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Community-Engaged Learning during Covid-19

Covid-19 has certainly presented challenges to the traditional learning environment. However, the time to lean into the community as our classroom has never been greater. Below is a curated list of resources to help you explore how you might integrate community engagement into your course in light of Covid-19 and the challenges it presents.

If you're looking to volunteer this year or partner with a non-profit organization, please watch this 3-minute training video first. 


  • Adhere to University guidelines for safety:
  • Adhere to the community partner's guidelines for safety.
  • See below for additional suggestions on how to stay safe as a volunteer.
  • Communicate with your community partner(s) and students early and regularly
    • Collaborate on changes to student work
      • Adjust the scope of student work
      • Adjust the timeline of student work
      • Adjust the nature of student work

Other Campus Resources for Community-Engaged Teaching during Covid-19

CEL & Remote Teaching ideas:

  • Students can conduct background research or gather best practices or other information requested by the partner(s);
  • Students can tape, record, or stream performances or workshops to benefit community partner(s);
  • Students can create digital and other social media content, print program materials, or other methods for information-sharing;
  • Students can undertake assessment, evaluation, or feedback via phone or web-based services;
  • Students can compile research or brainstorm strategies that provide indirect support from volunteers as a result of coronavirus;
  • Students can conduct virtual or phone-based educational support for youth and adults

More ideas available at:

Online Teaching with CEL:


How to stay safe as a volunteer

Whether you volunteer formally with an organization or informally with members of your community, always prioritize your safety and well-being. Below are suggestions for how you can help yourself and others stay safe as you give back.

*If you have been in contact with someone with any fever, cough, or other symptoms of COVID-19, or if you are not feeling well or think you may have COVID-19, do not volunteer for any in-person efforts. Stay home, call your doctor, and separate yourself from others.

1. Protect yourself. | Take the recommended public health precautions at all times, which include washing your hands often and for at least 20 seconds, using hand sanitizer when soap and water aren’t available, avoiding touching your face with unwashed hands, and maintaining six feet of distance between yourself and other people.

2. Protect others. | To reduce the spread of COVID-19, CDC recommends that people wear cloth face coverings in public settings when around people outside of their household, especially when other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain.

3. Individuals at higher risk should avoid physical contact with others. | Individuals at higher risk who want to volunteer should consider opportunities that do not involve close physical contact with others, such as remote duties and administrative or support functions.

3. Prepare for your shift. | Carry personal items that may help during volunteer shifts, such as water, a mask, antibacterial wipes or hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of 60 percent or greater, prescriptions/inhalers, snacks, and a phone charger. Also dress weather appropriate.

4. Call ahead when helping others. | When offering to help those in your neighborhood or community, never show up unannounced. Call first and arrange to drop items at their door. Avoid entering others’ homes unless absolutely necessary. Practice social distancing by keeping a minimum of six feet between you and any other person.

5. Volunteer virtually. | Consider virtual ways to give back, such as online giving funds, charity drives, or virtual volunteer opportunities. There are many nonprofits and businesses in need of virtual assistants to help with organizational tasks, order placements and customer relations.

6. Again, if you have had any contact with another person who has not been feeling well, or if you, personally, feel in any way unwell, do not volunteer for activities that require you to leave your home. This includes any symptoms of cough, fever, chills, headache, fatigue, sore throat, muscle aches or pains, nausea, vomiting, or diarrhea.

*There are many virtual opportunities available! To learn about virtual volunteer opportunities, visit To learn about virtual co-curricular engagement opportunities, click here. 
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