Information about placements for 2018-19 will be posted in the first week of June. Please check back then.

In the meantime, it is helpful if you send in  your resume and academic history from ROSI/ACORN with a note about the kinds and areas of work you are interested in (e.g. work with youth or refugees, community arts organizations, historical research).  Or come in to chat with me.   I might be able to suggest or find appropriate placements.

Linzi ( 416 978 8821

 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]


New College’s Community Engaged Learning (CEL) Program promotes and supports community–engaged  learning, research and practice informed by social justice values within New College courses.

The program offers two independent community engaged learning 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.

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

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

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

NOTE:  If there is a area of community-based work or an organization whose work interests you as a potential placement, please contact the Program Coordinator at as soon as possible before or during July 2017.

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.

Who can apply to these  “community engaged” academic courses?

  • Students from New College or any other college entering their third or final year may apply to the positions offered by community partner organizations or on-campus social purpose initiatives.
  • You may apply to as many of the advertised placements in either course as you feel qualified for and that interest you.
  • You may choose to apply to a position that clearly relates to your academic program, but you can also apply for a position in an organization whose work might lie outside your academic area but which excites your passion or interest.
  • Only students who are offered and accept positions after interviews with the host organization will be enrolled in the courses.
  • Grades are taken into consideration in students’ applications, but are not the most important criteria for acceptance into the course. More important is commitment to social justice and active critical citizenship, volunteering and community engagement; a desire to explore engaged forms of learning and scholarship; and an interest in the social service, non-profit or community development sector as potential sites of paid or unpaid/volunteer work.
  • Successful candidates are self-motivated, mature and responsible, able to take initiative and work independently. They are eager to learn and contribute to the work, and keen to develop skills in critical reflection. Good communication skills, interpersonal and cultural competency, and information literacy are important in most positions.
  •  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.

Other New College Community Engaged Learning Courses?

The following courses below combine classroom learning with community experience. Enrollment in these courses is through ROSI in the usual way:

The CEL program encourages and rewards different ways of learning and different kinds of knowledge production. It promotes the development of a range of skills and competencies crucial for graduates in the 21st century. CEL invites you to stretch yourself into unfamiliar spaces of learning and get engaged.
20 Willcocks St (Wilson Hall), Room 2017