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The Community-Based Learning program and Volunteer Service Learning opportunities support Huron's mission of "combining rigorous learning with the exploration of new territory" by connecting the classroom to the community, and the community to the classroom.

Community-based learning and volunteering are both valuable activities that help students connect with community partners, enhance personal skills, and support professional development. Through these learning initiatives, our students gain a better understanding of the challenges facing the community, enhance their ability to think critically and be self-aware, engage in problem-based learning, and explore the variety of career options available after graduation.

Below are some resources for students, faculty and community partners.


Huron students have the opportunity to participate in course-based experiential learning projects or to get involved in a number of volunteer activities at home or abroad.
  • Community-Based Learning

  • In order to provide meaningful learning opportunities, CBL components are  integrated and planned as part of a course.  We establish partnerships that are meaningful and relevant to course material and that offer benefit to both the student and the community partner.

    Review the downloadable CBL Student Guide here

    Examples of CBL courses:

    MOS 4488 - Management and Organizational Consulting

    This course examines the role of the management consultant and how the consulting industry serves to enhance the effectiveness of the organizations it serves. Students engaged throughout the term with a community/business client and work on the Real-Life Consulting project. Not a simulation, an actual issue that the partners are seeking consulting advice on.

    MOS 3330a - Operations Management through Plant Tours

    Dr. Bill Irwin and Dr. Jan Klakurka’s course uses an integrated theoretical framework for analyzing operations management situations with practical approaches as a basis for general management decisions. With a broad syllabus, visits to community organizations allowed students to observe and reflect on the diverse scope of operations in practice. This had positive effects on student learning by presenting them with experiences within the workplace and exposing them to the range of local industries of varying size and scope. Students studied strategic issues related to the ways firms understand and overcome competition as well as tactical and operational decision-making.

    CGS3203G - Global Studies Participatory Project

    Annually the Global Studies Participatory Project engages students in meaningful learning opportunities that are connected to world issues while relying on students to demonstrate creativity, entrepreneurial spirit and intercultural awareness. In 2016-2017, students in Dr. Lucas Savino’s class participated in the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) International Forum in Montreal. Students had the opportunity to engage with a diverse group of experts on some of the most critical global issues. Students mobilised their knowledge between the classroom and participation in the WUSC Local Committee. The culmination of this experience was the organization and leadership of a public advocacy event at Huron on April 7.

    HIS 3801E - The Historian's Craft

    The centerpiece of this class is a community-based research project that brings together the theoretical and practical aspects of the course material. This year, the project is focused on partnership with the Chatham-Kent Black Historical Society, the University of Huddersfield’s Digital Victorians project, and Huddersfield’s local community partner, Building African Caribbean Communities. The project is based on the methodology of Slavery in Small Things, and asks you to research and contextualize an object related to slavery and antislavery from the local collections of the CKBHS. As part of the community-based learning component in 3801E, the class will travel to the CKBHS and to Oberlin, Ohio, where we will spend an afternoon working in the Oberlin College archives. The idea behind the class CBL project is to ensure that the material of the course – which can run toward abstraction if we aren’t careful—comes to life in a memorable and accessible way that will mean something outside the spatial and temporal limits of the class. While we read about historical research methods, the creation of historical knowledge and the place of History in public intellectual and cultural life, we will also be participating in, and contributing to, a wider community of historical research.

    Stratford Festival- Le Malade Imaginaire and As You Like It

    Given the close proximity of Stratford and the highly-regarded Stratford Festival, Dr. Scott Schofield (English and Cultural Studies) and Dr. Andrea King (French) developed a community-engaged learning opportunity for students to engage in a cross-disciplinary project exploring various approaches to comedy, using Moliere’s Le Malade Imaginaire and Shakespeare’s As You Like It as comparative texts. Both classes were engaged in study and discussion of the texts of both plays prior to the performances, and then travelled to Stratford to view both stage adaptations. The opportunity to view the plays provided students with context and the opportunity to analyze the role of actors, set designs, and discuss thematic links between the two plays and performances. Dr. King and Dr. Schofield followed the performances with guest lectures in each other’s classes and collaborative class assignments.

