Community Engaged Teaching Overview & Resources

Community Engaged Teaching goes by many names, including service learning and community-based teaching and learning (CBTL). Although the name has changed and precise definitions vary, the core pedagogical components remain the same.

Community Engaged Teaching:
1. Integrates academic rigor with one or many community engagement components.
2. Is collaboratively planned, implemented, and concluded with a community partner(s), as appropriate to the course component.
3. Actively prepares students to serve and engage in the community.
4. Encourages students to think critically about their identities, cultures, and roles in and among community.
5. Requires flexibility on the parts of students, faculty, and community partners.
6. Should mutually benefit all participants.
7. Includes reflection to enhance participant learning.
8. Is evaluated for its ability to achieve the above principles.

Gephardt Institute Resources:
Community-Engaged Teaching Overview
The Gephardt Institute for Civic and Community Engagement overview of CET.

Course Planning CheckList
The Course Planning Checklist provides a list of details to think about when developing a CET course.

Partner Agreement
The Partner Agreement is designed to outline the expectations of the community partners. This form can be adapted to specific CET courses or programs with the exception of the release which informs community partners that the projects are completed by students and may not meet professional standards.

Partnership Orientation Handbook
The Partnership Orientation Handbook provides an overview and guidelines for CET to community partners, including helpful tips on supervision of students.

Student Agreement
The Student Agreement is designed to inform students of the unique roles and responsibilities of a CET course. This form can be adapted with the exception of the release that informs students that their work is the property of the community partner unless otherwise agreed upon.

Partnership Agreement
The Partnership Agreement is designed to facilitate communication among students, faculty, and staff. It communicates expectations for students, community partners, faculty, and Gephardt Institute staff (if applicable) and provides a structure for students to meet with their partner agencies to develop project objectives, descriptions, and tasks.

Liability Waiver
This is a standard liability waiver for CET courses and programs. It has been vetted with WU General Council and can be adapted to specific CET courses and programs.

General and Comprehensive Guides:
Toolkit for Designing Community Engaged Courses
Faculty Toolkit for Service Learning in Higher Education
Community Engaged Teaching Step by Step
Guide to Service Learning Pedagogy
Service Learning Models

Community Partnership:
Principles of Partnership
Community Partnership Models, Development, and Agreements

Student Preparation:
Toolkit for Preparing Students for Community Engagement

Community Engagement Course Syllabi:
Campus Compact Syllabi Search
Integrating Service Learning by Discipline

The Experiential Learning Model and Reflection Questions
Types of Reflection Activities
Written Reflection

Community Perspectives on University-Community Engagement:
Building Partnerships with College Campuses: Community Perspectives
Community Voices: A California Campus Compact Study on Partnerships

Other Academic and National Resources:
The Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning
Campus Compact
National Society for Experiential Education
National Youth Leadership Council

For course-based funding opportunities through the Gephardt Institute, please learn more about our Civic Engagement Fund.

For further resources or technical assistance, please contact Beth Martin at