Center for Engaged Learning

Preparing students beyond the classroom through real-world experience, exploration and reflection


Learn, apply, reflect

No matter the area of interest, real-world experience and reflection enable students to apply their education to their daily lives – giving them a leg up on others as they leave campus to pursue careers or further their education.

The mission of the Center for Engaged Learning (CEL) is to provide a coordinated effort to expand learning beyond the classroom by collaborating with campus, community, and industry partners to provide engaged learning opportunities that prepare undergraduate students for academic and career success. The CEL celebrates diversity and pursues equitable opportunities for all students to participate in high-quality experiences.

image of student work

What is engaged learning?

Students apply their knowledge to expand and deepen their skillset by participating in concrete experiences beyond the classroom which require reflection, perspective taking, critical thinking, and active exploration.


The student engages in an experience applying what they have learned in the classroom.


The student reflects upon observations from the out-of-the-classroom experience.


The student develops conclusions from the outcomes of their application of knowledge.


The student develops a plan from what they have experienced to improve future outcomes.

Made possible through partnership

Central to the success of an engaged learning experience is the access to and quality of opportunities provided to students. The Center comprises two offices, the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity and the Office of Experiential Learning. These offices connect students with engaged learning activities, such as internships, community engagement, study abroad, and academic courses with an engaged learning component.

Industry partners

We also partner with local and national employers, who gain early access to UofL students for learning opportunities that could lead to future employment. Contact us to learn more about our industry partnership opportunities.

Community partners

We partner with community groups to increase student participation in community service activities. Students can help propel your organization's mission by bringing diverse perspectives and skill sets to your cause. Contact us to learn more about engaging students with your community project.

Faculty partners

We want to know about your current experiential learning or undergraduate research opportunities. Haven’t started yet? We’re ready to help with training and resources. Contact us to learn more about including an experiential learning opportunity in your course.

Examples of engaged learning activities

Undergraduate research & creative activity


Cooperative education

Community service

Clinical education

Student teaching


Field experience

Center for Engaged Learning

University of Louisville

Louisville, KY 40208