What is Engaged Learning and Research?

Engaged learning is at the heart of nearly everything the Center does. It is a form of pedagogy and scholarship built on reciprocal exchange with communities both near and far for mutual benefit and development. Well-designed engaged learning courses integrate academic content, community partnerships, and critical reflection on the challenges communities face. At the Center for Social Concerns engaged learning is grounded in the Catholic Social Tradition and it takes three general forms: experiential learningcommunity-based learning, and community-based research courses.

In experiential learning courses students encounter outside the classroom what they study in class. Students in an intermediate Spanish class might attend Latino arts and heritage events, attend Mass in Spanish, or take a guided tour in a part of town primarily populated by Latino residents and business owners.

In community-based learning courses students have the opportunity to contribute to the community beyond the campus. Their experiences in the community are integrated into class like a reading assignment, providing them with an additional text for consideration during class discussions and in written assignments.

In a class on immigrant memory, for instance, students might work intensively with local immigrant families to compile stories from children, parents, and grandparents in order to get a sense of various perspectives on immigrant experience and to give those families a keepsake narrative that records and honors their journey.

The Center also facilitates community-based research courses that involve students exploring a critical question posed and guided by a community organization; the results of their study are intended to assist the organization.

For example, in a Poverty Studies Capstone course, students could partner with the St. Joseph County United Way to write research briefs that address local questions about changes in public policy that could help the United Way reach its goal of reducing poverty.

Community-based research can also take the form of a collaborative effort between academic researchers and non-academic community members that aims to generate social action and positive social change through the use of multiple knowledge sources and research methods. Ideally, the research questions originate from off-campus communities and the process involves meaningful participation by all partners in every stage of the research. Students can be involved in this research through curricular or co-curricular approaches. 

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Upcoming Events

February 2019

20
Postgraduate Service Organization Campus Visit: Precious Blood Volunteers
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 1:00pm to 4:00pm
20
Pizza, Pop, & Politics: Politics of Sport
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 5:00pm
20
Postgraduate Service Organization Campus Visit: L'Arche Seattle
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
20
Show Some Skin: Drop the Wall
Wednesday, February 20, 2019 - 7:00pm to Saturday, February 23, 2019 - 7:00pm
21
Workshop: Ethics, Community Engagement, and Higher Education
Thursday, February 21, 2019 - 3:30pm to 5:00pm
22
2019 Human Development Conference
Friday, February 22, 2019 (All day) to Saturday, February 23, 2019 (All day)
22
Labor Café
Friday, February 22, 2019 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

March 2019

01
Higgins Lunchtime Labor RAPS
Friday, March 1, 2019 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
04
Information Session: McNeill Leadership Fellows Program
Monday, March 4, 2019 - 3:30pm to 4:30pm
06
Pizza, Pop, & Politics: Politics of Place
Wednesday, March 6, 2019 - 5:00pm
21
Pre-Conference Workshop: Restorative Justice on Catholic Campuses
Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 12:30pm to 4:00pm
21
2019 Catholic Social Tradition Conference
Thursday, March 21, 2019 - 7:00pm to 9:00pm
22
2019 Catholic Social Tradition Conference
Friday, March 22, 2019 - 7:30am to 9:30pm
23
2019 Catholic Social Tradition Conference
Saturday, March 23, 2019 - 8:00am to 4:30pm
29
Labor Café
Friday, March 29, 2019 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm

April 2019

05
Been & Seen Series
Friday, April 5, 2019 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm
12
Higgins Lunchtime Labor RAPS
Friday, April 12, 2019 - 12:30pm to 1:30pm
26
Labor Café
Friday, April 26, 2019 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
28

June 2019

04
Community Engagement Faculty Institute
Tuesday, June 4, 2019 (All day) to Thursday, June 6, 2019 (All day)