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Community-Engaged Learning

Community-engaged learning (CEL) is an experiential learning opportunity where students are able to combine work in a non-profit organization, a government agency, or business with academic work under the guidance of a faculty sponsor.

CEL aims to enhance classroom learning, provide experience and foster civic engagement. Students are sponsored by a faculty member who assigns them academic work that typically includes readings, keeping a journal, and a final project or paper. The Office of Community-Engaged Learning facilitates experiential opportunities for students, while a faculty sponsor supervises the academic work.

Nearly every department and program at Vassar sponsors community-engaged learning. Most CEL opportunities are in Poughkeepsie and the Mid-Hudson Valley, but many students arrange their own CEL opportunities in New York City and elsewhere. Students may need a pre- or co-requisite course in the sponsoring department. Internships during the summer may also be eligible for community-engaged learning credit.

The OCEL upholds the college’s commitment to providing an accessible and inclusive learning environment. Please contact the office if you need any accommodations.

For more information about the range of opportunities and the process for seeking credit, please visit our OCEL WordPress Site. If you have any questions, please send us an email at or make an appointment to meet with the Director, Dr. Lisa Kaul.



8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.