Community Engaged Learning


UPDATES AND IMPORTANT INFORMATION about Community Engaged Learning courses for Fall/Winter 2024-25: 

(Please note that NEW497 is not being offered this year).

Write to if you would like more information or have questions not addressed below.

**Check out Available Placements for 2024-2025**


About the Program

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, full-year credit courses for upper-level undergraduate students who are committed to working for social justice and are looking for meaningful, practical or research experience that makes a contribution to the social service or community sector.  Both courses involve reflective learning and creative assignments, and offer opportunities to learn from the experiences of others in the class, to  integrate your academic knowledge with experiences outside the classroom,  to challenge yourself, and explore your values and future directions.

What’s involved?

Students in the program work for 5-7 hours per week  for and with a nonprofit organization or social enterprise that is doing front-line service provision, community-based research, community development, social justice advocacy, arts-based community building or educational work. Students participate in a weekly seminar where you will share experiences and learn from peers, deepen understanding of the social purpose sector, develop professional skills, and reflect collectively and critically on the social justice issues and questions that arise from your experience.

Who might be interested in this program?

Students entering their 3rd or 4th year, from any college, program, or discipline  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 – along with others – about how social change happens;
  • 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 engage in self-challenging, reflective learning, where you will be the director of your own learning process.

Program Details:

  • If you are interested in working in a particular area – e.g. with youth, or community arts, community health – please contact as soon as possible. If there is sufficient time, we might be able to arrange placements in your area of interest.
  • The following options are available for participation in the CEL program: (A) Students may apply to an in-person placement (positions posted on the CEL website) and participate in the program in the traditional manner or (B) Apply to a virtual placement or (C) Apply to the course without a placement. (D) Students may choose to do a community research project in collaboration with a community organization, and will be invited to speak on their project during the Spring Symposium.
  • There is no direct enrolment in these courses. You must (A) apply to the positions you are interested in and, if successful, the hosting organization will offer you a placement. You will then be enrolled directly by the CEL administration or (B) contact the CEL coordinator at to express interest in joining the program; include a resume.
  • Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and match meetings will be held between June 1 – August 31. 


  • In order to offer students a robust experience in community engagement, we will be inviting guests from partner organizations to speak in class about their work and community involvement.
  • Please continue reading below for application instructions.