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The Huron Co-Curricular Learning office provides multiple opportunities for connecting your classroom learning to an out of classroom experience. 

In particular, Community-Based Learning (CBL) is one example of such an experience. CBL supports Huron's mission of "combining rigorous learning with the exploration of new territory" by connecting the classroom to the community and the community to the classroom.

Through Community-Based Learning, students have an opportunity to participate in independent study with forms of active learning. CBL enables our students to overcome the real and imagined boundaries that conventionally appear to divide the academy from the community.

In order to provide transformational community-based learning, we ensure that CBL components are an integrated and planned part of a course. We identify partnerships that are meaningful and relevant to course material and that are equally beneficial to both the student and the community partner. 
  • Some Examples of Community-Based Learning Courses

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  • The Historian's Craft: The centrepiece of this course is an annual class project that brings together the theoretical and practical aspects of the course material. In the 2012/13 year, the class project was built around the letters written by the nineteenth-century abolitionist, the Reverend Hiram Wilson. This class went on a field trip to Oberlin, Ohio, to explore the archives, and tour the town that was a hub of the Underground Railroad.  The students research from this class will contribute to a wider community of historical research through the 'Promised Land Project'.

    Chinese Diaspora and Literature Representation: This year, for the first time, Dr. Laura Wu added a CBL component to her Chinese 2243 course. We brought in 4 Chinese-Canadian writers to come to campus, do a lecture on their life and writing, and engage in discussion with the class.  Students were divided into smaller groups, each of which was responsible for introducing the writer, conducting an interview, and chairing a discussion session. This included an opportunity for those students to enjoy dinner with the guest speaker after the class. The four CBL interviews were published in Red Maple, a regional Chinese language newspaper (published twice a month) between March 6 and July 3, 2013, reaching a much bigger community in southwestern Ontario (Red Maple covers the Chinese communities in London, Waterloo, Guelph and Hamilton).

    Living Religions of the World: The purpose of this course is to develop students’ understanding of the living religions of the world with a major emphasis on their origins, historical development, teachings and practices.  Through CBL, students were able to better understand current practices of these religions and broaden their exposure to a religious community outside their typical experience. A final conference took place on March 27th where students presented on their research and experiences.

    Poverty: Students were placed with community agencies where they worked on local issues relating to poverty. This year, we were more selective with the partners that students could work with and narrowed it down to 4 options. The final class involved a poverty symposium where students presented the results of their research and engagement to community partners and students.  

    Think Global, Act Local: Students in this course worked with the two community partners to explore issues relating to food security. The class was divided into two groups, one that worked with the Daily Bread Food Bank and the other with the Life Resource Centre’s Garden of Hope. The students partnered with the organizations to create promotional/informational videos to help further the reach of their organizations. The community partners seemed especially pleased with the contributions that the students made to their organizations. The videos were presented at a final event on April 24th.

    Victorian Literature: A survey of works in fiction, prose and poetry by representative men and women writers which introduces students to the diversity of a self-reflexive age, to its experimentation with literary forms and subjects, to its defences of individual liberty, and to its affirmations of women’s rights. Students in this course were given an opportunity to explore the implications of illiteracy in today’s society by volunteering with Frontier College.


For more information on Community-Based Learning at Huron, click here.