Engaged Learning

Engaged Learning

Students and professor on a train

Get off the bluff. Apply your classroom knowledge to important social issues. In Engaged Learning (EL) classes, the world is your classroom. An EL course might include field research, off-site service, or even international travel. One class with an Engaged Learning core flag is required for graduation. Make it count by picking one that enriches your academic or professional interests. 

Questions? Talk to your faculty advisor or the BCLA Advising Center about how to sign up for the EL class that most interests you.

  • Which Class Should I Take?

    There are a variety of Engaged Learning classes offered in virtually every major. But how do you know which is right for you? Different EL classes include different experiences, such as:

    • Community-Based Learning
      CBL classes collaborate with the surrounding community to do meaningful, hands-on work in the real world. For example, an African American studies course helped teach African American history to local high school students.
    • Faculty-Mentored Research
      EL classes also feature a research component, like a social research course where students interviewed women who were getting out of prison.
    • Internships
      Some EL classes include an internship in addition to class time. In one class, students interned for the LA Greek Film Festival to review Greek films. 
    • Study Abroad
      EL classes can even take you abroad! An Eastern Christian Traditions class went to Ukraine to study religious tradtions amongst college students.
  • Classes Offered

    Over 30 BCLA Engaged Learning classes are offered each semester. A few frequently offered classes include: 

    • Literature of the Holocaust
      Students explore literary responses to the Holocaust as a form of testimony and read those responses as evidentiary.  Each student is assigned a memoir to read and write about in partnership with the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. Students research the history of the Jews in the city/village of their survivor’s birth, interview the survivor, write a summary/analysis of the memoir, supplementing with history and personal testimony, then create a concise summary of their review which to be used in a Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust brochure. The culmination of the course is a reception with LMU students and their survivor-partners at the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust. 
    • Feminist Research Methods
      This course requires students to critically engage and analyze how research can affect the real lives of women and work as agents of social change. Students work in small groups with three community-based projects, focused on environmental and reproductive health, food justice, and restorative justice. Students develop projects, which a local organization benefits from, in order to enhance the effectiveness of their programs for low-income women of color in Los Angeles. Students connect course content with the lived experiences of individuals and communities based on the application of the tools and strategies learned in class.
    • Comparative Urban Politics: LA-Mexico City
      In this course, students spend three days in Los Angeles and one week in Mexico City critically comparing governance, business, and culture from a variety of scholarly disciplines and perspectives. Students are immersed in field research where they attend local meetings, governmental events, visit museums & cultural institutions, patronize local eateries, and ride public transportation in order to become knowledgeable about the two cities. This course is designed to prepare students to be bilingual, bicultural, and binational leaders through developing skill sets that equip them to work in urban environments in international settings.
  • How to Sign Up for an Engaged Learning Class

    Current students can search for all of the EL Courses in PROWL by looking up classes by Attribute. Here's how:

    1. Under the Student Services tab, click "Registration"
    2. Click "Look-up Classes to Add"
    3. Choose the term you would like to take the Engaged Learning course
    4. Under the drop-down menu, click the button on the right which says "Advanced Search"
    5. Click the Subject Box and then hit "Control/Command + A" on your keyboard to select all subjects
    6. Scroll down to Attribute Type and select "FLAG: Engaged Learning"
    7. Click on the "Section Search" button

    This will generate a list of all EL flagged courses offered that semester.

Elderly woman speaking into a microphone
Gathering Life Stories of Local Seniors

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Graduate class unpacking boxes archived from the Watts Riots at the USC Library. This photo is on the BCLA Experience Engaged Learning page.
Researching at a South LA Archive

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2016 Global Immersion Trip in Northern Ireland. This photo is on the BCLA Experience Engaged Learning page
Going Abroad with Global Immersions

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