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Community-Based Learning

Overview of CBL at Drexel

The Lindy Center collaborates with faculty members to offer a variety of Community-Based Learning (CBL) courses, and to enhance the curriculum of these courses by offering resources and support for community partnerships. At Drexel, most CBL courses fall into one or more of the following categories:

Foundations:

These courses are core components of the Certificate in Civic Engagement and are administered by the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement. This group includes CIVC 101, an introductory course for first-year students that integrates foundational civic concepts, direct service, and reflection opportunities. 

Additional upper-division courses are available through the Civic Engagement Certificate

Service Learning:

These courses have a service or community component outside of the in-classroom credit hours that is connected to the topic or theme of the course. Most service-learning courses require students to have a low level of previous skill or knowledge in the topic area. However, these courses may also be skill-based and require students to problem-solve, for example, engineering students developing a water system for a community garden.  

Service Immersion:

All service immersion courses culminate in some type of travel service trip. Offered for 1 or 3 credits, courses meet either in the tradition classroom or online leading up to the immersion, and require completion of a final project.

Side by Side:

Side by Side courses ideally consist of half Drexel students and half community members. This model of shared learning in the community is unique to Drexel as it equalizes traditional Drexel students with students who are often marginalized. Issues of access to education, equality, and diversity are often an undercurrent or secondary theme. Example:

  • COMM 380: Talk’n the Walk: Public Speaking: Drexel students and LIFT clients meet each week at LIFT as colleagues to participate in a three credit course.

Community Hybrid:

Courses achieve 3 credit-hours divided between the traditional on-campus classroom and in the community. Modeled after the online hybrid, these courses require structured time outside of classroom. Example:

  • WRIT 304: It’s a Beautiful Life: Students meet in class on campus for 1.5 hours and in the community with their hospice partners for 1.5 hours each week.

Community-Based Research:

Courses begin with a research topic co-identified with the community that is carried out either during one term or over the course of several terms. Community members and student and/or faculty researchers work together to develop research questions and equitably share the research agenda through their partnership. The course and research are action-oriented and aim to produce positive change.