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New UofL Center for Engaged Learning centralizes experiential research

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A new center that centralizes and streamlines the process to provide students with hands-on learning experiences – known as engaged learning – is now open on the University of Louisville campus.

The Center for Engaged Learning (CEL) celebrated its launch with a ribbon-cutting reception on Tuesday (Oct. 18).

Engaged learning is nothing new at UofL, where many programs include engaged learning requirements in their curricula. The CEL is under the leadership of the Interim Vice Provost for Engaged Learning, Gail DePuy. It is now the first stop for students signing up to enhance their learning experience beyond the classroom.

The CEL comprises two offices, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity, directed by Paul DeMarco, and the Office of Experiential Learning, under direction of Erica Gabbard. These offices partner with the university’s Career Centers, Office of Community Engagement, Office of Study Abroad and International Travel, academic programs and several other units across campus to connect students with engaging learning activities.

“We know that students who have engaged learning experiences during their college years ask deeper questions in class, are more engaged with their professors and the course material and are positioned to handle real-world problems on the job following graduation,” DePuy said. “The center will expand these types of opportunities so that all students can apply their knowledge to concrete experiences, including those whose majors may not have a direct career path.”

The CEL also provides a single point of entry for businesses and organizations seeking students for engaged learning experiences. And engaged learning helps students increase involvement on campus and develop a sense of belonging, key factors that increase student retention and persistence to graduation.

The CEL is a UofL Strategic Plan objective and its operation is partially funded by the Gheens Foundation. It is housed on the first floor of the university’s newest residence hall, Belknap Village South.

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