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Career Connections & Community Engagement

Community Engaged Learning

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 diverse Bay Area communities, 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 roles as innovators and change agents.

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

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, you’ll petition for credit using these forms, and you’ll 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 on-line 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 non-profit 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 course. 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.

Highland Hospital Health Advocates Program (Alameda County Health System)

Alameda Point Collaborative

Breakthrough San Francisco

Building Opportunities for Self-Sufficiency (BOSS)

Children's Creativity Museum



Destiny Arts Center

East Bay Agency for Children

East Bay Community Law Center

Generation Citizen

GRID Alternatives

Gritty City Repertory Youth Theater

Harbor House Ministries

Net Impact

Oakland Youth Chorus

Our Family Coalition

Roses in Concrete

Shakti Rising

Sprouts Cooking Club

The Basic Fund

The Marine Mammal Center

Tikkun Magazine


Please Note:  Subject to Change.




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Last Updated: 11/30/17