For Faculty & Staff

Community Service Learning Center

Connect with the Community Service Learning Center (CSLC) to offer Co-Curricular learning opportunities to students at GVSU 

  • Find resources and support for promoting democratic learning and participation in the GVSU community and beyond

Community Based Learning (CBL) Courses

Community Based Learning (CBL) is a pedagogical strategy used in coursework that requires students to engage with community partners as part of their required academic work in a specific course section. Faculty may apply to have their course sections officially designed CBL on the Banner system (similar to SWS), allowing course sections to be identified both during registration and on student transcripts.

CBL Designation Criteria

In order to be considered for the CBL designation, a sample course syllabus (based on the course Syllabus of Record) must be developed to address the following four criteria, which represent best practices regarding CBL pedagogical requirements:

1. Community engagement: The types of community interaction must be articulated, as well as listing potential partners.

2. Application and integration: Guided by their instructor and working with a community partner, students engage with a community issue, integrating theory and practice.

3. Reciprocity: The community experience seeks to offer value to the community partner as well as to the students.

4. Reflection: Students participate in an articulated reflection process around the community experience. For example, the professional, ethical, and civic dimensions of the experience.  

CBL Designation Process 

The Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center provides an overview of Community-Based Learning Course design and resources for faculty and staff members. 

The Pew Faculty Teaching and Learning Center (FTLC) Civic Engagement Faculty Learning Community provides civic engagement student-learning outcomes for GVSU: access a working document here.

Engaged Department Initiative

The Engaged Department Initiative (EDI) is intended to formally and strategically infuse community engagement in the culture of your department. The goal of this initiative is to increase faculty knowledge and skills in community-based teaching and research, expand community-based learning opportunities for students, while enhancing community partnerships. 

  • Integrating community-based learning as a strategy to achieve key academic goals for students and faculty
  • Incorporating curricular scaffolding of community-based opportunities to enhance student learning and development
  • Building collaborative approaches to community partnerships
  • Establishing a culture that supports and rewards community-based teaching and scholarship 


Publications pertaining to Community Engagement from GVSU faculty/staff: 

  • Danielle L. Lake, Ph.D. 
    • Lake, D., Mileva, G., Carpenter, H., Carr, D., Lancaster, P., & Yarbrough, T. (2017). Shifting engagement efforts through disciplinary departments: A mistake or a starting point? A cross-institutional, multi-departmental analysis. Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement, 21(3). 
  • Kristin Moretto, Ph.D.  
    • Kliewer, B. W., Moretto, K. N., & Purcell, J. W. (2016). Emergent spaces of civic leadership education and development: Understanding the liberal arts and humanities from a perspective of civic and public work. Journal of Leadership Education, 15(2), 114-128. doi:10.12806/V15/I2/R2
    • Jovanovic, S., Moretto, K., & Edwards, K. (2017). Moving from Thin to Thick Conceptions of Civic Engagement: Faculty Identity and Goals for Democratic Learning. International Journal of Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, 15 (1), 25-40.
  • Travus Burton, M.A. 
    • Hullender, R., Hinck, S., Wood-Nartker, J., Burton, T., & Bowlby, S. (2015). Evidences of Transformative Learning in Service-Learning Reflections. Journal of the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning15(4), 58-82. Retrieved from //
  • Jan Johnston 
    • Johnston, J. & Baker-Boosamara, M. (2018). Rethinking nonpartisanship in an increasingly divisive era. NASPA Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. Retrieved from 

Additional Resources

Check out how specific colleges/departments are engaging in the community:

Page last modified May 16, 2019