For Students

The Donelan Office of Community-Based Learning facilitates opportunities for students to connect academic learning with civic engagement.

Students enrolled in CBL courses extend their learning beyond the classroom through service and research projects that benefit our partner organizations in Worcester.

These courses can be found in most academic departments and concentrations.  CBL Placement courses require a weekly commitment, for a total of 18-25 hours per semester. The time commitment for CBL Project courses varies, depending on the nature and scope of the project.

For students interested in volunteering with one of our community partners but are not enrolled in a CBL course, you can contact the Donelan Office to be placed on a waiting list. Once CBL students have been placed, you may then have the opportunity to volunteer. Students interested in volunteering can also connect with community partners through SPUD and Community Service Work Study.

What do students say about CBL?

  • 90% of students said that CBL helped them to learn more deeply than they otherwise would have
  • 92% of students said that CBL helped them to connect their course material to the real world
  • 88% of students said that CBL was valuable for their personal growth
  • 89% of students gained a deeper understanding of problems facing society through CBL

*Data from 2012-2017 CBL Assessments

Helpful Resources

Learn More about Community-Based Learning (PDF)

CBL Intern Program

Non-Profit Careers Conference

For Current Students

Student Handbook (PDF)

myHC (Community-Based Learning and Community Engagement) 

Learn more about CBL in SPAN 301 (MOV)

How can CBL help students to live out the Holy Cross mission?

Watch this Gateways orientation video (MOV) to see how CBL, along with other community engagement activities, can help students understand and enact the Holy Cross mission of being for and with others.