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“The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.”
– Alan W. Watts


Faculty participation is critical to creating a culture of service and community-based experiential learning at Earlham. The information on this page is intended to provide faculty with tools and assistance for incorporating community engaged learning into courses. We will continue to add resources for faculty here.

Community engaged learning refers to a learning experience where students acquire and apply knowledge and skills while addressing a community need. Faculty, students and community partners form collaborative and reciprocal relationships from which all benefit and learn while impacting issues and contributing to community well-being. Community engaged learning can take the form of volunteer service related to course content accompanied by classroom activities, readings, other assignments and reflection. Community-based research is another form of community engaged learning where individual students, small groups or an entire class research questions of interest to community partners and present their findings publicly or to community partners. Community engaged learning might be the main project around which an entire course is focused or it could be a relatively small assignment or an option that some students choose for an assignment while others pursue a more traditional research project.

There is a growing body of literature on forms of community engaged and experiential learning such as community-based research, service learning and community-based learning. This bibliography lists some of the resources available through Earlham’s libraries.

Get Connected with Earlham Engage

Earlham Engage is an online platform dedicated to linking the Earlham community with activities and opportunities in Richmond and beyond. We strongly encourage faculty to sign up and browse community partner agencies and posted volunteer needs and community events. As community partners generate research questions and possible class projects, these needs will be posted on Earlham Engage. Using Earlham Engage, students can: discover service opportunities; get to know the community by attending local events; track volunteer hours and generate their volunteer resume.

The Service Learning Module (SLM) allows faculty who are including service learning or community-based research in a course to share the specific volunteer needs that will fulfill their course requirements with the students in the course. Students can respond to needs and log their service hours in the Service learning Module of Earlham Engage.

Visit the Earlham Engage page for more information and to download guides for using the main site as well as the service Learning Module.

Establishing Community Partnerships

Earlham has a process for forming community partnerships. Agencies that appear in [Earlham Engage] have an active Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Earlham and are interested in working with Earlham students. Community partner needs are not necessarily limited to those listed on Earlham Engage. Faculty interested in working with a particular agency are encouraged to contact that community partner directly to explore the possibilities.

Faculty who have or want to establish partnerships with agencies and organizations not listed on [Earlham Engage] should contact Jana Schroeder who can initiate the process of establishing a partnership between Earlham and the agency.

Getting There

The Center for Career and Community Engagement operates a shuttle to transport volunteers and Federal work study-supported student employees to community partner sites in Richmond and other nearby locations. The shuttle operates weekday afternoons from 12:30 until 7. Riders are picked up from the CIL lobby, Landrum Bolling Center 1st Floor. For more details on how the shuttle operates, visit the shuttle page.

Many of our community partners are also within comfortable walking or biking distance from campus.

Other resources for Faculty

Director of Community Engagement, Jana Schroeder, is available to consult with faculty interested in incorporating community engaged learning into courses. She can help think through learning outcomes, design, potential community partners, logistics, reflection, assessment and more. She may also be able to offer concrete help with carrying out logistics. The CCCE also offers opportunities for groups of faculty to learn about and share experiences with community engaged learning. Faculty who are incorporating community engaged learning in courses are asked to send syllabi to Jana Schroeder and let her know about student papers and projects that address community needs. We hope to gather syllabi and student work which can be shared.

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Earlham College, an independent, residential college, aspires to provide the highest-quality undergraduate education in the liberal arts and sciences, shaped by the distinctive perspectives of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers).

Earlham College
801 National Road West
Richmond, Indiana
1-765-983-1200 — Main Switchboard
1-800-EARLHAM (327-5426) — Admission


Earlham admits students of any race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national and ethnic origin, age, gender and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admissions policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other school-administered programs.