Last update: January 28, 2020

The Centre for Community Engaged Learning provides grants to faculty members to create community engaged learning (CEL) opportunities for their students. CEL provides students with the opportunity to apply their discipline-specific skills and knowledge, working on projects in partnership with community-based organizations to resolve complex community challenges.

2018/19 submissions are now open! Apply now.


Take learning beyond the classroom and get funding for community-based experiential learning.

For the 6th consecutive year, The Irving K. Barber Learning Centre and the Centre for Community Engaged Learning are pleased to offer funding to instructors teaching courses that include remote community engaged learning (CEL) opportunities for their students. This funding is intended to support collaborations between UBC students and organizations located in BC communities outside of the Lower Mainland, and other urban centres across the Province.


Faculty members are invited to apply for up to $5,000 per course for the 2018/2019 academic year.  The funding is intended to cover:

  • Student travel to remote locations
  • Student accommodation in rural locations
  • Community events related to student projects – e.g. catering or venues for consultation events or workshops
  • Stipends for community partners who offer their time to support the student projects
  • Project supplies
  • Other costs directly related to the remote CEL collaborations

Please note that only economy standard travel and accommodation will be funded. Funds are not intended for capital investments such as the purchase of teleconferencing equipment.  Students who benefit from this funding will be expected to provide a short report, story, or video describing their experience working with a rural community partner.

Click here for answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.

Your involvement

Please download and review the application package (PDF) before you begin your application. Please note that the application MUST be submitted electronically through the link below.

Apply Online


Please consider the following criteria when completing your application:

  • Project is located in a rural community in British Columbia
  • Experience is project based
  • It is a group project (individual placements such as internships and practicums are not eligible)
  • Project has emerged through community partner and faculty collaboration

Past Projects

ARCH 554Y: Seminar in Architecture - Design Build

Faculty Member: Greg Johnson

Students: 13

Location: Gambier Island, Howe Sound

Community Partner: Camp Fircom (a non-profit camping and retreat centre)

Project Description:

In the 4th year of an ongoing partnership between UBC School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) and Camp Fircom, students worked on a project designing and building a storage shelter for the camp’s watercraft and associated waterfront equipment.

As part of the design-build strategy, students were tasked with designing and constructing a modest structure on a remote site. This included taking on all the steps typically encountered in an architectural project, such as applying for a building permit, sourcing and ordering of materials, planning transportation, and organizing delivery to the site.

Project Outcomes:

During the seven week construction project, students engaged directly with the staff and attendees at the camp. Students came to fully appreciate the camp operations and the contribution that their project provided to the ongoing operations of the facility.


“It was another incredible year working with the whole SALA team. Guests did water sports on Saturday morning and it was a dream to get them geared up. The guests loved the space and flowed through just as imagined. The whole staff team here is thrilled with the layout and functionality.”

- Margo Dunnet, Executive Director, Camp Fircom

FNEL 142: Kʷak̓ʷala

Faculty Member: Daisy Rosenblum

Students: 11

Locations: Alert Bay, Port Hardy, Fort Rupert

Community Partners: North Island College, Sacred Wolf Friendship Centre, 'Namgis Band, T'lisalagi'lakw Elementary Schools, Alert Bay

Project Description:

FNEL 142 is an introduction to the Kʷak̓ʷala language. The majority of the students in the class were heritage language learners from Kwakwaka’wakw communities. Several students had not grown up within their culture so the course served as an opportunity to reconnect through conversational interactions that promoted immersion in Kʷak̓ʷala, within and beyond the classroom. The course project models community engagement, ethical protocol, and culturally situated approaches to language learning. 

Project organizational partners shared diverse approaches to teaching Kwak’wala language and students had the chance to meet their organizational hosts at a potlatch during an initial visit which laid the foundation for further collaboration. 

Project Outcomes:

Students from the FNEL 142 class attended a potlatch, visited community partners on the North Island, engaged with culturally-situated approaches to teaching and learning Kwak’wala, and had the opportunity to hear and use their Kʷak̓ʷala language with Kwakwaka’wakw Elders as well as other learners. One student who had not grown up with her culture at all (her father was adopted out from Alert Bay during the Sixties Scoop, and she grew up in Calgary) was invited to dance with members of her family at the potlatch, an incredibly meaningful experience. These visits laid the groundwork for continued partnership this term, when our course hopes to visit community partners on the North Island again. Among the NITEP students in the course, several formed connections with potential locations for their educational practicum. 


"Our FNEL 142 class trip to Yalis (Alert Bay) for 'pasa was an unforgettable experience. The class trip was a great way to learn more about the language and to connect with other students in the course. This is definitely one of the highlights of my university experience."

- Jaymyn Lavallée, FNEL 142 student and heritage language learner

FNEL 489H: Topics in First Nations and Endangered Languages

Faculty Member: Mark Turin

Students: 5 (2/5 students funded through other sources)

Location: Bella Bella

Community Partner: Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre & Bella Bella Community School

Project Description:

This community-based learning opportunity is part of a wider set of research and scholarly partnerships to collaboratively create new opportunities for speaking, writing and reading the Haíɫzaqv (Heiltsuk) language by expanding and deepening existing community language revitalization and cultural documentation in a digital environment.

Project Outcomes:

Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre and the Community School in the Heiltsuk First Nation in Bella Bella were eager to see students contribute to the mobilization of the Centre’s collections. After two years of resource development, the last part of this project focused on training the trainers to make effective use of the tools and platforms that have been developed during the first two phases of the project.

Students who visited Bella Bella from June 12-17, 2017 supported the Heiltsuk community members in their existing language and culture documentation projects, and put into practice some of the teachings and skills that they had learned at UBC through FNEL and other classes regarding protocol and technical documentary skills.


"Although, we were only in Bella Bella for a week, I can already see a change in my perspective on protocol and culturally sustainable practices in my studies and work at UBC. To actually go to a remote community and not just assist in language revitalization, but witness and speak with people about the socio-economic issues and constraints that exist on their reserve was an unexpected and necessary step in understanding how to best work with Indigenous peoples and the privileges I possess living in Vancouver. The work itself allowed me to put the skills and methods I have learned in the classroom into action whether it was audio editing, pedagogical analysis, or best practices with Elders."

                           - Student from FNEL 489H

GPP 590B: Global Policy Project

Faculty Member: Moura Quayle

Students: 7

Location: Lytton, British Columbia

Community Partner: Lytton First Nation

Project Description:

Four graduate students from the UBC School of Public Policy and Global Affairs and three graduate students from the UBC School of Journalism partnered with the Lytton First Nation to learn about water governance and access issues within Indigenous communities in Canada. Lytton had long-term drinking water advisories lasting decades which have recently been lifted due to innovative and collaborative solutions. The team visited Lytton to find out more about these solutions and explore how they can be applied in other contexts. The team is currently working with a major news outlet on a journalistic piece to communicate the findings of the project to a global audience using text, videos, and photos.

Project Outcomes:

The Lytton First Nation reserves community members welcomed the students and openly shared their experiences. The two groups of students had the chance to collaborate in facilitating the communication of the stories from the community. Now the next step of the project will be the publication of a story that respectfully illustrates the experience of the Lytton First Nation, with the hope of informing policy at different levels and influencing change.


Contact information