CBLR projects range from a onetime class project involving all of the enrolled students, to an intensive, semester long internship designed around the interests of each individual student and the corresponding needs of a community-based context and/or partner. The projects may involve a limited number of hours or be the primary focus of the students’ academic work over the course of the semester. Whatever the case, it is imperative that the community-based work be integrated into the course curriculum and requirements with the same academic rigor and expectations as any other course requirement (such as required reading, writing, research and exams).
So what does CBLR look like in practice?
- It looks like students in a Research Methods and Health Psychology course working closely with health professionals throughout LaPlata County in conducting baseline health risk research as the basis for regional health care strategies.
- It looks like students in a Juvenile Delinquency class mentoring K-12 Hispanic and Native American students while reading Luis Rodriguez’s, Always Running, his award winning account of growing up as an immigrant in East Los Angeles.
- It looks like Sociology Block Internship students working 20 hours/week with regional community-based organizations and studying issues of welfare reform, the impacts of gas and oil development and the dramatic rise of diabetes among Navajo youth and using their research on these issues to assist community professionals in addressing these critical, local problems.
- It looks like students in a Community Based Agriculture course using their academic learning to assist local producers throughout the Southwest region in their efforts to expand local food production within the local/regional economy.
- It looks like students in the Writing program working with the American Democracy Project to study ways in which first-year students can become engaged and active citizens of the campus community.
- It looks like music students teaching music to K-12 students.
- It looks like engineering students traveling to Nepal with the international organization, “Engineers Without Borders” to use their engineering knowledge to build potable water systems in remote villages.
- And, it looks like students in the School of Business Administration applying their classroom learning to critical economic development projects on the Indian Reservations and rural communities throughout the Southwest region.
You can find current CBLR course applications here