The College of the Holy Cross has the largest and oldest community-based learning program. Last year, 742 students participated, and Holy Cross reached out to 52 community partners, the WPS Adult Learning Center, Ascentria Care Alliance and Abby’s House among them.
“It’s very transformative and powerful for many of the students who are involved in a way that it touches their hearts and their heads simultaneously,” said Michelle Sterk Barrett, director of the school’s Donelan Office of Community-Based Learning, which was founded in 2001 and makes the connections between class and community.
Sterk Barrett added that beyond studying course materials, students learn about commitment to the community and what their duty is to the common good. Their involvement also helps short-staffed organizations deliver more services.