Information for Community Partners

The Office of Community Engagement and Partnerships facilitates partnerships between your organization and USF faculty who are teaching Community Based Learning courses.

Please contact the OCEP team to explore how USF Faculty can support your organization through engaged research and learning.

What is the Difference Between Community Based Learning & Volunteer Service?

A Community Based Learning Project integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. University students apply what they learn in the classroom to solve real problems. Typically, a community based learning project will last over the course of a semester or longer.

If university students collect trash out of an urban streambed, they are providing service to the community as volunteers. If students collect trash from an urban streambed, analyze their findings to determine the possible sources of pollution, and share the results with residents of the neighborhood, they are engaging in community based learning. Both the students and the community have been involved in a transformative experience.

To see examples of Community Based Learning projects happening throughout the Tampa Bay community please click here: Service Learning Projects

A Volunteer Project is an opportunity for students to volunteer on their own time or with a club and is a service that takes place separate from a class. The community service site informs the students of their volunteer duties or tasks. The service hours can be as few as a weekend beach clean-up or up to several hours tutoring youth in an afterschool program.

To find out more about student volunteers visit the USF Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement website: