UVic Community Engaged Learning OfficePromoting Diversity Through Community-Engaged Learning
The CPN includes more than 300 local businesses and organizations who are broadening their capacity to engage with diverse communities and be more inclusive. In each edition we highlight one of our members and the work they do to support inclusion.
Engaging with UVic students and providing them with meaningful opportunities to apply classroom knowledge in a real world setting. That is the mission of the UVic Community Engaged Learning Office (CEL). Just ask Rhianna Nagel – the coordinator of the CEL officer at UVic.
A member of the CPN since 2016, CEL Coordinator Rhianna Nagel and her colleagues constantly look for ways to collaborate with CPN members to bring UVic instructors and students together to engage in meaningful learning experiences for students.
By fostering civic engagement and learning outside of the classroom, students are challenged to integrate course material through real life community collaborations.
The CEL provides valuable guidance, tools and resources to students as they take on projects and nurture relationships with the broader community – including CPN members. This is learning that goes beyond the classroom.
The CEL and its many community partners provide students with opportunities to learn first-hand about, for example, how an organization expands its diversity, builds cross cultural competency and fosters inclusion.
Two examples of the collaboration between the CPN and CEL program included:
- Over the last five years more than 20 UVic students from the Digital Media, Anthropology, Sociology and Geography departments have worked with several CPN members. Through onsite visits and in depth interviews, students learned about CPN members and developed stories about how these organizations build a more welcoming and inclusive workplace. The students then created online stories that were posted on the Newcomers map (an additional collaboration with UVic’s Community Mapping lab).
- Juan de Fuca Westshore Parks and Recreation (a CPN member) is currenlty building a skate park in the Westshore. The skate park will provide youth with much needed accessible and inclusive recreation opportunities. Bobbi Neal – the Community Engagement Coordinator for Westshore Parks – requested CPN assistance with getting the word out about the initiative to help with fundraising goals for the skate park. The CEL office connected Westshore Parks with students from a UVic Digital Media course. Today, a group of passionate students are now creating digital promotional and fundraising materials for this unique skate park initiative.
CEL Coordinator Rhianna Nagel recognizes the value of these partnerships with the CPN and its members: “Working with CPN members allows the UVic CEL and our students to be a part of and contribute to a fantastically fun, important and interesting movement in our community”.
If your CPN organization would like to learn more about how to access students and faculty for community-based learning opportunities, please contact Rhianna Nagel of the UVic CEL at: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website: Community Engaged Learning