CBLR courses enrich a student's understanding of important social, civic and ethical issues. They foster inquiry outside the classroom, enable knowledge creation in partnership with community agencies and build skills and competencies valuable for life after Brown.
The importance of community-engaged scholarship was reaffirmed in Brown's strategic plan, Building on Distinction: "Consistent with our mission to serve 'the community, the nation, and the world,' learning that connects academic and real-world experiences is central to the undergraduate experience at Brown."
As a Brown undergraduate, you are strongly encouraged to explore ways of integrating CBLR courses into your liberal arts education at Brown. A CBLR course is a required element of the Engaged Scholarship Certificate.
The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching defines community engagement as "the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity." At Brown, we have identified four core criteria for defining and designating community-based learning and research courses. CBLR-designated courses:
- Involve collaboration with one or more community partners to investigate an important social challenge or problem;
- Incorporate in-depth community-based experiences (typically undertaken outside of the classroom) into the learning and/or research objectives of the course;
- Provide structured opportunities for reflecting on the relationship between classroom learning and real-world experience, with the goals of deepening the understanding of course content and exploring questions of identity, agency, and social responsibility; and
- Create products or outcomes that are shared with the community partner and/or broader public.