Colorful LA mural featuring Dolores Huerta

Engaged Learning (EL) integrates classroom studies with experiences beyond the classroom, in order to challenge students to think more critically and deeply about what they are studying. Engaged learning combines experiential opportunities with academic preparation and involves active, hands-on learning, critical reflection, and the integration of experience with knowledge. BCLA Engaged Learning is here to support your development and implementation of Engaged Learning courses. Engaged Learning is both a part of the new core curriculum as well as a strategic focus for BCLA.

BCLA Engaged Learning is available to support faculty with:

  • Assistance with applying for an Engaged Learning Flag
  • Individual support for planning Engaged Learning courses 
  • Faculty training seminars on engaged learning that include: course design, assessment, and practical considerations
  • BCLA Engaged Learning Grants to implement Engaged Learning courses
  • Information about working in LAUSD schools, such as volunteering policies
  • On and off campus social justice and civic engagement opportunities

For any questions related to Engaged Learning in BCLA, contact: 

Deanna Y. Cooke, Ph.D.
Director of Engaged Learning, BCLA

  • Engaged Learning consists of classes that could include the following types of experiences:

    Community-based learning

    • A Jewish Studies course creates informational placards in collaboration with the Museum of Tolerance
    • Students work with a community organizing group to archive their 20 year history
    • An African American studies course works with local high school students to teach what they are learning about Black history
    • Elder Law students volunteer with senior citizens with differing mental and physical capabilities, to see how the law is applied differentially 

    Faculty-mentored research

    • A social research course conducting interviews with women exiting prison in collaboration with civil rights advocates

    Field experience

    • Business students work with small businesses to provide a business plan
    • Communications students work with a local non-profit to provide a communications plan

    Internship or practicum

    • Students in a course on Greek history review Films for the LA Greek Film Festival
    • Political Science students take an internship course and work with local politicians

    Study Abroad

    • BCLA Global Immersion Trip to the Ukraine to experience and learn about Eastern Christian Traditions
    • African American Studies course studying Afro-Caribbean identities and traveling to Cuba to learn firsthand.