Center for Community Engagement

Community-Engaged Learning and Service-Learning

Students planting vegetables in a community garden

Call to Action

Service-learning is an academic course where a service project or service experience is part of the overall grade. In the spirit of learning-by-doing, Cal Poly Pomona faculty, staff and students actively support and engage in service-learning activities that build meaningful and sustainable community partnerships.

What is service-learning?

  • Service-learning is a pedagogy that provides students with structured opportunities to learn, develop and reflect through active participation and thoughtfully organized community involvement.
  • It enhances the academic experience of students by relating academic content and course objectives to issues in the community.
  • Service-learning integrates assessment and student reflection on the interrelationships between course content and community-based learning activities.
  • Conducted in the community, it meets the needs of the students, faculty and community partners and fosters civic competence and engagement. 

How do faculty benefit from service-learning?

  • Integrates teaching and research to generate scholarship on teaching (teacher-scholar).
  • Creates an environment to engage and motivate students.
  • Promotes demonstrated knowledge of academic material and applications.
  • Fosters faculty awareness and community involvement.

What is the official service-learning policy of Cal Poly Pomona?

Interested in creating or revising a service-learning course?

  • For assistance with creating or revising a service-learning course, please email or call (909) 869-4269.

Looking for a community partner to collaborate with?

  • For a listing of official community partners, please visit the BroncoSERV page.
  • For assistance with selecting a new community partner for your course, please email

Service-Learning/CEL Faculty Fellows Program

Applications are now open for the 2024-2025 Service-Learning Faculty Fellows Program! This training and implementation program is designed to assist faculty with integrating service-learning into a new course or integrate service-learning into a course that has not previously received S-designation. Deadline for applications including a letter/email of support is April 26, 2024. Learn more and apply via CCE’s Funding Opportunities.

2023-2024 Service-Learning/CEL Faculty Fellows

Dr. Sharonda Bishop

Dr. Sharonda Bishop is a lecturer at the College of Business Administration at Cal Poly Pomona. She holds an undergraduate degree from Cornell University in Hospitality Administration, a Master’s from Claremont Graduate School and received her DBA from DePaul University. She also teaches in professional certification programs at CPP’s College of Professional and Global Education, University of Riverside Extension and the Global Campus at San Diego State University. Dr. Bishop owns Bishop Consulting, a Human Resources and Training firm service Southern California. She has over 25 years of human resources, payroll, and training experience working with employees and managers in various industries, including hospitality, engineering and construction. An active member of her community, Dr. Bishop has served in multiple board positions in Inland Empire non-profit organizations.

Dr. Nastaran Simarasl

Dr. Nastaran Simarasl is an Associate Professor of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship at the College of Business, Cal Poly Pomona. She holds a Ph.D. in Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a Ph.D. in Organizational Behavior from the University of Isfahan. She has taught various courses, including Capstone Strategic Management, Introduction to Entrepreneurship, and Social Entrepreneurship. Through her research, she seeks to understand how some entrepreneurs succeed despite significant hardships. Her research has been published in journals, including Strategic Entrepreneurship Journal, Family Business Review, and European Management Journal. She enjoys serving the community by offering mentorship to entrepreneurs through SCORE and volunteering at animal shelters. In spring 2024, she will teach a senior project course that will engage CPP students in providing research-based consulting to the Pomona Chamber of Commerce.

Dr. Chloe Simpson

Dr. Chloe Simpson is an assistant professor of adapted physical education and co-director of the Motor Development Clinic in the Kinesiology and Health Promotion Department at Cal Poly Pomona. She has been working here since January of 2023. Her research involves physical educators' behavior management development, ablism in higher education, parasport in physical education teacher education programs, and service learning in adapted physical education. She enjoys providing students with real-world experiences working with individuals with disabilities.

Service-Learning In-Person Placement Guidelines

CPP student jumping

CSU-CEL New Taxonomy

The Chancellor's Office, Center for Community Engagement (COCCE) is in the process of aligning an understanding of community engagement across the system. The COCCE uses community-engaged learning (CEL)* as the umbrella term to identify a broad array of courses in which community engagement is embedded. This definition is the foundation for a larger data collection effort around these student learning experiences.

The CEL Tool will allow the CSU to capture meaningful data across the system to better support faculty and work towards appropriate recognition for this work. It also offers insight into curriculum design that may help shape and improve student learning.

Community-Engaged Learning in times of Social Distancing, Isolation and Quarantine

As we adjust to our new temporary reality in the face of COVID-19, there are many factors to consider when thinking about transitioning your Community-Engaged Learning (CEL) course to an online environment.

Remember this quick switch in teaching and learning is likely uncharted territory for many of us, including your students and community partners. High quality community-based learning isn't about logging a certain number of hours, it is about being responsive to community partner needs. Perhaps at this time, the ultimate way to be engaged in the community is in ways that are grass-roots and emerging as the situation unfolds.