Expanding knowledge and taking responsibility for effecting positive change throughout Texas communities are core values at The University of Texas at Austin. The Center for Community Engagement’s community-based learning programs further these core values by facilitating the collaboration of students, instructors, and community partners on service projects that are beneficial to everyone involved.
What is Community-based Learning?
Community-based Learning, also known as academic service-learning, is
- A form of experiential education in which students in a credit-bearing course engage in activities that address community priorities;
- A program of study that integrates service with student learning outcomes;
A method of pedagogy in which service and learning are equally critical components.
Two aspects distinguish academic service-learning from volunteerism or an internship.
- Reflection activities help students connect what they learn through their service with the theoretical background that is set forth through course materials.
- Reciprocity between the organization being served and those engaged in service promotes a sense of mutual responsibility. Students feel a sense of belonging in the community and community partners feel empowered to bring in the resources they need to meet a priority.
With reciprocity and reflection, the service-learning activity enables students to collaborate with community partners to create sustainable long-term solutions to complex problems.
Austin City Hall Fellows is a program designed to mobilize UT students in community organizing and asset-mapping as a way of building capacity for the City to do outreach.
The Center for Community Engagement hosts annual Community-Based Learning & Research symposium each spring on the UT Austin campus.
The Bridge: UT’s Community-Based Learning Podcast, features stories and best practices from UT instructors who connect on-campus learning and research with real-world community projects.
Resources for Service-Learning Courses
- Student – Partner Agreement
- Service Programming Checklist
- Precourse Survey
- Postcourse Survey
- Faculty Needs Assessment
- Course Instructor – Community Partner Agreement
- Community Partner Needs Assessment
- Community Partner Evaluation of Student
- Community Partner Evaluation of Course
Please contact the CBL team at firstname.lastname@example.org or 512-471-6161 for questions or for an individual consultation.