What is a Community-based Learning Course?
Community-based Learning (CBL) classes incorporate meaningful community engagement with course content so you can get real-world experience as part of a for-credit class. Students report that in CBL classes, they learn more, understand course content better, and enjoy the class more.
More than 40 departments teach 110+ Community-based Learning courses every year. This is your chance to add hands-on, meaningful experience to your class schedule while getting involved in your community.
Find Community-based Learning Courses
Search the Online Course Guide
Use the course and search enrollment guide to see all the Community-based Learning courses offered each semester. Select the term. At the bottom left, click on ‘Other Options’ and select ‘Community-based Learning – 25 Hours or More.’ You can use other Course Guide functions to narrow your search.
Community-based Learning classes include at least 25 hours of service throughout the semester as part of the course requirement. Typically, you’ll begin by exploring the background of the issues related to the class and preparing to work with a community organization or agency. Then you will usually spend a few hours a week at that community partner site or working on a project for a community partner, using your skills to provide real benefits to your community partner. During the course, you will learn from your community partners and experiences in the community, while also learning during class time.
The Morgridge Center for Public Service offers transportation options to help Community-based Learning students get to and from their community partner sites.
Why should I take a Community-based Learning course?
- A recent UW-Madison survey found that over 91% of Community-based Learning students got more out of their Community-based Learning course than a traditional course
- 100% of those students had a positive experience
- This is your chance to link coursework directly to real-life experience and employment
Just ask former Community-based Learning students
“It is one thing to sit in a classroom and learn about something, but when you are actually out in the real world applying what you have learned to certain situations, you definitely get more out of the class.”
“This will have been the most hands-on, productive class I’ve ever taken. It will have been the most important class I took at UW.”
“The best part of my service experience was…getting to be closer friends with someone who could offer me a completely different perspective on life.”