Some courses taught by Mount Holyoke are designated by faculty as “CBL Courses,” and have a community-based learning component as part of the academic expectations for the course. CBL courses are available across a wide variety of disciplines at the college. Expectations concerning the type of community-based learning component and the extent (e.g., how many hours per week are devoted to the community work) vary by course. Similarly, the location and purpose of the campus-community partnership varies, and is connected to the academic learning and community service aims of the partnership.
What CBL courses have in common is the integration of students’ experiential learning in area communities with rigorous study of theory and content knowledge specific to academic disciplines. CBL course projects enhance students’ understanding of concepts, theories, and modes of application, while supporting our community partners - local organizations, professionals and residents - as they offer programs and services, and advocate for community needs. Students in CBL courses provide such critical capacities while they learn.
CBL courses are demanding, as students must make significant investments of time and energy to their community partnerships as part of their academic workload. However, the rewards of CBL are equally significant, as students gain invaluable opportunities to put their learning into action in the interests of social justice and community development, and as they do so, they gain essential advocacy, citizenship, organizing, leadership, and career skills.
Students may also use the on-line course catalogue or ISIS to search for and browse CBL course descriptions as follows:
Go to the course catalogue
- Click on “This School Year” or “Next Year” as appropriate
- Go to the item “...and have the characteristic” and choose “community-based learning” from the pull-down menu
- Click Search
- Login to ISIS as you normally would
- Click on “Search for Classes”
- Under “College Requirements and Other Course Types” select “CBL: Community-Based Learning” from the pull down menu (and any other selection criteria you would like to use to limit your search)
- Click Submit