Defining CETL

How St. Edward’s University Defines Community-Engaged Teaching & Learning

Community engagement serves as an umbrella term that covers many different pedagogical strategies for developing and implementing community-based and/or community-focused experiential learning. At St. Edward’s, faculty employ other, related terms to describe this work, such civic engagement, service learning, advocacy, volunteering, social entrepreneurship, etc. These terms reflect the many different activities, such as:

  • Learning with the community—Students apply their knowledge and skills from the classroom to address a challenge in a specific community.
  • Researching with the community—Students work with the community on a joint project where the community’s knowledge is integrated and amplified by student research.
  • Knowledge sharing with the community—Students share disciplinary knowledge with the community in order to further the well-being, aspirational goals, rights, etc. of community members.
  • Including practitioners as teachers—Students learn from the practical knowledge and specific expertise of community members invited into the classroom or out in the field.
  • Fostering social innovation by students—Students devise a new strategy, product, process, etc. to address a social need in a specific community. *

* For detailed descriptions of these activities see UNESCO’s “Institutionalizing Community-University Research Partnerships”