Faculty Partners

What is Community Engaged Learning?

Community-engaged learning is an educational framework characterized by collaborative endeavors addressing specific community interests, problems, or public concerns. Key principles include:

  • Community Collaboration: Actively engaging with and learning from community partners, fostering mutual understanding and cooperation.
  • Integration with Education: Connecting experiential learning with academic content, bridging theory and practice to enrich the educational experience.
  • Critical Reflection: Structured and documented reflection on experiences, encouraging a deeper understanding of social issues and personal growth.
  • Addressing Social Problems: Engaging with communities to proactively address community-identified societal needs, contributing to positive change and reciprocal benefits for all stakeholders.

Faculty Engaged in Community Engaged Learning 

Faculty involved in community-engaged learning bridge the gap between academia and real-world applications. By collaborating with local organizations, these educators integrate practical experiences into teaching, enhancing students’ understanding and sense of social responsibility. This approach not only enriches faculty insights into societal challenges but also fosters mutually beneficial relationships. In short, faculty committed to community engagement play a crucial role in preparing students for active participation beyond the classroom.


Getting Started with Community Engaged Learning


Students engage in reflection to make sense of their experiences, establishing connections between knowledge and practical application. This process guides them from merely describing and explaining to evaluating and critiquing. Within the realm of experiential learning, reflection becomes a bridge for students to relate their academic studies to real-world experiences, be it in a corporate office, a campus research lab, or within a local or global community. When executed effectively, reflection not only generates and enhances learning but also serves as a documentation of student progress. These reflective activities additionally foster deeper connections among students, providing an avenue for mutual learning. Facilitated reflection, incorporated into a cohort-based experience, creates a dedicated time and space that contributes to building a sense of community and belonging for students.

Sample Syllabi

Other Resources 

Climate Justice Instructional ToolkitThe MIT D-Lab Participation Toolkit: A
Suite of Tools for Understanding,
Characterizing, and Implementing
Participation in Development and
Humanitarian Contexts
The toolkit offers assistance to faculty members and instructors in introductory undergraduate courses. This toolkit aims to facilitate the incorporation of climate justice content and relevant instructional approaches into their respective courses.

Supported by the Alumni Class Funds Grant, the Toolkit encompasses a diverse array of climate justice adaptable teaching modules, a beginner’s guide for teaching climate justice, resources tailored for students, and climate justice datasets.

Instructional Toolkit
Design can effectively tackle development and humanitarian challenges, providing tangible and intangible benefits. The paper stresses the significance of engaging end-users in the design process for culturally relevant solutions. It proposes a concise four-step approach with tools from MIT D-Lab and the Humanitarian Innovation Fund to enhance participation in such projects.

Participation Toolkit
MIT Sloan Action Learning Labs
MIT Sloan Action Learning is a teaching method where students take what they learn in the classroom and apply it to a real business challenge. Students work together to apply classroom theories, solve problems, learn to lead, and reflect.

Action Learning

Faculty Highlights 

Numerous MIT faculty members are actively involved in remarkable community-engaged learning initiatives. Explore their impactful projects and discover insights into the courses they offer.

Interested in Seeing More Examples?

MIT News Articles 

6.9000: Engineering for Impact

Link to Article

WGS.247/21L.592: Race, Place, and Modernity in the Americas

Link to Article

HST.537/1.063/2.25: Fluids and Diseases Course

Link to Article

Check out the academic courses the PKG Center is currently offering and supporting.