Main Navigation

University Resources

Home Community Engaged Learning

Community Engaged Learning

Working Together to Apply Knowledge

CEL involves students, faculty and community partners working together to apply knowledge in authentic settings in order to address community needs while also meeting instructional objectives. CEL enhances and deepens students' understanding of an academic discipline by facilitating the integration of theory and practice. This high impact teaching method provides students with experiences that develop life skills, with opportunities to engage in critical reflection, and with the intellectual space to understand and contribute to the public purpose of their chosen major or discipline.

Past Participants

Classroom Component


The classroom component of the course is combined with the experiential learning component, along with multiple reflection opportunities, to create an enriching, meaningful and applied learning experience for the student. This strategy allows students to apply lecture topics to the professional world, enhances civic responsibility, and strengthens relationships between students and their off-campus community. 





Global Environmental Issues



Conservation Biology











Each of these courses allows students to engage in meaningful, applied work with a community partner that enriches the learning experience.

For more details see the class-specific CEL syllabus linked above.

Amanda Hoepfner

Amanda Hoepfner (Associate Instructor/CEL Coordinator)

Amanda is an instructor for the School of Biological Science in addition to being the Community Engaged Learning Coordinator. She mainly teaches and coordinates the second semester of the freshman course, Fundamentals of Biology II (Biol 1620), and teaches the ecology section of Ecology and Evolution (Biol 3410).

Amanda is enthusiastic about community engaged learning and attributes much of her professional direction to the experiences she gained through volunteer work. As a teenager, she volunteered at Utah’s Hogle Zoo as a Zoo Aid. Here she started working with great apes (namely orangutans) and became interested in behavioral ecology and biology.

Amanda started at the University of Utah as an undergraduate herself, and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Biology in 2010. She continued at the U to earn her PhD in Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology studying the vocal behavior of wild Bornean orangutans.


Contact Information

Amanda Hoepfner

Associate Instructor/Community Engaged Learning Coordinator

Offices: Bldg. 44 Rm 221

Contact Amanda