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Community-engaged learning (CEL) is an experiential educational opportunity that combines work in a non-profit organization, a government agency, or a business with academic work.  It enables students to examine the way the theories and practical experiences of a particular discipline interact. It aims to deepen classroom learning, provide experience and foster civic engagement.  Students are sponsored by a faculty member who assigns them academic work that typically includes readings, keeping a journal, and a final project or paper. Placements are arranged through our office, while a faculty sponsor supervises the academic work.

Nearly every department and program at Vassar sponsors community-engaged learning. Most placements are in Poughkeepsie and the Mid-Hudson Valley, but many students arrange their own placements in New York City and elsewhere. Students may need a pre- or co-requisite course in the sponsoring department. Internships during the summer may also be eligible for community-engaged learning credit.

The OCEL upholds the college’s commitment to providing an accessible and inclusive learning environment. Please contact the office if you need any accommodations.

Office of Community-Engaged Learning Newsletters

For more information about the range of placements and procedures for seeking credit, please visit the Office of Community-Engaged Learning in Main N-165 or call us at (845) 437-5280.