Community Engaged Learning

40 Hour Degree Requirement

 The Community Engaged Learning Program is a signature feature in the School of Education (SOE) at University of California, Riverside (UCR). The goal of Community Engaged Learning is to enrich and extend the UCR coursework experience with applied, real-world learning addressing community-identified concerns while serving the population needs of SOE students, faculty, and partners. The focus of each experience is to encourage students to put into practice their learned knowledge of education theory, research, policy, and practice in ways that contribute to the mission of an educational or community organization through well-informed service. 

The UCR definition for Community Engaged Learning: 

1) establishes and sustains mutually beneficial, respectful, and sustained collaboration that creates a sense of collective ownership and reciprocal value for the campus (including students, faculty, and staff) and community partners, 2) enriches the scholarship of the institution by accessing community cultural wealth and expertise, 3) addresses community-identified needs and enhances community well-being, and 4) deepens students' civic and academic learning, and promotes connections between these through opportunities for critical reflection and professional development.

Note: The SOE requires undergraduate Education, Society, and Human Development (ESHD) majors to complete 40 hours of Community Engaged Learning as a critical component of the degree requirement. 

If you would like to contact the CEL team you can do so by emailing 



the 40 Hours of CEL

An undergraduate ESHD major has four options to complete the Community Engaged Learning requirement. A detailed description of each option is provided below. ESHD majors are required to submit their CEL plan (more info in FAQ's) by the end of their first quarter in SOE. 

  • Past or Current Fieldwork Experiences

    A student may complete the Community Engaged Learning requirement with previous or current experience that is related to the field of Education. A student must complete the Fieldwork Opportunity Review form to have their experience reviewed. If the experience aligns with the 40 hours guidelines, the experience will be approved and will count towards the 40 hours. A student can fill out the Fieldwork Opportunity Review form here

    It is recommended to provide as much information and detail on the Fieldwork Opportunity Review form to provide a true description of the responsibilities/tasks. Once a Fieldwork Opportunity Review form is submitted, allow 7-10 business days for a response. 

    Note: High School experiences will not be considered. 

  • Community Engaged Learning Internships

    Students may sign up for the internships provided by the Community Engaged Learning program. These internships are created by our community partners and require students to be in the Community Engaged Learning program to access the internships. 

    Students who are interested in applying for the Community Engaged Learning program will choose the cohort they wish to participate in and are expected to stay in the program for a minimum of 2 quarters. Students can apply to the Community Engaged Learning program during the enrollment periods (listed below). If you have any questions regarding the enrollment period, please contact Sarah Juarez. For a list of the Community Engaged Learning internships, please click here

    Enrollment Periods: 

    Fall/Winter Cohort 

    Monday, August 12th, 2024 - Friday, September 6th, 2024 

    Spring/Summer Cohort 

    Monday, February 10th, 2025 -  Friday, March 7th, 2025

  • Research with Faculty

    If a student is interested in assisting a faculty member on their research, they must first ask the faculty member if they are accepting research assistants. If the faculty member agrees to have the student on their team, the student must work with their academic advisor to sign up for a research course. 

  • Service-Learning

    Students can receive hours from an education course that has an embedded component of service-learning. A service-learning education course requires students to complete a certain amount of hours of community service for the course grade. If a student believes they are in or have been in a service-learning course, they must contact the Community Learning Coordinator. 

  • FAQ's
    1. What should I do first in order to complete the requirement? 
      • We recommend you learn the details of each of the four options (e.g., past/current fieldwork experiences, CEL internships, research with faculty, and service-learning) before submitting a CEL plan. You can learn the details of each option by making an appointment with a CEL team member or by attending a CEL presentation that is offered quarterly. 
    2. How do I submit my CEL Plan? 
      • You can submit your CEL Plan by clicking here
    3. When do I submit my CEL Plan? 
      • You are required to submit your CEL Plan before the end of your first quarter in the SOE. 
    4. When should I start working on my hours?
      • Once you have an approved CEL Plan, you can start working on completing the 40 hours.
    5. When should I complete the requirement? 
      • Please contact the CEL team to learn your deadline 
    6. How long does it take to complete 40 hours? 
      • It typically takes a student 1-2 quarters to complete the requirement. 
    7. How do I complete the 40 hour requirement? 
      • A student can complete the 40 hours in any of the four options: research with faculty, service-learning, Community Engaged Learning internships, or past/current fieldwork experiences. All options must be approved by the Community Learning Coordinator. 
    8. Can I go over 40 hours? 
      • Yes, it is highly recommended. 
    9. Does the Community Engaged Learning program offer paid internships? 
      • The Community Engaged Learning program may provide paid internships. 

Community Engaged Learning Team

Sarah Juarez

Sarah Juarez

Community Engaged Learning Coordinator 

Sarah leads the Community Engaged Learning program in the Undergraduate Education Program at the School of Education (SOE). She works with local partners and SOE faculty to develop professional development and community engagement opportunities for education students. Sarah received her M.Ed. in Higher Education Administration and Policy at the SOE.



Ernesto Gutierrez

Ernesto Gutierrez

Student Engagement Specialist 

Ernesto serves as the Student Engagement Specialist  where he assists the CEL team by working on various program projects and advising on grad school preparation and professional development. In addition, he leads a cohort of students and acts as a motivator, mentor, and leader during their internship experience. 




Our Partners

SOE has partnerships with local school districts, nonprofits, and community-based organizations across the Inland Empire and beyond who share our commitment to transform education. Students in the education major can earn their required community hours by engaging with these partners in a variety of ways. As these opportunities frequently change, students are encouraged Community Engaged Learning Opportunities to learn about the most current available opportunities. 

Learn more about our partners, below. If you are interested in becoming a partner, contact us.

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