Learn more about U of T’s Centre for Community Partnerships

Did you know that…

  • 94% of student respondents who have taken a community-engaged learning course at the University of Toronto want to take another community-engaged learning course?
  • Community-engaged learning courses have been offered in over 25 disciplines across all three campuses of the University of Toronto including political science, human biology, astronomy, sociology and women and gender studies?
  • University of Toronto faculty who teach community-engaged courses report that, because of their community-engaged approach, their students are more engaged in their learning, better able to understand someone else’s views and are demonstrating enhanced learning through integrating their community experiences with the course material

An Introduction to the Centre for Community Partnerships

If you are an instructor interested in community-engaged teaching and learning, the Centre for Community Partnerships at the University of Toronto can provide you with a wide variety of resources and support. From offering workshops on the fundamental pedagogies and practices of community-engaged learning, to one-on-one meetings focused on course, syllabus and assignment design, to facilitating gatherings of like-minded faculty members, to connecting you with community organizations that may partner with your course, the Centre for Community Partnerships can assist you with developing and running community-engaged courses.

You can read more about our services for instructors on the Centre for Community Partnerships website.

What is community-engaged learning?

The Centre for Community Partnerships understands course-based community-engaged learning as a credit-bearing form of experiential learning where, as part of their enrollment in a course, students are placed in community organizations to undertake work that meets community-identified needs. One goal of community-engaged learning experiences is to allow students to apply the content they are learning in their course, and their discipline-based skills, to practical community-defined projects and to make meaning of these learning experiences through reflective assignments and practices. The approach outlined here is rooted in the pedagogy of academic service-learning, which George Kuh (2008) has identified as a high-impact educational practice [link: http://www.aacu.org/leap/hips]. You can read more about the service-learning approach and how it differs from other forms of experiential learning on the Centre for Community Partnerships’ website.

How can I learn more about community-engaged teaching and learning at the University of Toronto?

  1. Contact us at the Centre for Community Partnerships. We can meet with you to discuss your ideas and questions related to community-engaged learning and connect you with the resources you need to run a successful community-engaged learning course. See the full list of ways that the Centre can support your work on the website.
  2. Join the Centre for Community Partnerships’ newsletter list. The Centre sends out two newsletters each month featuring news and events related to community-engaged teaching and learning.
  3. Attend a faculty workshop or gathering to learn more about community-engaged learning and to meet colleagues interested in community-engaged teaching and learning. This year’s faculty events are available on the Centre for Community Partnerships’ website.

by Jennifer Esmail, Coordinator of Academic Service-Learning and Faculty Development, Centre for Community Partnerships