Community Action, Learning & Leadership (CALL) Program

Students walking during the Inaugural Walk-the-Talk Peace Summit

A connection between self and society, full citizenship at our University, in communities and around the world for the purpose of transforming students into critical-thinking, global leaders with a commitment to academic and professional excellence, civic engagement and ethical values.

Located at the "most diverse college" in the SUNY-system, the SUNY Old Westbury Community Action, Learning and Leadership (CALL) Program is recognized for its commitment to academic excellence, exploration and innovation joined with Old Westbury's historic mission of actively seeking to engage and advance social justice in communities in the world around us.


Over 10,000 students engaged with CALL


Hours of community engagement

9 Years

U.S. President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll

how call works

CALL aligns communities of practice and community engagement with the OW’s mission to “weave values of integrity, community engagement and global citizenship into the fabric of academic programs and campus life.” This not only integrates academic study and analysis with field experience to give OW student in the CALL cohort intellectual insight into social issues while directly engaging them in social action as impactful global citizens, but it also pushes OW students in the cohort to critically evaluate and apply course-based academic concepts and theories to address authentic needs outside the classroom.

As part of a full-year First-Year Experience Program, all first-year students in CALL enroll and complete the Community Learning (CL2000) course. The course is linked to a core curriculum course, hours of community engagement, a social justice workshop series, a deliberative dialogues series, and an end of semester presentation. The course emphasizes the themes of self-discovery, the meaning of a liberal education, the relationship of the individual to society, and the nature of values and of personal and social responsibility. By situating the major intellectual and emotional challenges students confront within the framework of ethics and community engagement, the course encourages students in the CALL cohort to evaluate their ideas and assumptions, and the impact of their decisions on the self and into communities in the world around them. Organized around a series of ever-widening concentric circles, the course moves from a discussion of the role of ethics in individual life, in personal relationships, and in the OW community to the quest for social justice and sustainability in America and around the global through innovative community-based engagements. The course provides the cohort a forum for critical reflection on community action, learning and leadership, intercultural understanding, global citizenship, power and privilege, and the interconnections among these concepts and practices. The goal of the course is to encourage the OW students to consider multiple perspectives and to reflect upon their identities, values and aspirations as impactful global citizens innovating, assessing and implementing community-based engagements that advance social justice within the larger common good.

In collaboration with community partners and the faculty, the CALL Program develops volunteer opportunities.  Student placements are determined by linked course content and objectives, as well as students’ academic and career interests, schedules and other specifications.  In addition to their normal coursework, students may participate in their volunteer placements during the semester.

Students are expected to reflect on their experiences in journals and evaluation papers involving research and analysis. They also consider the relationship of community-based learning and action to our University's social justice mission, the value of a liberal arts education, ethical decision-making and career development.  In addition to the experience itself, there will be pre-reflection and assessment components, including readings and assignments.  The class will meet as a group at least once a week and students will be expected to participate in mandatory workshops and campus events. 

students may execute their volunteer responsibilities on campus, at the organization’s work-site, and/or at a location agreed upon by the organization and CALL.

Teamwork, community building

Confidence and trust to bridge divides

Shape new ways to tackle social justice issues

Dream. US Community Changemaker Fellowship



Ask Every Student and CALL Changemaker Fellowship