TCNJ faculty are at the heart of the Center’s mission to cultivate the common ground that exists between the College and the needs and interests of the community. TCNJ requires that all students complete eight hours of community engaged learning, which provides students with an opportunity to contribute their skills and energies to a community organization in the greater Trenton area. Community Engaged Learning (CEL) takes several forms at TCNJ, with roughly half of First Year students completing the graduation requirement through their First Year Seminar Program (FSP) course. The Bonner Center coordinates the CEL program at TCNJ and works closely with faculty to incorporate these projects into FSP courses.
Incorporating Community Engaged Learning projects into an FSP class can add to students’ educational experience, provide depth and richness to courses by demonstrating the real world relevance of a course topic, and contribute to a community organization’s development and growth. The projects that students engage in are directly tied to the learning objectives of the course as well as the needs and interests of the nonprofit community partner. To see some examples of FSP classes that included a CEL component, visit the First Year Seminar Class Projects page.
The Bonner Center provides a range of resources and services to faculty members who wish to create learning opportunities for their students that also address real community needs. These fall within the following categories:
- CEL I FSP Course Development and Approval
- CEL II Course Development and Approval
- TCNJ Student Impact Data
- Links to Service Learning Organizations and Research
- Directories of CEL Classes and Professors
In addition to these, the Center also works with faculty to provide direct service experiences for their students, secure grants and other resources to support their projects, create presentation and publication opportunities, as well as offer training sessions and workshops.