What is Community-Engaged Learning?

Community-engaged learning is just what it sounds like: learning that engages the community. In practice this means that in addition to coursework – or completely outside of the classroom – students spend some time getting involved with a local community organization and contributing to their efforts. Typically there is also training and reflection so that students get the most out of the experience. 

There are two basic types of community-engaged learning (aka CEL): academic and co-curricular.

Academic community-engaged learning is course-based and can earn you credit in your academic program, while co-curricular community-engaged learning happens outside of the classroom and is open to students of any academic background.

U of T student tutoring high school student

Community Action Projects

These long-term experiences give you the opportunity to get involved in the community for anywhere from 4 to 10 months. The projects differ based on community organization in terms of location, time (of year, day and commitment). These long term projects allow you to connect with various local communities right in the heart of Toronto.

Student reading to three children

Alternative Reading Week

Alternative Reading Week (ARW) is a community engagement opportunity that gives you a chance to learn more about, and to understand the local issues within Toronto. ARW is designed to enhance your experiences with community engagement, leadership, social change and community development. Join hundreds of U of T students as you spend three days participating in community-based projects.

Group of students posing with artwork

Community Day

Community Days is a single-day opportunity every month to embody action for social change and provide a platform for even the busiest student to get involved!  

Whether it’s a two hour basketball game with kids at St. Albans Boys & Girls Clubs or three hours of craft making with seniors at Kensington Gardens, it’s a great opportunity to learn outside of the classroom, connect with other U of T students, make new friends, and become informed of the diverse community organizations around Toronto.

Community-Engaged Initiative Grant

The Centre for Community Partnerships is excited to announce a new grant program opportunity for students at the University of Toronto. The CCP Community-Engaged Initiative Grants are financial awards ranging up to $1000, the total pool is $15,000. They are designed to ignite and strengthen student and community partnerships in the Greater Toronto Area and the Peel Region. The Grants encourage the development of innovative community service, community-engaged learning and/or civic engagement projects in partnership with community organizations.

2 Students standing by Homework Help Poster painted on wall

Clubs and Committees

Do you, your campus club or organization engage with the community, social justice or equity issues? Does your work support communities through volunteer opportunities, community-engaged learning or other direct engagement?

Join the CCP’s Community Outreach and Engagement Network (COEN) to take advantage of the support we offer! You'll have a chance to network with other engaged groups, share your information with others, and participate in facilitated discussions and sessions on topics of value to your group.

student group meeting