CCEL + Faculty


Community & Faculty Members

have collaborated with the Centre


Community-based Projects

were supported by the Centre


UBC Students

connected with community-based experiences

Our team facilitates projects and programs between university and community organizations. We are invested in working with faculty members to integrate community engagement into their research and teaching. We support faculty to provide deeper learning experiences for students, where all parties take part in both the teaching and the learning.

"Students developed a deeper understanding of applying their knowledge and skills in the arts, while also building confidence in their abilities and a sense of accomplishment in making an important contribution.” 

Christine D’Onofrio
UBC faculty member

Faculty Toolkit

There are many considerations and elements that are essential to developing and delivering a successful community engaged learning experience through a course. At the Centre for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL), our role is to provide expertise and resources to support faculty in 5 critical areas.

In this Toolkit, you will find clarity on the role the Centre plays in supporting your work, examples from current collaborations as well as links to practical tools and resources. Click into the headings below to find the applicable resources

Curriculum Design & Integration 

We can support the creation of a new course, the modification of a pre-existing course to include community engaged learning or the re-development of whole elements of an established community engaged learning course. For a brand new course, it’s ideal to contact us roughly a year in advance of the course start date to ensure there is ample time to engage with the collaborative course and partnership development processes described below; however, we can accommodate shorter time frames.

In this section, explore our resources on supporting you select the best model for you and your students, reflection approaches, questions and tools. We also have templates and guides to support the integration of the necessary elements to support course delivery and student learning.

Get Resources

Partnership Identification & Development 

Partnership development is about bringing to life the principle of reciprocity between faculty and community and is the critical starting point for community engaged learning. It begins with meaningful attempts to understand and work with shared priorities and goals and continues with clear and honest communication.

In this section, you will find tools to support initial conversations, question guides to create mutual understanding, and templates to define your partnership.

Get Resources

Project Development 

Project scoping between a faculty member and a community partner is the negotiated process of finding the balance between what will be the best learning opportunity for students and what will be most valuable to the community partners. Clear communication, role definition and managing expectations are critical themes associated with this process.

If you are new to project scoping, we recommend you get in touch with us to get an idea of what might be possible in your course before reaching out to your partners. We can make recommendations based on several critical factors like: student year level and space in curriculum to support projects as well as help create links to learning outcomes.

In this section, we share tools and templates that help clarify and communicate a project to all stakeholders.

Get Resources

Course Delivery 

At CCEL, our role is to support faculty prepare students to engage with community as well as appreciate that this learning is different from what one could learn through a lecture. As such, different activities are needed in order to support the best collaboration, a functioning process and to deepen learning. We have a range of activities and supports to prepare students to engage with and make meaning from their community experiences.

In this section, you will find links to sign up for orientations and workshops.   You will also find guides to share with students that support them in preparing to engage in community projects and activities.

Get Resources

Assessment & Evaluation 

Assessing and evaluating this work is important. Whether it involves giving feedback to students on their work, assessing their understanding or evaluating the process from student and partner perspectives, it is important to use evidence-based practice to inform decision-making.

Here you will find a range of tools and resources to assess and evaluate the incorporation of community engaged learning into your course from student, community partner and faculty perspectives.

Get Resources

External Resources & Links 

There are so many great tools and resources out there from other institutions. We’ve developed a page with links to some of our favourite resources on the above themes. If you know of other great tools that you think we should draw attention to, please share these with us through our main email address, and we will look into adding links to these resources to the page.

Link Coming Soon!

Advancing Community Engaged Learning Fund

The Centre’s Advancing Community Engaged Learning Fund awards grants of up to $3500 to faculty, academic administrators or staff. The grants are intended for the development, innovation, evaluation, and improvement of approaches, resources and systems that enable community engaged learning to grow and sustain as a practise at UBC.

Learn More!

Faculty Workshops

CCEL hosts a number of workshops for faculty and TAs interested in community engaged learning pedagogy and practice: Lunch & Learn sessions, CTLT Institute sessions, TA Training sessions, and specific workshops requested by Faculties or Academic Departments.

Lunch & Learn Sessions

Lunch & Learn sessions are hosted 2-3 times/year and bring faculty together over a topic of interest. The goal of these sessions is to foster a community of practice, to share experiences, and collaborate on shared challenges. Past Lunch and Learn sessions focused on: Preparing Students, Assessing Student Learning, and Project Development. Upcoming session topics are posted here and will also be included in CCEL’s monthly newsletter.

