New College’s Community Engaged Learning (CEL) Program promotes and supports  community–engaged  learning, research and practice in New College courses.

The program offers two interdisciplinary placement-based courses for students who are:

  • keen to explore the social purpose implications and applications of academic knowledge outside the classroom,  in community and social justice settings;
  • wanting to understand different ways in which social problems are currently being addressed and to think with others about how social change might be effected;
  • looking to learn about and gain practical experience (or deepen current experience) in the social sector by working for and with organizations variously involved in front-line service provision, community-based research, social justice advocacy, arts-based community building and social enterprise;
  • excited to  contribute meaningfully to the work of a nonprofit organization, social enterprise, or campus-based social-justice initiative by supporting program activities or undertaking research;
  • wanting to explore what it means to be an active, engaged citizen in these times; and
  • ready to explore a challenging, engaged and reflective way of learning, both in ‘the field’ and in participatory seminars.

Who can apply? How does it work?

  • Students entering their 3rd or 4th years from any program, college or campus may apply, and you may apply to as many of the advertised placements as interest you.
  • You cannot enroll directly in the courses. You must first apply to a placement position that interests you. The most suitable applications are then considered by the host organization which interviews a few students and offers the position to the most suitable candidate. Enrolment is done by the program coordinator.
  • If you want the course to count toward your program of study’s degree requirements, you will need to attain the consent of your academic advisor. The course might count as a breadth requirement.
  • Grades are not the most important criteria for acceptance into the program.  More important is a commitment to active citizenship, and engagement in the community. This program is designed for those who have an  interest in potentially pursuing work in the social service, non-profit or community sector.
  • The seminars, NEW495 and NEW497, provide a learning space in which  students can contextualize and deepen their understanding of the work they are doing,  share experiences and learn from their peers,  develop professional skills, and reflect collectively and critically on the social justice issues and questions that arise for them.
  • For information about the two seminar courses, available placements and application procedures follow the links on the left margin menu.

For any inquiries: nc.engagedlearning@utoronto.ca

 

What is Community Engaged Learning?

Testimony from students who have taken NEW495. Filmed at the Community Engaged Learning Symposium 2015, videography by Scott James Baker. Featuring keynote speaker Sara Carpenter.
[Read Sara’s full talk, “Creative Disruptions: Critical Opportunities in Community Engaged Learning]

 

Independent Community Engaged Learning Seminar NEW495Y

This course offers an “internship” or immersion experience with a community organization or social justice initiative for several hours each week, along with a regular seminar in which you will:

  • reflect critically and collectively on your placement experience;
  • consider how your experiences and community-based knowledge illuminate or challenge your academic knowledge and vice versa;
  • participate in conversations and active learning activities that explore the social justice and ethical issues arising in community-engaged work;
  • have opportunities for peer-learning, professional and personal development.

For more information about the course, the placements and application process go to the course link or contact nc.engagedlearning@utoronto.ca

Independent Community Engaged Research NEW497Y

This course offers a placement experience in which the focus of the work involved is research.  The kind  of research (e.g. participatory, qualitative, quantitative) will depend on the needs and research agenda of the hosting organization.  The community-engaged research “internship” will be accompanied by a regular seminar in which you will:

  • gain a deeper understanding of the nature and value of community-based research;
  • grapple with the ethics of community-engaged research;
  • develop a range of research skills, including arts-based approaches, relevant to your placement;
  • participate in conversations and active learning activities that explore the social justice and ethical issues arising in community-engaged work; and
  • have opportunities for peer-learning, professional and personal development.

For more information about the course, placements and application process go to the course link or contact nc.engagedlearning@utoronto.ca

How it works: 

  • If you are interested in either of the two courses, you apply to the listed positions that most interest you.  Suitable candidates will be interviewed by the host organization. If you are successful and receive a placement position,  you will be enrolled in the course by the program coordinator.
  • You will work for your placement an average 6-8 hours per week and participate in the seminar which meets each week for 2-3 hours for the first part of the course and then less frequently.
  • There are regular writing assignments (reflection papers, blogs) and classroom activities through which you extend, deepen and demonstrate your learning.  There are opportunities to learn about and from the experiences of your peers as well as from invited speakers and course-related workshops.
  • At the end of the course, you will make a presentation in a symposium, highlighting your learning and achievements.

 

Other New College Community Engaged Learning Courses?

NEW270H Foundations in Community Engagement is recommended as preparation for participation in both NEW495Y and NEW497Y.

Other New College CEL courses:

The following courses below combine classroom learning with experience in social agencies and community partner organizations. Enrollment in these courses is through ACORN in the usual way:

Contact:  nc.engagedlearning@utoronto.ca
416-978-8821
20 Willcocks St (Wilson Hall), Room 2017