  • Volunteer Service Learning

  • Huron students are involved in a number of volunteer activities at home and abroad to improve local communities and to prepare for future positions of responsibility and citizenship. Students can identify volunteer service opportunities complementing their program of study, leadership and professional development.

    Thanks to the generous support of our donors, funding is available to Huron students to offset some of the costs for participating in the volunteer services at home and abroad. Application is required. Please refer to the Support and Funding section on this page for more details.
  • Experiential Learning Outcomes for Students

  • Desired Learning Outcomes for Students:

    • A heightened sense of agency in your own education
    • A greater understanding of how you are engaged in practices with social relevance when in the classroom and during independent study
    • Increased interest in the subject matter
    • Increased sense of personal efficacy
    • Greater engagement in classroom experiences
    • Heightened sense of civic responsibility
    • Improved critical thinking and writing skills

    Other Outcomes for Students Include:

    • Ability to communicate effectively and work with a diverse range of people
    • Enhancement of skills that are transferable to employment including, leadership, critical thinking, problem solving, communication, team-work and independence
    • Realistic self-appraisal and enhanced self-esteem
    • Increased awareness of the world and appreciation for diversity

    Learning in and through CBL involves critical reflection and critical thinking that enhances learning. The intellectual growth achieved by this process can be assessed with the same rigour as traditional learning through texts and lectures. In this process, students focus on seeing the connections among ideas, theories, contexts, and applications.

    Learning in a CBL course challenges the norms that many are used to in a traditional university classroom. In a CBL course students are expected to be a co-producers of knowledge, engaging in teaching, sharing information, and critical self-reflection. 

    Students should understand that grading associated with a community-based learning projects is assessed based on the demonstration of the learning outcomes,  not on service to the community organization.  
  • Opportunities for Community Engagement

  • Students at Huron can be involved in the community in many ways, both as part of a class (curricular) or for personal development and growth outside of class (co-curricular). The following resources are provided to help students research their options for community engagement outside of their courses. Further information can be obtained by visiting the Student Services office, located in the West Wing.

    The Centre for Global Studies maintains a list of community partners that offer volunteer and internship opportunities.

    The Student Success Centre has volunteer opportunities for Western students that can be accessed through Career Central.

    Charity Village hosts volunteer and job opportunities in the not-for-profit/ social profit, NGO and social services sectors.
  • Support and Funding for Students

  • Thanks to the generous support of our donors, the following funding opportunities are available to Huron students to offset some of the costs for participating in the volunteer services at home and abroad. Application is required.

    Karen Martine Prieur Volunteer Service Fund

    Established in 2005 by Huron alumna Karen Prieur, who has served as a Trustee on the Huron University College Foundation, this fund supports Huron students in their volunteer activities abroad to improve local communities and to prepare for future positions of responsibility and citizenship.

    Value: approx. $1,500
    APPLY for the Karen Martine Prieur Volunteer Service Grant

    Janet Stewart Volunteer Service Fund

    Established in 2004 by Ms. Janet Stewart, a longtime friend of the College who has served on the Executive Board and Corporation, the Janet Stewart Volunteer Service Fund supports Huron students in their volunteer activities at home and abroad to improve local communities and to prepare for future positions of responsibility and citizenship.

    Value: approx. $900
    APPLY for the Janet Stewart Volunteer Service Grant

    The Waugh Family Volunteer Service Fund

    This was established by Rick Waugh in 2009 to support Huron students in their volunteer activities, ranging from work with primary school students both at home and abroad to promote literacy, and with NGOs abroad to improve local communities. Huron students benefit from the experience themselves as they become young adults and prepare for future positions of responsibility and citizenship.

    Value: approx. $1,300
    APPLY for The Waugh Family Volunteer Service Grant


Faculty members carefully integrate and plan CBL initiatives to enhance student learning and fulfill the student learning objectives related to courses and modules. Working together with the coordinator, Huron faculty member ensure that CBL activities make a positive difference to both students and community partners.

