Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Community-Engaged Learning

The Office of Community-Engaged Learning (OCEL) collaborates with students, faculty, & community organizations to develop community-engaged projects that bring together learning goals, passions, & local needs. We promote sustained, mutually beneficial collaborations that emphasize student learning & community benefits.


Consistent with Southwestern’s core values, the OCEL encourages students to develop and act upon a heightened sense of responsibility to one’s communities. Through civic engagement, individuals —as citizens of their communities, their nations, and the world— are empowered as agents of positive social change for a more democratic world. Southwestern students are civically engaged as community-engaged learners, activists, and volunteers in the community.

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    SMArTeams, a partnership between Southwestern and the YMCA after school program, celebrated its 20th semester of programming where college students work one-on-one with a 3rd, 4th or 5th grader on a project of inquiry.
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    Community Engaged Learning Teaching Assistants are students who support the civic engagement pedagogy that is strongly applied at Southwestern by supporting a faculty member involved in community engaged learning.
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    United Way of Williamson County selected Southwestern University as it’s Volunteer Partner of the Year. Some United Way agencies that Southwestern students have volunteered at include the Literacy Council, Meals on Wheels, Hope Alliance and the Annunciation Maternity Home