Community Engaged Learning
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.
We use UCR's definition of Community Engaged Learning to guide our efforts:
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
How to Complete 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.
Monday, August 21st, 2023 - Friday, September 8th, 2023
Monday, March 4th, 2024 - Friday, March 22nd, 2024
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.
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.
- 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.
- How do I submit my CEL Plan?
- You can submit your CEL Plan by clicking here.
- 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.
- When should I start working on my hours?
- Once you have an approved CEL Plan, you can start working on completing the 40 hours.
- When should I complete the requirement?
- Please contact the CEL team to learn your deadline
- How long does it take to complete 40 hours?
- It typically takes a student 1-2 quarters to complete the requirement.
- 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.
- Can I go over 40 hours?
- Yes, it is highly recommended.
- Does the Community Engaged Learning program offer paid internships?
- The Community Engaged Learning program may provide paid internships.
- What should I do first in order to complete the requirement?
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 visit this webpage to learn about the most current available opportunities.
Learn more about our partners, below. If you are interested in becoming a partner, contact us here.
Riverside Remembers is a partnership with Beatty Elementary School, University Heights Middle School, and John W. North High School where UCR students help K-12 students understand the rich history of Riverside, and how it relates to self, family, and community.
Since 2012, Riverside Arts Academy (RAA) has been driven by its mission to empower at-risk Riverside youth ages 4-17 to grow socially, academically, and culturally through the arts. RAA offers classes and performances opportunities in music, dance, and visual arts. RAA partners with the city of Riverside, two Riverside school districts, five local colleges, and local organizations to provide free or low-cost music introduction through its RAA music Program to at risk children. RAA is primarily focus on music education at this time because of the strong research evidence linking making music (not just listening to it) with improved literacy and math skills.
Growing Inland Achievement (GIA) is a collective impact collaborative whose mission is to improve the long-term economic outlook of the Inland Empire region of Southern California through improving educational attainment rates. This mission is achieved through a shared vision and intentional collaboration of the two major university systems, 12 community colleges, and workforce and community organizations.
BLU Educational Foundation began in 2001 to help families that have limited financial resources face the challenges in the higher education system. By providing educational and human services programming to youth, adults and organizations, BLU Educational Foundation helps build healthy, productive communities. The primary focuses are education, health & wellness, civic engagement, leadership development, advocacy, and the arts.
Create Thirst Academy is a youth enrichment program serving the under-served and low-income households in our community. The program provides free tutoring, SAT preparation workshops, FAFSA completion workshop, mentoring, and a holistic approach to development a thirst for success.
The purpose of the Early Academic Outreach Program (EAOP) is to work in partnership with identified K-12 schools in the Inland Empire that have a high percentage of students who are first generation, socioeconomically disadvantaged and English language learners to raise the students’ achievement levels and awareness about college admission so they are prepared for postsecondary education after high school.
The Educational Talent Search Program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and designed to help low-income and/or potential first-generation college students. The program provides free academic tutoring, mentorship, financial guidance, and college application assistance to five high schools within the San Bernardino City Unified School District (Arroyo Valley, Indian Springs, Pacific, San Bernardino, San Gorgonio). Our goal is to help high school students enroll in, flourish at and graduate from a college or university.
The Upward Bound Programs (Classic, Oasis, Rialto/Colton Joint) is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and designed to help low-income and/or potential first-generation college students. The programs provide free academic tutoring, mentorship, financial guidance, and college application assistance to students attending nine target high schools located in Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Target high schools include Moreno Valley, Perris, Rubidoux, Banning, Norte Vista, Ramona, Bloomington, Colton, Eisenhower. Our goal is to help high school students enroll in, flourish at and graduate from a college or university.
Established in 1994, the University Eastside Community Collaborative (UECC) is a partnership among the University of California, Riverside, the Riverside Unified School District, and the City of Riverside. The UECC enlists 85 college students as AmeriCorps members to provide academic assistance, enrichment activities, and community service projects to elementary schools and community centers in the Eastside and University neighborhoods of Riverside. AmeriCorps members receive field experience under the supervision of classroom teachers and community center coordinators while earning a stipend and the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award upon completing their year of service.