From the Classroom to the Community

Community Service Learning (CSL) Initiative Projects

This initiative, created and currently coordinated by Dr. Maria Carbonetti, started as a curriculum reformulation of Conversational Spanish I and II in 2010, launching a version of the courses to include a Community Serving Learning component to increase students’ communication skills and widen their cultural awareness. Through projects for the local Hispanic community and local organizations related to the Hispanic communities abroad, the model integrates experiential components into the pedagogical approach. The model also considers sustainability by being sustainably conscious. From our classrooms, students work locally to benefit the communities here and abroad. In the wider scope of the university’s mandate, these community service projects are based on the UBC Community Learning Initiative definition that includes the following three key elements:

  • classroom learning
  • volunteer work that responds to community-identified priorities
  • structured reflection activities that challenge students to make connections between what they are studying and their experiences in the community.

The projects involve two-way direct interaction and co-teaching with clients and agencies that visit our classes to provide between 2 to 4 hours of instruction to our students. Another important goal is to foster dialogue and collaboration between divisions at UBC, alumni, colleagues and students in other courses in the FHIS department. Through the projects, we have established connections with the Department of Geography for concurrent projects and the Faculty of Law to check legal accuracy for the 2014 project. The CBEL office supports and helps with logistics and funding.

The following is a list of CSL Projects from 2011 and a summary of some of the projects: