advantage of having practitioners teaching your course. I can't overestimate the importance of that."

    Tom Hanley Criminal Justice Faculty Member
    Middlebury Police Chief