Welcome to the Office of Community Learning, which is part of the Center for Hartford Engagement and Research (CHER) at Trinity College. We foster academic collaborations between Trinity students, staff, faculty, and local organizations in metropolitan Hartford. By extending the boundaries of the classroom into the local community, students engage with the city in projects that deepen learning, promote civic engagement, and create mutually beneficial relationships with community organizations. Trinity faculty offer over 20 Community Learning courses every semester, and several are featured on our news page.

Students sit around a table with community members who are sharing their stories of life in Hartford. They are at a library and surrounded by books on all sides. At Trinity, Community Learning courses include these three elements:

1) Experiential Learning: Students draw meaningful connections between their liberal arts education and the lives of community partners in the Hartford area or beyond.

2) Collaborative Partnerships: Students deepen their learning by contributing in ways that helps community partners advance their goals, such as direct service (volunteering or participant-observation), information products (such as brochures, interviews, databases, webpages, videos), artistic works, or research findings. Community learning benefits all participants.

3) Perspective-Building Relationships: Students form relationships with community partners outside of their classroom to gain new perspectives on local and/or global issues. Encountering viewpoints that differ from one’s own is a vital part of a liberal arts education.

We are always looking for ways we can grow and expand our work in Hartford and would love to hear from you about how you want to be a part of this work. Contact Director Erica Crowley to find out more about how to get involved.