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What We Do

The mission of the CELR at the University of New Mexico is to provide active, service-focused, community-based, mutually beneficial, integrated, learning opportunities for students, building and enhancing their commitment to academics, personal and professional development, and civic responsibility. The CELR invites community organizations and agencies to partner with the UNM community by actively engaging students in academic service-learning or community-based research partnerships.

Academic Service Learning + Community Based Research = Engaged ScholarshipWhat is Community-Engaged Scholarship (CES)?

Community-Engaged scholarship is scholarship that puts the academic resources of the university to work in solving pressing public problems and thereby contributing to the public good. Within the broad category of engaged scholarship are two main areas of focus:


Academic Service-Learning

In academic service-learning courses, students work in reciprocal partnerships with community partners, applying the skills of their disciplines in real-world settings. Students who practice service-learning have the opportunity to significantly deepen their educational experience while working to strengthen their communities. Service-learning is a documented practice that has significant effects on student learning, engagement, retention and success.

Service-learning can take several different forms:

  • Direct service: with a client population, e.g. tutoring, coaching, mentoring, taking crisis calls, counseling
  • Indirect service: off campus but non-contact, such as sorting items at a food bank, creating a library, removing invasive species
  • Consultant model: providing specific services or deliverables, such as creating a website or business plan, writing a grant proposal, developing a policy brief
  • Community-based research: a collaborative research partnership where students conduct research to meet a community organizations' needs

Community-Based Research

Research projects undertaken by faculty and students in collaboration with community organizations that respond
to community-identified needs, promote civic engagement, and enrich the scholarship of the institution.