Community Engaged Learning

Community in the Classroom

At Sewanee, we understand that there are ways to learn that have nothing to do with sitting at a desk. That’s why every day, our students leave the classroom to get involved directly in their community — both locally and globally. Through a variety of community-engagement programs, Sewanee students use what they’ve learned in the classroom to help others and, in turn, bring the lessons they learn in the community back to the classroom. Getting involved in community engagement at Sewanee means putting the liberal arts into practice. Students find many different avenues to do this: through Community Engaged Learning (CEL), the Bonner Leaders Program, and the Outreach Office.

Although I came to Sewanee thinking that I was isolated on a college campus, community-engagement courses have taught me that I am part of a much larger world and that my academic learning does not just happen in a classroom or on the Domain.
—Emily Luethke C’10

See Bonner Leader Watson Hartsoe's video story about his call to service at Sewanee.

Sewanee's Emergency Medical Service, and Volunteer Fire Department,  special kinds of student service.

Deep student engagement at Sewanee.  Sewanee was featured in George Kuh's  groundbreaking study, Student Success in College: Creating Conditions That Matter  (Jossey-Bass, 2005).  Sewanee students and faculty tell their own engagement stories here.

Where we serve: The Cumberland Plateau.

The Community Engaged Learning (CEL) program offers academic courses across the curriculum with a community-engagement component. Each community-engagement course integrates community engagement and service with academic content.  Fifteen CE courses are offered for fall semester 2012.

Bonner Leader Internships are offered to 10 entering students per year. Bonner Leaders engage in work-study assignments with local community groups and provide support to faculty teaching CEL courses. Bonner Leaders are also involved in a four-year student service-leadership program. Bonner Leaders with sufficient service hours per year can qualify for AmeriCorps Education Awards. 

Since 1989, Sewanee students have engaged and served the University's neighbors, both locally and abroad, through activities organized by the Outreach and Community Service Office. Long a part of the University's history and tradition, extracurricular service, remains a centerpiece of student life. The Outreach Office organizes Fall and Spring Break service trips, supports local nonprofit community groups, as well as student service organizations.