Community-Based Learning Classes

Community-Based Learning Classes

These classes, also sometimes called Service Learning Classes, foster the ability to connect academic learning with action in the world. At Drew, CBL classes contribute to a planned strategy for addressing a community need or strengthening a community capacity that serves the common good. They fulfill the Off-Campus Experience requirement towards an undergraduate education. These classes require students to work in a dynamic way with off-campus community organizations.

Examples of our CBL Classes

LD_072616_Theatre_Newark_Summer_0523Drew Theater students take their talents to Newark.  Advantage Arts is a collaborative theatre-making enterprise in which Drew students team up with high school students from the Newark inner city schools to create original works that are presented both on Drew’s campus and at the Marion Bolden Student Center in Newark. The students spent four weeks working on the plays with Theatre and Dance professors Chris Ceraso, Lisa Brenner, Rodney Gilbert and Kimani Fowlin and Drew student mentors. In addition, participants took classes with Drew faculty through Drew’s Summer College program, which prepares students from underserved areas for college life. “The Drew students are learning mentoring skills and furthering their theater education,” says Professor Ceraso. “The Newark kids get to work in theater, but they’re also building life skills. They’re being given an opportunity to work collaboratively, with different kinds of people, in a disciplined way.”

4. NABE Financial Planning Table w Kids

Students learn how the Latino immigrant experience offers students the chance to give back. They volunteer to teach English as a second language at Morristown Neighborhood House, a non-profit and Drew community partner dedicated to assisting Latino immigrants facing economic and social challenges. In an Acorn news piece, students discuss the powerful impact of this class on their education and those within the Latino community that they are teaching, as part of the service component of the class.  As one student interviewed states: “It has been just rewarding overall. It’s an experience I’ll never forget.”


The Center for Global Education provides both ShortTrec and LongTrec programs, some of which have a service component as part of their curriculum. Every other year students travel to Orvieto, Italy to engage in Italian language, art, culture and Community-Based Learning activities, accompanied by Dr. Emanuele Occhipinti, Associate Professor of Italian and Chair of the French and Italian Department. During their stay, students participate in an Italian language program at the ‘Linguasì Institute of Orvieto, while the Community-Based Learning component gives students a chance to interact with local volunteer organizations.  The activities students participate in change from trip to trip, although examples from past treks include teaching english to children, visiting local hospitals, assisting with local recycling efforts, helping artisans make crafts to be sold, and providing assistance at Villa Mercede.

Leadership for Social Action Minor

Leadership for Social Action MinorLeadership SA

You want to make a difference in the world. No matter what path you take after graduation – promoting social justice, advocating for environmental sustainability, or working in the business world –the Minor in Leadership for Social Action at Drew is designed to give you the know-how to do just that.

Connect your passion for socially-responsible action with your academic interests through hands-on experience and engaging course work. Learn to lead with integrity in the context of a community. Test this knowledge in the real world. Then develop a plan for putting your new leadership skills into action—at Drew and wherever your life path takes you.

CE 250: Leadership in Practice

This CE250 Web flyercourse introduces students to socially responsible leadership as a practice and a field of study. While learning about individual, organizational, and social change leadership, students will develop an understanding of their own strengths as leaders. Through personal reflection, team exercises, academic research and a real-world leadership project, students will explore the knowledge, skills, and values that make for both successful and unsuccessful leadership.

CLA-Breadth/Interdisciplinary, CLA-Writing Intensive

4.00 Credit hours



Internships create unique opportunities to practice skills and theories learned in the classroom and see how they are applied in the workplace. Drew University offers internship opportunities with hundreds of companies and organizations close to campus and across the country.

Contact the Center for Internships and Career Development for more information about these opportunities.

Kristin Internship
Kristin Ziegler at Sustainable Morristown

As part of her sophomore internship, Kristin Zeigler C’16 interned for Sustainable Morristown whose mission is to promote and support a sustainable future for the Morristown community through education, leadership, and action.

Victoria Emm C'17 and Senator Cory Booker
Victoria Emm C’17 and Senator Cory Booker

As a Civic Scholar, Victoria Emm C’17 has worked with adults with dementia, taught children with developmental disorders and raised awareness about LGBT issues and equal rights. She experienced a different kind of public service, however, as a summer intern for U.S. Senator Cory Booker. “I learned the function of federal offices, my position on politics and the many ways I can influence change in the future,” Emm explained. The Toms River, N.J. resident worked in constituent services for the senator. Her tasks included advocating for residents of his district, writing memos about international and domestic issues and participating in events, such as one announcing the awarding of a federal grant to the East Orange Fire Department.

Civic Scholar Gabi Bisconti C’16 has done many internships in her time at Drew. Gabi has interned for Joseph R. Patenaude Theater, New York Women in Film and Television, Night Castle Management, Greater Media NJ and ARTS by the People.