Community-Based Learning Resources

Many courses at Hampshire and in the Five-Colleges offer opportunities for students to connect with community-based organizations and/or acquire background in issue areas that are relevant to engaged learning. Some colleges create separate designations for such classes. While Hampshire does not yet have these, many course descriptions indicate whether community engaged learning is an option. The best place to begin a search for community-based learning opportunities through classes is on the Five College Community-based Learning Committee website.

For Students

Guidelines for using your community engaged learning activities to fulfill the Division Two Community Engagement & Collaborative Learning Requirement can be found here. They merely outline the broad steps involved so it is important to read them in conjunction with the actual requirement and the forms.

If you are interested in doing community engaged learning in any of the surrounding communities, members of the CECL Network, in collaboration with Five College partners, offer occasional workshops to introduce you to the communities of Springfield and Holyoke, MA. These are wonderful one-day events in the fall that will give you an opportunity to meet members of community-based organizations from these cities and to learn more about their histories, current challenges and assets. More information can be found on this website in News & Events.

In addition, if you will be needing to use a Hampshire van to get to community-based sites, you will need to have a defensive driving course. More information about the dates for when this course is offered can be found on the News & Events page as well.

More information about useful resources to support student-based community engaged work will be forthcoming.

For Faculty

The CECL Network seeks to support faculty in advising your students about community engaged learning (CEL) and in integrating CEL into teaching. With respect to the former, advising guidelines for the Division 2 Community Engagement & Learning Requirement may be found here. Information for tutorial faculty about the new Division 1 Campus Engaged Learning Requirement can be found on the CEL1 website.

Please contact any one of the CECL or Community Partnerships for Social Change staff for help with planning a course that incorporates a community engaged learning component, outreach to a community organization, or more information about national organizations that promote and support faculty development in community engaged learning in your curricular area of interest. The CECL Network is working with the Dean of Faculty and Institutional Advancement offices to attract funding to support faculty development in this area and provide more resources to faculty and students that partner with community-based organizations.

Located (or soon to be located) on this website, and in links to other websites, are some additional materials that may be of interest. These include:

Contact information for faculty support:

Mary Bombardier, Asst. Dean of Community Engagement, Director of Community Partnerships for Social Change (CPSC), 413.559.5395,

Myrna Breitbart, Professor of Geography & Urban Studies, Director of the Community Engagement & Collaborative Learning (CECL) Network, 413.559.5457,

Ivana Staiti, Community Engaged Learning Assistant, 413.559.6784,