UMass CESL promotes learning for life-long, engaged citizenship, partnering with communities on and off campus to work collectively for a more just society.


The work of civic engagement and service-learning is shared with our community partners.  In a good partnership, a reasonable balance of the needs and goals of each partner are met through the relationship they build with each other, and each has a voice in defining what they bring to the relationship and what they seek to take from it.

UMass faculty, staff, and students seek opportunities to learn in the community; community-based organizations seek to leverage the intellectual and human resources of the university in pursuit of their missions.  A good partnership supports both goals.

Building on a history of ten years of close engagement, community members from Holyoke and faculty and staff from the Five Colleges developed a statement of the principles of good practice that should guide campus/community relationships involving Holyoke organizations and the institutions of the Five Colleges.  These principles could apply to any partnership between UMass courses and faculty and organizations in any of the communities around UMass.  The Holyoke Campus/Community Compact is available at .                                                                         

Community organizations may ask students and faculty to define their goals through a Service Learning Contract, which then forms part of the basis for evaluation at the end of a semester or year.


CESL provides transportation to some Holyoke and Springfield locations for service-learning students.