CTLT Institute Sessions

CCEL staff facilitate workshops at the Winter, Spring, and Summer CTLT Institutes for faculty seeking to develop and/or increase their skills and knowledge of community engaged learning. These sessions introduce and explore concepts and provide opportunities for the immediate application of learning. Information on upcoming CEL topics can be found on the CTLT Institute website and will also be included in CCEL’s monthly newsletter.

CTLT's TA Institute

Centre staff facilitate CEL-related workshops at CTLT’s Teaching Assistant (TA) Institute in January. Check the TA Institute website for the latest details.

Faculty or Department Specific Workshops

The Faculty or Department specific workshops are designed to support the development of a shared understanding between a group of faculty working in the same field.  These workshops can be tailored to specific professional development goals.  Introductory sessions typically cover the following:

  • Introduction to the Centre and the resources available to support CEL
  • Introduction to CEL – theory and practice
  • Preparing students to do CEL
  • The role of critical reflection in CEL with example reflection activities

If you are interested in having CCEL facilitate a workshop for your Faculty or Department, contact community.learning@ubc.ca

TA Training Sessions

Centre staff facilitate community engaged learning trainings specifically designed for Teaching Assistants (TAs). If you have a TA assigned to your course, and would like them to oversee CEL project development and community partner identification, student/partner communications, and evaluation of CEL, we can assist. Our training curriculum focuses on introducing types of CEL and curricular integration, the role of reflection, designing and assessing CEL assignments and projects, and partnership and project development. If you are interested in having your TA join one of CCEL’s TA Training sessions, contact community.learning@ubc.ca

In-Class Workshops for Students

Centre staff facilitate orientation sessions for CEL courses, as well as a suite of workshops for students which are designed to promote ethical community engagement, community impact, and equip students with skills to create and deliver community-based projects and initiatives.

Workshops include: Asset Based Community Development, Ethics of Changemaking, Vancouver Exploration, Roots of Change, Storytelling for Change, and more. Learn more about our full workshop suite and request a workshop today.

Learn More

1:1 Consultations

Community Engaged Learning Officers consult with faculty to design, deliver, and evaluate their community engaged learning (CEL) courses. Whether you are new to CEL and designing a CEL course for the first time or an experienced CEL practitioner with questions about revising one of your CEL courses, our team is here to help you. Please reach out to us if you would like to have a conversation about CEL, your course, or any of our Centre’s tools, workshops, or funding opportunities.

Book a Consultation

The Centre’s expertise in community engaged learning and community collaboration are available as a resource for faculty looking to expand the scope of their teaching, research and partnerships with the community.

Susan Grossman

Susan provides leadership to support excellence in educational consulting and community engagement. She ensures that CCEL holds the requisite expertise to enable collaborations between UBC and community partners directed at resolving complex, community-based challenges. Working in partnership with senior administrators - Deans, Associate Deans, and Department Heads - Susan identifies how to leverage resources and assets at CCEL and the University to create, implement, and evaluate sustainable programs that engage students in deep partnership with community members and organizations.

  • Holds a Certificate in Social Impact Strategy and is skilled in the methodological approaches valuable in driving toward impact
  • Previously worked at Johns Hopkins University, the University of Maryland, and Reed College
  • Served as the Director of the Centre for Community Engaged Learning (CCEL) since 2011

Yusuf Alam
Associate Director

At CCEL, Yusuf works in partnership with community groups, students, faculty members and UBC leadership to develop strategies to address complex social issues. He drives community partnership development for CCEL, develops university-wide systems that that promote the continued engagement of the university community, oversees collaborative program development, and leads the strategic implementation of initiatives.

  • Over 20 years of civic leadership, activism and professional application.
  • Experienced community development practitioner with a record of achievement including award-winning transformations on food, health and livelihood issues across governments and communities in Canada and internationally.

Kyle Nelson
Community Engaged Learning Officer

Kyle focuses on capacity building for faculty to engage with community. This includes facilitating partnership development, curricular integration of community engaged learning and enhancing reflective practice. He is passionate about supporting learning environments that enable students to discover new knowledge, clarify their values and emerging passions, as well as develop professional skills. Kyle’s recent work has focused on leveraging assessment and evaluation practice to improve outcome measurement of community engaged learning pedagogies.

Shadi Mehrabi
Community Engaged Learning Officer

Shadi supports UBC Faculty to successfully build community engaged learning pedagogy into their courses. She works closely with a variety of stakeholders such as UBC community partners, faculty, students and other UBC staff members to design and develop tools and strategies that establish best practices for integrating CEL approaches into initiatives and courses. With a PhD in Educational Leadership, Shadi is interested in developing leadership strategies to help CEL programs at UBC be more accessible and inclusive.