  • Key Objectives of CBL

  • Although the fundamental principals remain consistent, the interpretation and delivery of CBL courses will vary across disciplines. Similarly, the learning outcomes for students in a CBL course are likely to be more heterogeneous than a traditional course because of the variety of placements and contexts within which the learning takes place. Part of successfully planning a CBL course is being open to risk, flexibility, and adaptation.

    Key Objectives:

    • Develop transformative partnerships with our community partners to allow all stakeholders to achieve their goals.
    • Provide a wide variety of community-based learning opportunities for our students to experience and engage with course content.
    • Instil a commitment to social and community awareness and action within our community and beyond.

  • Benefits of Community-Based Learning for Huron Students

  • • Enriches and enlivens course material and brings to life issues of social justice
    • Engages students in active, hands-on learning that demonstrates the relevance of their academic studies in real-life situations
    • Connects students to the community and to local organizations
    • Increases awareness and develops civic responsibility and commitment to improving social, economic and political inequities
    • Develops reflective practice and critical thinking skills
    • Improves interpersonal and communication skills in a workplace environment

  • Support and Funding for Faculty

  • Huron is committed to supporting faculty members through the process of developing and offering a CBL course. We are able to help identify and establish connections with community partners, provide administrative support, assist with project and event planning, and allocate financial resources as needed.

    Through the generous support of the RBC Community-Based Learning Fund as well as donors to Huron's Community-Based Learning initiatives, funding is available to offset some of the costs of CBL courses.

    In order to apply for funding, faculty members are asked to read the CBL Project Proposal Guidelines (below). Applications for funding should be submitted to the Community-Based Learning Adjudication Committee (c/o the Dean of FASS Office).

    CBL P
    roject Proposal Guidelines
    CBL Project Outcomes Report

    Funding available in 2018-2019:

    The RBC Foundation Community Service Learning Grant ($1500)

    In 2009 Huron University College received ten years of funding from RBC for $10,000 annually to enhance the delivery of CBL. The RBC grant enabled the creation of the RBC Community-Based Learning Fund to support activities related to both curricular and co-curricular CBL and to also help institutionalize CBL at Huron. The RBC funding must be used to support “service learning teaching, promotion and outreach.” (Donor Agreement, 2009)
    Note: this funding ends in 2018-2019

    Willie Mae and William H. Lumpkin Fund for Community-Based Learning (Approximately $1500)

    Established in 2006 in honour of her parents by Huron’s 15th Principal, Dr. Ramona Lumpkin, the Willie Mae and William H. Lumpkin Fund for Community-Based Learning creates opportunities for Huron students to combine academic study with hands-on volunteer experience.

    The E.M. Kennedy and Mary Thomson Fund for Community-Based Learning (Approximately $1500)

    Established in 2009 by Huron alumna Mary M. Thomson ’61. Both Mary and her father Edwin M. Kennedy have played important roles in the life and work of the College, including her father when he was Chair of the Executive Board. Provides opportunities for Huron students to combine academic study with hands-on volunteer experience

    The Trish Fulton Community-Based Learning Fund (Approximately $500)

    Established in 2010 by Dr. Trish Fulton, The Trish Fulton Community-Based Learning Fund will provide opportunities for Huron students to combine academic study with hands-on volunteer experience.  Community-based learning is an integral component of the experiential learning focus at Huron. In it, students work with a community organization or business, either in London or abroad, as part of their program of study. Students learn by ‘doing’ in many ways, and in this case acquire a more sophisticated understanding of the communities in which they live. Through their experiences with community organizations, students have a chance to apply what they have learned in the classroom and to develop critical skills in the analysis of real-world social, economic and political trends as part of their liberal arts education.

Community Partners

It is our goal to develop transformative community partnerships that allow all stakeholders to achieve their goals.  Through the CBL experience, we want to instil in our students a commitment to social and community awareness and action and provide a benefit to the local and global community.

