University of Vermont

We are now the...
Office of Community-Engaged Learning

Memo: Name change from CUPS to CELO

Effective August 1st, our unit has a new name: the Office of Commmunity-Engaged Learning (or CELO). The name change more effectively clarifies our mission and supports the launch of our new dual course designation system (see below), as approved by the Faculty Senate in April 2019.

Course Designation Form: Civic Learning & Service Learning
FAQ: Learn more about the CL & SL dual designation
Dual desination criteria

Beginning in Fall 2019, faculty will now have two separate options for designating community-engaged courses through our office:

  • the existing "service learning" (SL) designation (designation form), which will now have more rigorous designation criteria; and

  • the new "civic learning" (CL) designation (designation form), for courses that prepare students to work on critical community-based issues and with community partners.

This change will expand the range of courses CUPS can support, and encourage best practices in community-engaged pedagogy broadly.

Office of Community-Engaged Learning (CELO)

UVM is a Carnegie Classified Community-Engaged Institution, with partnerships in Burlington and around the world.

Service-learning has a distinguished history at the University of Vermont. Home and alma mater of John Dewey, the progressive educator, UVM has long valued engagement in community and experiential education as key foundations for citizenship. Dewey saw education as the process of actively connecting experience to knowledge through engagement in and reflection on the world outside the classroom. Combining this view of education with the land-grant mission's commitment to Vermont, UVM opned the first named service-learning center in the nation in 1970. Today, community engagement continues throughout the institution, and the academic service-learning program remains strong.

The Office of Community-Engaged Learning (CELO) trains faculty in the pedagogy and practice of service-learning, helping to provide students with access to over 100 service-learning courses a year - more than most of our peer institutions. These courses partner with over 200 organizations every year, and our students offer technical, logistical, educational, design and clinical support, applying the tools of their discipline to concrete and real issues. CELO maintains relationships with our community partners, and supports students to continue engaging in communities throughout their time at UVM.

As a result of our collaborative work, UVM is in the top rankings as provider schools for CityYear, Teach for America and the Peace Corps. UVM Extension reaches into every corner of Vermont, and our faculty serve the state - and the world. Our alumni demonstrate that they have truly been prepared for lives of public service. In the special report below, read more about the contributions of UVM to the state of Vermont - and the world.