Southwestern University

Community-Engaged Learning

The Office of Community-Engaged Learning (OCEL) collaborates with students, faculty, and community organizations to develop projects that promote sustained, mutually beneficial collaborations emphasizing student learning and community benefits.


Sarah Brackmann

Senior Director of Integrative and Community-Engaged Learning



Community-Engaged Learning

Senior Director of Integrative and Community-Engaged Learning

Community-Engaged Learning
Community-Engaged Learning (Credit: Southwestern University)

Consistent with Southwestern’s core values, the OCEL encourages students to develop and act upon a heightened sense of responsibility to one’s community. Through community-engaged learning, 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 active as community-engaged learners, activists, and volunteers in the community.


Community-Engaged Learning News

2018 Spring Breakaway t-shirt

Southwestern University Spring Breakaway program awarded 2018 T-Shirt of the Year by Breakaway!

We are happy to announce that in Breakaway’s 2018 T-Shirt of the Year Contest, they chose Spring Breakaway’s design!  Southwestern’s t-shirt design was awarded based on our story, inspiration, and design process for the shirt.

Ellie Crowley, '20 at the Up to Us Conference

It’s Up to Us

As the campus leader of the Southwestern University Up to Us team, I had the opportunity to travel to Oakland to participate in the winter training session. Going into the weekend, I knew the purpose of the session was to prepare each team leader, but I did not know how they would achieve this. 

BiG - The Brookwood Community in Georgetown

A BiG Change of Perspective

During the spring semester of my senior year, I took the community-engaged learning course “Survey of Exceptionalities” with Dr. Alicia Moore, which examined special education, the stigmas that surround it, and the policy that influences it. Students got to choose the location that they wanted to volunteer with. Most chose to be in a special education classroom within local elementary schools, but I chose to spend my time with the citizens of BiG: Brookwood in Georgetown, “a community where adults with intellectual challenges are celebrated and empowered by engaging their talents in meaningful work.”