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  Home > Academics > CEPC > Benefits of Community-Based Learning

Benefits of Community-Based Learning

For The College
Through Community-Based Learning (“CBL”) collaborations universities can:

  • Enhance teaching, research, and outreach activities;
  • Engage faculty and students in local and state community issues;
  • Extend college knowledge and resources;
  • Create positive community relationships; and
  • Increase development and preparation of university graduates.

For Community Organizations
For community partners, the goal of social change is the primary incentive for entering into community-based service learning collaboration. Specifically, community organizations can:

  • Mobilize additional resources to fulfill the organizational mission of the community group;
  • Gain access to new resources and improve their ability to better leverage the resources that are already under its control;
  • Build capacity by increasing the staff’s skills and the organization’s ability to operate more effectively;
  • Increase effectiveness through an improved ability to collect, analyze, and use data independently;
  • The organization will develop greater public awareness and support of their mission; and
  • Maximize community empowerment and advocacy efforts.

For Members of the Faculty
By taking the classroom beyond the campus and into the community, faculty can:

  • Increase teaching repertoire including the utilization of small group work and journals and the incorporation of experiential learning;
  • Collaborate on the development of integrated curriculum and assessment;
  • Increase contact with students, particularly freshmen, first-time to college students;
  • Increase their knowledge of current research and theory in relevant areas including cultural sensitivity, civic engagement, experiential learning and critical thinking and first-year programs;
  • Participate in and present at professional organizations and pursue research in the above fields;
  • Gain knowledge of and make connections to the local community and its organizations and integrate this knowledge with academic content;
  • Gain new perspectives and increase understanding of learning by utilizing small group in-class discussions and ongoing involvement in assessment;
  • Increase awareness of community issues and their relationship to instructors' academic interests;
  • Identify current social and student learning issues that might inform research; and
  • Provide opportunity for interdisciplinary collaboration.

For Students
Students involved in a community-based learning project…, can come away with many benefits from the experience. Community-based learning enhances students’ learning of curriculum content by creating synergy between students’ academic work and activities in the community. Because CBL offers the chance to learn through the best combination of community and classroom strategies, the expectation is that students will demonstrate the following:

  • Improved communication skills: oral and written;
  • Cultural sensitivity and respect for diversity in race/ethnicity, class, gender, sexual orientation, age and abilities;
  • Critical thinking and problem-solving skills, including observation, reflection, application and analysis of issues and strategies for change;
  • Leadership skills by working with a diverse team of OW students in community placements and group projects. These skills will include listening, planning, facilitating communication, conflict mediation and the integration of different interests, concerns and perspectives;
  • The ability to integrate knowledge, theory and experience. They will be able to relate their work in the community to broader social issues.
  • An increased understanding of and commitment to civic engagement, social justice and activism for change, evidenced by greater personal empowerment, social responsibility and community involvement.

Students develop leadership skills, political awareness, and civic literacy by critically analyzing the sources of local challenges, considering alternative responses, confronting political and ideological barriers to change, and weighing the merits of legislative or other political strategies in collaboration with community members. As equal members of CBL “teams” students learn to listen to one another, to deliberate critically about problems and issues, to arrive at solutions mutually, and to work together to implement them—all of which are important skills in the increasingly team-oriented 21st century workplace.


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Accounting B.S.

Accounting M.S.

Adolescence Education(7-12)- Biology (BA,BS)

Adolescence Education(7-12)- Chemistry (BA,BS)

Adolescence Education(7-12)- Mathematics (BA,BS)

Adolescence Education(7-12)- Social Studies BA

Adolescence Education(7-12)- Spanish BA

American Studies B.A.

Biochemistry B.S.

Biological Sciences B.A., B.S.

Business Administration B.S.

Chemistry B.A., B.S.

Childhood Education (1-6) B.S.

Childhood Education with Bilingual Extension (1-6) B.S.

Comparative Humanities B.A.

Computer Science B.S.

Criminology B.S.

Health & Society B.S.

Industrial & Labor Relations (B.A., B.S.)

Language & Literature: English, B.A.

Management Information Systems B.S.

Mathematics B.S.

Media & Communications B.A.

Middle Childhood Education (5-9) - Biology B.S.

Middle Childhood Education (5-9) - Chemistry B.S.

Middle Childhood Education (5-9) - Mathematics B.S.

MiddleChildhood Education (5-9) - Spanish B.S.

Philosophy & Religion B.A.

Politics, Economics & Law B.A.

Psychology (B.A., B.S.)

Sociology B.A., B.S.

Spanish Language, Hispanic Literature & Culture B.A.

Special Education & Childhood Education (1-6) B.S.

Special Education with Bilingual Extension (1-6) B.S.

Visual Arts B.A., B.S.

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