For Faculty

The Center for Community-Engaged Learning exists to support faculty, students, and community partners in mounting successful, academically-grounded learning experiences to benefit the community.

In this faculty section, you will find information to:

  • Identify your course as CEL
  • Plan and implement a CEL course
  • Request support:  for funding, transportation, selecting a community partner, acquiring a student teaching-assistant, coordinating departmental plans for CEL within the major/minor, etc.
  • View CEL syllabi and project examples
  • Become a Service-Learning Faculty Fellow
  • Explore Faculty Development Opportunities
  • Check out the Center’s library of books, CDs, and interactive teaching materials
  • Connect your scholarship to CEL
  • Become acquainted with peer-reviewed journals, conferences, and grant opportunities focused on community-engaged learning in higher education
Explore the above tabs and contact Joan Wagner ( x2844) to find out more, share ideas, or schedule an appointment.

Identify your Course and Request Funding Here

Note: Please submit this questionnaire prior to EACH semester you plan to teach a CEL course, even if you have identified your course as service-learning or CEL in the past. If the design of your course has not substantially changed, then the survey will direct you only to the pages necessary for renewal/tracking purposes.

Although you can enter and view the form as many times as you wish, you cannot partially complete, save, and return to the form.  Plan to enter and submit it in one sitting. You will also be able to request funding and indicate if your course is intended to meet the LSC experiential learning requirement

The following documents are meant to support your course design and identification process: 

Why identify your course and what information to provide on the form  

Definitions of Community-Engaged Learning (CEL), Identification Process, and Connection to Experiential Learning Requirement 

Three Stage Matrix of Community-Engaged Learning

Project Examples from courses taught at SMC

Using the Language of CEL in the syllabus 

If you are seeking EL designation for your community-engaged learning course, please send your syllabus to after completing the questionnaire.

Faculty are invited to consult with Joan at any stage of the process of your course design, identification, or delivery.

AT THE END of the semester in which you delivered a CEL course, have students take the CEL Student Survey. It is a useful tool for student reflection on their experience, provides valuable feedback to you for planning your next CEL course, and contributes to the collective picture of what our CEL efforts all add up to here at SMC. 

 Upcoming Conferences...

NERCHE's First Annual Lynton Colloquium on the Scholarship of Engagement 

September 21, 2012, 9:00am-3:30pm, UMass Boston.  Details here. 

International Association for Research on Service-learning and Community Engagement (IARSLCE) Annual Conference

September 23-25, 2012 University of Maryland, Baltimore  

The conference theme is Connected Knowing. Join over 900 researchers, students and practitioners committed to advancing research on service-learning and community engagement.  Registration is NOW underway. Details and the link to register is at

Search the conference Proceedings at 

Keynote speakers are Harold McDougall and Katherine Lambert-Pennington, whose addresses promise to be inspiring, informative, and memorable. You may read more about them here:

2nd Annual Eastern Region Campus Compact Conference
Moving Us Forward: Social Responsibility and Community Impact

October 11-12, 2012 Dartmouth College, New Hampshire
Call for Proposals and Presentation Proposal form.

Contact Joan to sign out these teaching tools:

The Visual Explorer

The Visual Explorer™ is a tool for creative conversations and deep dialogues using a wide variety of images.  A framing question is posed.  Students browse the 8x10" images and each select an image which represents their individual responses to the framing question.  Participants share their selections and rationales, launching a robust discussion around the framing question.  Many variations to this process can be tailored by the facilitator to suit his/her purpose and the size of the group.

Sticky Wall

sticky wall

What:  5' x 12' Portable and lightweight interactive presentation surface.  Markers and paper are included.  Great for group brainstorming exercises, visual grouping of ideas, and facilitating discussions.  

How it works:  The front surface is treated so that papers will stick to the mat, but can easily be removed to display, group, and regroup participants' ideas using small to large pieces of paper.  Gets students up and moving, interacting with other discussants and trying out ideas.

The Civically Engaged Reader

Civic reflection is an open-ended practice of reflective discussion that builds community, improves relationships, and increases clarity about values and beliefs.  The Reader, published by the Great Books Foundation, is designed to spur conversations based on literature, poems, short speeches, and essays which can be linked to service, activism, and civic engagement.  It is used in classrooms, teaching/learning events, retreats, cross-cultural activities, etc. 

 A complete list of current books available both in the CEL office or college library will be available soon...

Learn What Matters