Why I take CEL Classes
Throughout my college career, I have taken classes where I was taught how to produce a video, program in Java, or the principles behind advertising. I have found these classes to be enlightening, but the classes that are the most memorable are my community engaged learning, or CEL, classes. These are the classes in which we learn how to do something, and then we actually go out into the real world and do it.
If you’re a communication major like me, consider taking the CEL course Voices of Utah <https://voices-of-utah.com/>. Throughout the semester, students in this class utilize their journalism skills and go out into the real world to report on communities that are often ignored or misrepresented by mainstream media. Some examples of previous beats include African American, LGBTQIA*, people with disabilities, small businesses, and more. I have been able to take my writing and reporting skills and go out into the community to ask questions and then share what I find. It has been a fantastic experience that has enabled me to gain real skills and build my portfolio, both things that will help me find employment after graduation.
Another class I would encourage all to take is Introduction to Civic Leadership. I was able to learn and discuss big issues like poverty, hunger, environmental degradation, and illiteracy. I learned about the social change model and how individuals like myself can engage with the community and create positive change. Throughout the semester I worked on a group project with a community partner, the Salt Lake School for Performing Arts, to develop a stronger social media presence. This was another experience in which I was able to take the things I was learning in class and gain real experience in the community. I was also again able to gain professional experience in the field I plan on working in after graduation.
Community engaged learning courses are a wonderful experience for everyone at the University of Utah. If you have taken one and enjoyed it, I encourage you to look into Bennion Center Scholars <https://bennioncenter.org/students/bennion-center-scholars/>. This program will help you further your positive impact on the community.
I strongly encourage you to take a CEL course before you graduate, because these are the classes in which I have learned the most, gained real-world experience, and felt I made an actual positive impact in my community.
Fall 2019 CEL classes: https://student.apps.utah.edu/uofu/stu/ClassSchedules/main/1198/class_list.html?type=CEL