The Center for Community Engaged Learning & Research offers multiple pathways for collaboration with the community, all of which are described below. If you’d like to get involved, contact the appropriate staff member – or fill out our opportunities form and we’ll contact you with ideas.
Bonner Community Scholars
The Bonner Community Scholars are a diverse group of students who share a common desire and commitment: to work as part of a team of students, staff and community members that strives to improve the quality of life in the Trenton area. This four-year student and community development program provides its participants with opportunities to enhance their own skills while promoting positive change and social justice. In return, Bonner Community Scholars receive an annual academic scholarship.
Bonners are organized into teams based on issue areas like education, juvenile justice, and the environment. Students typically work with one or two community partner organizations in the greater Trenton area. A list of current service sites can be found here.
The CELR Center is not currently seeking new partnerships for the Bonner Community Scholars program.
Community Engaged Learning (CEL) is a teaching strategy that strives to cultivate the common ground that exists between the learning objectives of a course and the identified needs of the community. These class-based projects or experiences are not only educational for the students but also strive to improve the quality of life for others in our region.
The Center facilitates two levels of CEL.
First Year CEL (FYCEL) is a graduation requirement which most students complete during their first year at TCNJ. Projects typically involve an 8-hour, direct service experience in the community. Contact Paula Figueroa-Vega for more information.
Advanced CEL (ACEL) projects are integrated into the curricula of upper-level courses. Students typically complete 17 hours of direct and indirect service while addressing a community-identified need or opportunity. A sample of past ACEL projects can be found here. Contact Heather Camp for more information.
The Center recruits and supports students to fulfill their internships with non-profits in the greater Trenton area. Center staff work with community partners to develop academically rigorous and rewarding experiences which address specific organizational outcomes. These internships are designed to follow best practices as defined by TCNJ’s Career Center. A sample of current internships can be found here. Contact Adams Sibley for more information.
As a backbone organization, the CELR Center facilitates two collective impact networks: Trenton Prevention Policy Board and Mercer County Reentry Task Force. Organized around the issue areas of youth prevention and reentry, respectively, these initiatives bring together large numbers of area stakeholders to collaborate for lasting change. TPPB and MCRTF are supported by CELR Center staff, faculty fellows, student interns, and CEL courses. Contact Michael Nordquist for more information.