  • Potential Benefits to Community Partners

  • • Enhanced human resources that can contribute to quantity and quality of services to community members
    • New knowledge that can improve program design and delivery
    • Increased innovation and new approaches to service delivery. For example, students bring knowledge of youth culture, use of technology etc. that can change and enhance organizational approaches
    • Academic institutions may be connected to policy makers and this may be leveraged to increase the voice of the community members
    • Opportunities for generation of knowledge that can empower the community to create and drive solutions and challenge issues
    • Students can bring enthusiasm and energy to their work that can help to revitalize staff and clients while the partners bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to our students

  • Community Based Learning Options for Community Partners

  • In a community-based learning course, there are two common models:
    External community-based learning: This form of community-based learning extends classroom learning into the community partner's office. Students are expected to volunteer between 2-5 hours per week (depending on the course) both remotely and at your office. The time and resource commitment required is more extensive than for the problem-based approach.

    Problem-based community-based learning:
    The problem-based approach invites the community partner into the classroom to present their organization and a problem or project they wish students to work on. Afterward, the students will work in pairs to either provide research and recommendations on how to solve your problem or work on your project. The time commitment using this approach is minimal, approximately 2-6 hours.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the difference between community-based learning and volunteering?

  • Community-based learning and volunteering are both valuable activities that can help students connect with community partners, enhance personal skills, and support professional development. The added benefit of CBL is that the academic component drives the experience; learning occurs offsite and is integrated into the classroom. When a student volunteers, there is typically no academic component to their work.
  • Who do I contact if I want to host a student?

  • Please see the contact information on the upper right-hand side of this page.
  • What if students need police background checks?

  • Please let us know as early as possible if students will require a police background check in order to participate in CBL activities with your organization. Students are responsible for covering the cost of the background check, if required. In London, requests for Police Background Checks can now be submitted online
  • What are my responsibilities as a student intern host?

  • As a community-based learning host, you are responsible for orienting the student to your organization and the project they will be working. Communicating your expectations, policies, resources, and key staff are crucial in making the experience successful for you and the student. You are also expected to provide supervision and guidance to the student, evaluate their performance, and in some cases participate in a site visit or survey to evaluate the program.
  • What if there are no community-based learning courses that match a project I have in mind?

  • If there are no current initiatives at this time that support your idea or project, contact us to discuss how something may be arranged in the future.
  • What if a student doesn't show up or behaves unprofessionally?

  • If you are experiencing a difficulty with the student, please contact us immediately. The contact information for CBL programs at Huron is listed in the upper right-hand corner of this page. You may also wish to contact the course instructor so issues can be resolved quickly.
  • What if a student gets injured?

  • Process for Workplace Safety and Insurance Board coverage: 

    The Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities (MTCU) has implemented a new streamlined process for students enrolled in an approved Ontario university program that requires them to complete placements in the workplaces as part of their program of study.

    The Workplace Educational Placement Agreement (WEPA) Form has been replaced by the Postsecondary Student Unpaid Work Placement Workplace Insurance Claim Form. Placement Employers and Training Agencies (universities) are no longer required to complete and sign the online Postsecondary Student Unpaid Work Placement Workplace Insurance Claim Form for each placement that is part of the student’s program of study in order to be eligible for WSIB coverage.

    Instead, this form only needs to be completed when submitting a claim resulting from an on-the-job injury/disease. Please note that universities will be required to enter their MTCU- issued Firm Number in order to complete the online claim form.

    Postsecondary Student Unpaid Work Placement Workplace Insurance Claim Forms


    Please note that all Occupational Health and Safety procedures must be followed, and WSIB processes must be put into place in the event of an injury/disease. The university will keep the signed original of the placement letter on file and ensure that placement sites have a copy.

  • What are the benefits of hosting a student?

  • As one of Huron's community-based learning partners, you can expect to benefit from having one of our bright, hard-working, and passionate students assist you with some of your projects and activities. In addition, you are also promoting your organization; Huron acknowledges all of its partners on our website. Our community partners can also take part in special events and can apply to receive library privileges at Huron, Brescia, and Kings.