• Innovation


    From 2014 to 2018, students in academic disciplines like Human Sciences and Agriculture and Biological Engineering will take part in service-learning classes partnered with Mississippi State's Sweet Potato Innovation Challenge. The Challenge engages students in finding uses for cull sweet potatoes, or visually imperfect potatoes deemed to not meet consumer standards, including ones that are too small, have irregular shape, or uneven skin appearance.
  • Community


    CCEL connects with communities across the state. One of our 2014-2015 Dawn Brancheau Service-Learning Scholars, Travis Crabtree, positively impacted the community with a landscape architecture design project. He noticed that the local public library signage was not very prominent, thus making the building hard to find. Crabtree proposed placing large letters spelling R-E-A-D next to the library building. His project highlights the importance of literacy and became an immediate landmark in downtown Starkville.
  • Engagement


    Students participate in service-learning courses, and as "service-learners," are offered the unique opportunity to meet course objectives through meaningful community service. Freshmen enrolled in True Maroon classes along with other student, faculty, and staff volunteers packaged meals to be distributed by Stop Hunger Now to those in need in the U.S. and abroad.
  • Partnership


    MSU service-learners collaborate with community partners from around the state. In Neil Callendar's Art Design ll course, students worked with the Starkville Area Arts Council in helping to develop the Oktibbeha County Barn Quilt Trail by painting 4' by 4' barn quilt squares. These squares were permanently placed in the Oktibbeha County community and have helped increase Mississippi's agritourism.
  • Learning


    CCEL aims to provide students with learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom. For Ms. Jessica Graves and Dr. Brandi Karisch's Animal and Dairy Science students, service-learning meant gaining a better understanding of their own coursework as well as creating a "day at the farm" experience for 4-H youth from Clay, Lowndes, and Oktibbeha counties.
  • Economic Development

    Economic Development

    When small businesses and local farms thrive, entire communities win. CCEL connects growers and entrepreneurs with MSU faculty who, working with their students, complete service-learning projects that can change communities. For example, Dr. Nicole Ponder's Consumer Behavior class partnered with the Neshoba County Extension office. Students proposed changes and enhancements to increase the popularity of the Neshoba County Farmers' market.


Spotlight - T. Malik Ross - Student

Spotlight - T. Malik Ross - Student

Senior - Business Administration (Marketing)/Pre-Law major

1. Tell us about your experiences with community-engaged learning.

After taking multiple community-engaged learning (CEL) courses, I feel confident that community-engaged coursework is the ideal learning experience for the average student. CEL takes theoretical knowledge and supplements it with real world experiences that enrich our community. Of all the classes I have taken, I find that I have no problem recalling the life lessons gained during my experience with CEL.

2. What advice do you have for other students considering a course with a community-engaged component?

If you have even "only heard" of CEL courses, take the extra step and enroll in a course. Undoubtedly, CEL courses challenge the average student perspective and foster a sense of civic duty that is unmatched with any other courses the university offers.

3. Name something that you have learned through community-engaged learning.

CEL coursework made me realize that though I am an individual, I play a larger role in the community around me and it's preservation. Volunteering within the community will give you a sense of pride and fulfillment while also providing experiential knowledge applicable to real world scenarios.

4. In what way has community-engaged learning prepared you for your future career?

CEL courses emphasize themes of leadership while working with the community partners. Among the different themes, the coordination and implementation aspect are extremely beneficial in cultivating my leadership skills.

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