What Is Community Engaged Learning?
Community Engaged Learning (CEL) is an academic program at Millsaps College that enables students to partner traditional classroom content with practical application in the community. Through mutually beneficial partnerships within the Jackson Metropolitan community, students cultivate their identity as lifelong learners and active citizens. While Millsaps has always fostered students’ involvement in the greater community, the CEL program officially became part of the academic program in 2002.
CEL projects range from traditional community service models to mentoring opportunities between our students and community leaders in the non-profit and private sector worlds. As an integral piece of the Millsaps experience, CEL encourages students to discern the ways in which their community serves them and to envision their own unique contributions as active, engaged citizens. CEL not only enhances student learning, but encourages awareness of our community partners and the crucial contribution that they make to the Jackson Metro area.
What makes CEL unique at Millsaps?
Millsaps College is located in the heart of the capital city, a crossroads for culture, public policy and education. This location provides unlimited opportunities in the midst of a thriving metropolitan area educating students on the complexities of urban issues. In 2013, the college prioritized community engagement as part of the strategic plan “Across the Street and Around the Globe.”
Who Does It?
Everyone! CEL classes are taught within all disciplines of the college including Biology, Education, Religious Studies, History, Psychology, English, Business and Communications. Students in CEL courses have earned regular credit hours while writing business plans for local businesses, working with elementary students on early literacy skills, and conducting science workshops for Jackson Public Schools.
Other CEL projects have given students the opportunity to tutor Sudanese refugees, work in afterschool programs, conduct market research, and contribute to public history events. CEL coursework at Millsaps underscores the critical connection between learning and doing, giving our students the knowledge and experience to be lifelong citizens, whether they are in their hometown or across the world.