CEL Faculty & Faculty Fellows

Photo of student at computer laptop working with professor

CEL Faculty & Faculty Fellows

CEL for Faculty & Faculty Fellows

Community Engaged Learning is a well-established, high-impact, active-learning teaching strategy. Through decades of research into the effects of CEL, CEL has been demonstrated to contribute to a richer teaching and learning experience, and contributes to student, faculty, and institutional priorities. We use the term “community engaged learning,” as opposed to “service learning,” because we want faculty, students, and community members to be active participants in, and co-beneficiaries of, the educational and service components of the project. Located in the communities that NJCU is already a part of, CEL participants work in collaboration with and alongside community partners, rather than unidirectionally serving them.

Faculty Benefits of CEL

  • Satisfaction with the quality of student learning
  • New avenues for research and publication via new relationships between faculty and community
  • Providing networking opportunities with engaged faculty in other disciplines or institutions
  • A stronger commitment to one’s research

College Benefits of CEL

  • Improved institutional commitment to the curriculum
  • Improved student retention
  • Enhanced community relations

These items are adapted from Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching

Links to NJCU CEL Faculty Resources:

NJCU Faculty Fellows CEL Course Syllabi

Additional Sample Syllabi

Campus Compact NJ

Student Orientation Modules

Student & Community Partner Contracts and Timesheets

Student and Community Partner Assessments

Sample Readings & Research

Useful Tools

Support for Faculty: Staff in the Center for Community Engagement work closely with faculty members to create meaningful and academically rigorous experiences for students. The following levels of support are available for faculty interested in integrating CEL into their courses.

Project Development

  • Brainstorming project ideas.
  • Matching with community partner(s).


  • Providing transportation information to and from partner site.
  • Assigning dates, taking attendance, managing contingencies.
  • Liaising with community partner.

Assessment and Follow-Up

  • Assist faculty in developing an assessment.
  • Following up with community partner.
  • Refining project for future semesters.

These items are adapted from Vanderbilt University’s Center for Teaching

Community Engaged Project: Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)

When NJCU partners with another institution, organization, business, or individual on a project it is important that each party fully understands their responsibility to the community engaged learning project. A memorandum of understanding (MOU) or partnership agreement is a document between two parties allowing each group to outline project-specific expectations and deliverables. Here is a sample template for project leaders working on community engaged learning associated projects.

Memorandum of Understanding

CEL Project Documentation

Documenting CEL projects at NJCU is critical. Documentation allows funders or supporters to see the impact of your collaboration and its outcome. Photography, progress reports, budgets, receipts, and final reports are often requested at the end of a project. If you collect and organize these things over an extended period of time, you will be more adequately prepared when documentation or reporting materials are asked of you.  When photographing a project, it is important to photograph the whole process, rather than just the end product. Be sure to get permission from your participants when photographing them.

Respecting and Working with Vulnerable Populations as an NJCU CEL Team Member

At NJCU, when working on a collaborative project, depending on the organization or group you are partnering with, you may come into contact with a wide variety of people. It is essential you maintain a professional working relationship with everyone you encounter, especially when interacting with vulnerable populations. Vulnerable populations are defined as groups of people who are typically excluded, disadvantaged or marginalized based on their economic, environmental, social, or cultural characteristics.  Through our work, focused on making the world a better place, we look forward to brightening their future(s).

These items are adapted from Maryland Institute College of Art

Jennifer Musial
Community Engaged Learning Coordinator ​​​​