Community-Based Learning (CBL)

Community-Based Learning (CBL) is the practice of bringing together students, faculty and community organizations to work on projects that provide intellectually rich experiences for students and tangible benefits to the greater community.

Every semester over 1,000 students from all five colleges participate in a form of community-based learning. Service learning courses, internships at local non-profits and community-based research actively engage students, faculty and staff with the greater community.

The Five College Committee for Community Based Learning is a group of faculty and professional staff from all five colleges who work together to improve the quality of engagement Five College students have in local communities and expand the number of community-based learning opportunities available.

Students seeking opportunities can browse CBL courses, contact any campus CBL office, and view other useful resources.

Community organizations seeking to learn more can download the Five College guide to finding students workers and volunteers, contact committee members and view publications about past CBL projects.

Five College Community Based Learning also works in coordination with the Five College Schools Partnership Program, a collaborative effort to support K-12 public education in western Massachusetts and, in particular, the professional development of public school teachers. Learn more about the Five College Schools Partnership Program.

Five College Committee for CBL

After a group of committed staff and faculty began meeting to help promote and expand CBL throughout the region, the Five College Committee for Community-Based Learning was officially established in 2003 and has remained active since then.

Current CBL Committee members

Five Colleges Staff Liaison 

  • Five Colleges, Inc.
    • April Shandor - Academic Programs Coordinator