Mission & History

Community Learning fosters academic collaborations among students, faculty and community partners by extending the boundaries of the classroom into the local community. These collaborations deepen students’ abilities to comprehend, apply, synthesize, and evaluate their learning, while at the same time creating and sharing knowledge with others, which has the potential to inform and improve life in our communities.  Community Learning is not limited to a specific area of study:  it serves all students, regardless of their discipline, from their first year seminars through senior projects.  It deepens students’ commitment to the values of the liberal arts by promoting thoughtful, reflective learning, while cultivating civic engagement and commitment to social responsibility that has the potential to transform students’ understanding of the world and their role in it.

Trinity’s CLI was unveiled in the fall of 1995 at an event attended by twenty-five interested faculty members. CLI offered training for students, logistical support, and curricular ideas for faculty. By the spring, several courses with community learning components were scheduled.

Today, CLI features some 30 courses each year and serves as a model for other colleges and universities. Our community learning program involves almost all of our academic departments and a wide variety of community organizations. About half of each graduating class has completed at least one CLI course. ​​