Community Engaged Learning

Core Curriculum RequirementLearning Objectives Guidelines and Registration 
Reporting in Handshake | Community Partner Organizations


Core Curriculum Requirement

The Community Engaged Learning (CEL) requirement offers you the opportunity to integrate “thinking” with “doing” by connecting theoretical and critical analysis with practical applications in the community. Through experiential learning within the diverse Bay Area, paired with critical reflection within the classroom, you directly engage with the principles of social justice and collaborative leadership. This empowers you to help expose marginalized cultural perspectives and address societal needs while enabling you to develop your own role as an innovator and change agent.

The experiences you gain through the CEL requirement will become valuable springboards to your post-college career interests. Meet with Career Connections & Community Engagement (CCCE) staff to discuss how best to leverage your CEL experience on resumes, in interviews, and as networking opportunities. 

Learning Objectives

  • Students will apply concepts explored in the classroom in a practical context.

  • Students will demonstrate the ability to apply leadership competencies and skills through engagement with community organizations on projects that are meaningful to both the organizations and the students.

  • Students will develop the ability to engage in thoughtful, self-reflective, and ethical collaboration in a community setting.

Guidelines and Registration

The CEL requirement can be fulfilled in one of two ways:

1. Through a course that has been designated as a Community Engaged Learning class and has engagement built into it.

2. Through an internship in a community-based organization. To use an internship for the CEL requirement, complete the Petition for Academic Internship and Community Engaged Learning Credit form, and register for the course number COLL 197.  For the full set of details about using an internship for the CEL requirement, see the list of guidelines.

Reporting in Handshake

Some internships can be found through our online career management system, Handshake. Organizations that have been pre-approved to fulfill the CEL requirement can be searched using the “community engaged learning site” label. You can apply for internships posted in Handshake directly through the posting. If you are interested in using an internship in an organization that is not listed, make sure the organization meets the criteria as either:

  • A nonprofit organization

  • A governmental agency or office

  • An educational institution (i.e., a K-12 school or college)

Certain other types of organizations, such as the philanthropic arm of a corporation or their corporate social responsibility program, can qualify. Contact CCCE staff if you have questions.

Once you secure your internship and have registered for COLL 197, you will log your internship using the experiences section of Handshake. By logging your internships, volunteering, jobs, and other opportunities through experiences, your Handshake profile will become a comprehensive record of your accomplishments and activities during your time at Mills. This information can then be easily used to create resumes, cover letters, fellowship and grad school applications, and other forms of networking tools for use now and into the future.

To log an experience, follow these steps:

  • Log in to Handshake.

  • Click the "experiences" tab on the left navigation bar, under the "engage" heading.

  • Select "report an experience" from the top-right tabs.

  • Fill in all relevant information, and click "create experience".

Community Partner Organizations

The CCCE maintains relationships with over 200 companies, organizations, and governmental agencies who partner with us in the development of internships and community engaged learning courses. They are committed to providing excellent internship and engagement opportunities for students who wish to contribute to their mission. We work with faculty and students to find the best alignment between their needs and those of the organization. A sample list of partner organizations that have been pre-approved to meet the CEL requirement are listed here, and you can find internships and jobs they are currently hiring for on Handshake by using the "community engaged learning sites" filter.

Please note:  List subject to change.