Community Engaged Learning at Lewis University

Community Engaged Learning at Lewis University

Welcome to the site for the Office of Community Engaged Learning (OCEL).  The idea of Community Engaged Learning (CEL) is deeply embedded in the Lewis University Mission.  OCEL strives to build connections among Lewis faculty, staff, and students with local and global partners through Community Engaged Learning.  We hope to deepen student learning through rich community experience which fulfill student learning outcomes.

What is Community Engaged Learning?

Community Engaged Learning is comprised of experiences which are integrated with course materials, activities, and directed reflection that enable students to practice social and civic responsibility while deepening disciplinary knowledge and skills.  CEL highlights mutually responsible relationships among faculty, students, and community partners, using reflection as a means of holistic learning.  CEL speaks to applying learning through direct engaged experiences or project-based courses to needs in the surrounding region, with a special focus on the communities near Lewis.  This heightens students’ awareness about their environment beyond campus boundaries.  By encouraging students and faculty to work closely with the community, the priorities of community organizations are addressed while students become more informed and motivated agents of change.  These opportunities are structured around community-identified needs that align with course objectives and met through engaging with community partners who serve as co-educators of course curricula alongside faculty.  CEL takes a different approach than the traditional classroom structure which may concentrate more on lecture, papers, and tests.

We invite you to explore our site to gain a deeper insight into CEL programming, community connections, and resources to better understand service learning course designation as well as forms of community engaged learning which lie outside of designation.  As OCEL continues to grow, our goals are to equip and resource faculty toward CEL course development, and build and network community partnerships to increase our breadth and depth of offerings to interested area agencies, faculty, and students.
To better keep in contact with us, make sure to like us on our Facebook page.  We invite any input, suggestions, and comments to improve and develop the way we partner with faculty, students, staff, and community partners engaged with the Lewis community.

Student Learning Outcomes

Through Service learning courses, projects, or programs, students will:

  • Identify service and civic responsibility as personal and professional priorities
  • Integrate academic course content with experience in an engaged, practical settingHave confidence that s/he can be an agent of change
  • Be effective, collaborative leaders
  • Be a self-reflective person in order to gain an understanding of local and global communities
Connection to Lewis University Mission

The Mission of Lewis University encouraged the concept of service learning. “Lewis promotes the development of the complete person through the pursuit of wisdom and justice. Fundamental to its mission is a spirit of association which fosters community in all teaching, learning, and service.”

Service learning promotes the Lewis Mission: Service learning compels our students to explore academic objectives (knowledge), learn life lessons from their experiences with the communities they serve (wisdom), and express their faith through service (fidelity). Service learning also promotes a community of caring among our students who work as a team on their projects and among the faculty and staff who facilitate their projects (association). Together faculty staff and students through service learning work to promote justice.

CEL Mission & Vision

The Mission
The Office of Service Learning at Lewis University promotes the common good through the development of academic opportunities to apply learning by meeting real-world needs. In collaboration with community agencies and faculty members, students engage with the community through service, explore realities of justice and injustice, and are transformed by reflecting on their experiences in light of course and program objectives.

The Vision
Service learning, a recognized component of educational excellence, is part of the scholarly culture of Lewis University. Through the experience of service learning, students engage with the community through service explore realities of justice and injustice, and reflect on their experiences in light of course objectives and resources. Service learning within local, national, and global communities is transformative.

Contact Information

Laura Wilmarth Tyna
Director of Community Engaged Learning
(815) 836-5848

Dr. Christie Billups
Curriculum Development Advisor
(815) 836-5829

Jake Smith
Graduate Assistant
Office of Community Engaged Learning
(815) 836-5023