Fall 2011 CBL Courses
What is Community-Based Learning at Yale?
Community-Based Learning (CBL) allows students and community organizations to work together to meet both an organization's needs and students' academic requirements . Community nonprofit and government organizations identify projects of research, analysis, or evaluation that would be helpful to them. These projects are then matched to courses at Yale. Students complete research for the community organizations which compliments coursework; in the past, the research has culminated in a paper that serves as the final project for the class and serves as a resource for the organization. The goal of the CBL project is to assist, rather than merely study the organizations, although the work that students do for the organization will be incorporated into a final research paper or project for their class.
Why Community Based Learning?
Completing a service based research project within the rigorous academic framework provided by a class allows students a unique forum to make connections between academia and service in ways they cannot do as comprehensively through separate academic and service experiences. The combination of theory and application enhances academic life and makes CBL different from either internships and jobs or purely academic courses. The inclusion of a community based learning component brings fresh enthusiasm to the classroom, and a deeper level of intellectual engagement. Implemented properly, it has the potential to bring students and teachers closer to the material, the community, and each other.
Benefits for students: (see "Student Feedback on CBL" below)
- Integrate theory and practice
- Compare the nuances of real life experiences to texts and the arguments laid out by authors read for class
- Enrich role as a citizen of New Haven by becoming more closely linked to the community
- Build leadership skills.
- Engage more thoroughly with the material
- Receive WR distributional requirement credit
- Connecting research interests with community organizations.
- Promotes a lively exchange of ideas in class and pushes students to be more engaged with practical applications of theory
- Forming a closer bond with community organizations as well as students
- Receive assistance on articulating research needs that your organization struggles to address,
- coordinate with faculty and students at Yale, build a broader volunteer and support network within the University.
- Forming a closer bond with students and faculty at Yale
- Getting more dedicated and educated interns in the future who have a vested interest in your organization through their classroom work with you
- Projects can assist with gathering data and information about those you serve, demographics, effectiveness of programs
Community Based Learning at Yale started in the Spring of 2002. The program was first piloted in a special CBL section for the "New Haven and the Problem of Change in the American City" in Fall of 2003. Evaluations of this section indicate that the students found CBL a worthwhile academic and service experience and that projects satisfied community needs. It was therefore continued in the Spring of 2004 in two classes. One was a Trumbull College seminar called "Welfare: Policy and Practice" offered by Georgia Levenson; CBL projects were required. The other was a lecture course called, "Urban Poverty and Policy" offered by Peter Marris. CBL projects were optional. In the Fall of 2004, two classes offered optional CBL classes: "Local Powers: Politics and Governance in Urban Regions" taught by Cynthia Farrar and "Architectural Design Studio" taught by Alan Plattus.
PLSC 251a/ ARCH 385a/ EP&E 385a/ HIST 151a, NEW HAVEN AND THE PROBLEM OF CHANGE IN THE AMERICAN CITY. Douglas Rae, Cynthia Farrar, Stephen Lassonde, Alan Plattus. - Examination of the rapid transformation of New Haven and other American cities over the past century as a case study of urban change and urban policy. One New Haven neighborhood's history and prospects considered in detail through studies of amelioration, gateways, gentrification, and common gain. Themes include the planning and policy implications of the flow of higher-income populations away from the inner city. Discussion of the creation of communities of common gain in depopulated urban cores.
SOCY337b URBAN POVERTY AND POLICY. Peter Marris - Study aspects of urban poverty such as unemployment, homelessness, welfare dependence, isolation, and educational deprivation in the context of recent, current, and proposed policies.
EPE 418/ PLSC201 LOCAL POWERS: POLITICS AND GOVERNANCE IN URBAN REGIONS. Cynthia Farrar- The implications for current urban policy of the mismatch between local economic forces and local political structures. Conceptual and historical analysis of proposals for regional initiatives to promote racial and economic equity, protect the environment, and enhance global competitiveness. Greater New Haven used as an example.
ARCH 519 ARCHITECTURAL DESIGN STUDIO. Alan Plattus - The projects in this class will be independent study Community Based Learning Projects.
PLSC INEQUALITY AND AMERICAN DEMOCRACY
Feedback from students in the Community Based Learning section of the class "New Haven and the Problems of Change in the American City" Fall 2003
"I'm really glad I'm doing the CBL section - it really makes the class for me. The CBL component adds to the class discussion, and the group of people are concerned with the community. Our experiences in New Haven and with our CBL projects really colors class discussions."
Project: Zoning Analysis: Can inclusionary zoning policies promote residential integration in the Greater New Haven area?
Community Sponsor: DreamPioneers
"I feel like I am really doing a service for the Community Foundation, and the project is definitely adding to my understanding of the class. I hope to keep working there after I finish this class and I'm thinking about using this as an independent study for my senior essay...It's amazing."
Project: A Historical Perspective on Black Philanthropy in the Greater New Haven Area
Community Sponsor: Community Foundation of Greater New Haven
"This is one of the best sections I've had because discussions are good and I'm learning a lot. Everyone who's in the section knows a lot about New Haven but if someone was in the class who didn't, they would get a lot out of it as well because they would learn so much."
Project: Mobility Analysis
Community Sponsor: DreamPioneers