What is community-based learning and research?

Community-based learning and research is a teaching and learning strategy that emphasizes experiential learning and community partnership. All partners in community-based learning and research are both teachers and learners as students, faculty, community partners and staff share their knowledge and skills develop responses to social questions. Community-based learning takes place in academic courses, internships, independent studies, EXCEL scholar projects, independent faculty research, and academic student clubs and honor societies.

Community-based learning and research allows students and faculty to:
  • Test the validity of facts and theories, and study concrete instances of phenomena presented in course readings, lectures, and discussions
  • Learn from people in the local community who have experience in subjects outside of Lafayette faculty expertise
  • Analyze ways in which concepts and skills learned in a traditional academic setting might be used to solve real-life problems
  • Work collaboratively with those not part of the campus community to design and implement projects that benefit the larger community
  • Pursue scholarly projects in their field of interest

Experiential learning in action