I have participated in three community engaged learning courses throughout my years at Western. My first experience with CEL was in the Health Sciences course ‘Aging Body’ in
One of my favorite CEL experiences was taking the Health Sciences course “Gerontology in Practice” last semester. Throughout the course, I worked on incorporating an aging simulation lab into a senior’s community (called Windermere on the Mount) to obtain feedback from the residents. This experience allowed me to build relationships with the management and staff as well as have great conversations with the residents on a weekly basis.
Looking back, I would say that CEL courses have definitely enhanced my learning and student experience because of the hands-on approach it offers. I would go as far as to say that I retained more information in my CEL courses than in other courses because of the experiential learning aspect. Experiential learning is something that I think is very valuable because it gave me new skills such as practice with public speaking and critical thinking, that I do not think I would have gained from traditional lecture learning. Engaging in CEL courses is something that everyone should try before leaving Western simply because it provides real-life context to what you are learning while making learning more fun in the process.
2019 Aging Body Mobile Simulation Lab