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Wednesday, October 23 • 11:00am - 11:30am
What Happens When an Off-Campus, Community-Based Unit Becomes Integrated into the Academic Mission of a Research-Intensive University?

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The University of British Columbia (UBC) established the Learning Exchange (LE) in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside (DTES) in 1999. Since its beginning, the LE has offered free community programming for DTES residents. It was also responsible for community service-learning at UBC until a structural separation in 2011 prompted re-evaluation of the LE’s role. Although well established as a tangible manifestation of UBC’s commitment to community engagement, connection to the academic mission was weak. The LE, situated in the Vice-President External Relations portfolio, was supported by the Provost and Vice-President Academic to create the position of academic director to serve as the academic champion. Since this role began in 2013 significant changes have occurred in the contribution of the LE to student learning and research, while community programming and links to the DTES have also diversified.

In 2013 there were fewer than 20 students at the LE each year, mainly undergraduate volunteers. In 2018, over 200 students took part in in-depth experiential learning placements, mostly on-site, some in community partner organizations. Over 1000 students engaged in one-time activities including workshops and orientations to the DTES. The LE’s role in supporting community-based research (CBR) and knowledge exchange (KE) emerged from community consultations in 2014. The LE leads a multi-faceted KE initiative, Making Research Accessible in the DTES, and meets increasing requests from researchers for support for CBR and KE. The LE’s recognized expertise in experiential learning, CBR and KE, has resulted in opportunities to contribute to new initiatives at UBC.

Speakers
avatar for Angela Towle

Angela Towle

Academic Director, UBC Learning Exchange
I'm Academic Director of the Learning Exchange at the University of British Columbia, Canada. The Learning Exchange is an off-campus unit located in the heart of Vancouver's inner city. For 20 years we've offered free community programming, experiential student learning and, more... Read More →
avatar for Kathleen Leahy

Kathleen Leahy

Director, UBC Learning Exchange
I'm the Director of the Learning Exchange at the University of British Columbia, Canada. The Learning Exchange is an off-campus unit located in the heart of Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. For 20 years we've offered free community programming, experiential student learning and, more... Read More →


Wednesday October 23, 2019 11:00am - 11:30am
Adams 1200 Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA

Attendees (15)