class in forest

Remote Community Based Learning Fund

Take learning beyond the classroom.

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 based experiential learning (CBEL) opportunities for their students. This funding is intended to support collaborations between UBC students and organizations located outside of the Lower Mainland.

The Remote Community Based Learning Fund enables students to apply discipline-specific skills and knowledge by working in partnership with organizations based in remote communities to address complex community challenges. Through CBEL experiences in remote communities, students have the opportunity to learn about community priorities outside of urban centres, while also testing their own assumptions and developing teamwork and communication skills. 

Faculty are invited to apply for up to $5,000 per course for the 2017/2018 academic year.

Past recipients

Quality Projects and Proposals: Working Effectively with Non Profit Agencies

Applicant:

Jessie Sutherland

Video link of students talking about the course: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgmP74I7VCI

Amount Awarded:

$5,000

Project Description:

In this course nonprofit organizations worked with 16 UBC graduate students to develop a proposal for a real project need brought forward by each organization. The goal of each project team (1 representative from the organization and 2 graduate students) was to build a concrete draft grant proposal.

Highlights and Outcomes:

Participating organizations shared that the project has positively impacted the professional development and the ability of their Agencies to develop innovative project ideas and get the funding to turn them into reality. Additionally, this course built student and organizational capacity to  work together effectively, develop quality projects and strengthen, and for nonprofits to gain new experiences  partnering with the university and all leading to a real impact on real people on the ground since agency leaders were able to develop quality projects and proposals to affect real change on the ground.

GEOG 329b

Applicant:

Siobhan McPhee

Amount Awarded:

$5,000

Project Description:

20 UBC students participated in a research project aimed at engaging with communities and the environment in a sustainable way. Students partnered with 7 community organizations to work with  on one of several possible projects themes:   economic sustainability and innovation, social sustainability and citizen communication, environmental sustainability in the surrounding forest and city Centre; demographic shifts, employment and reduction of environmental harm; adapting effective delivery methods of education.

Highlights and Outcomes:

Students and partners expressed excitement and enthusiasm for a continued relationship between UBC Geography and the community of Williams Lake.  The Remote Fund was a really positive experience because it greatly reduced the cost of travel and accommodation for the students. The community has really enjoyed having the students visit and we will continue this relationship in future years. Students stayed in a local hotel but in future years we are going to explore host families that will impact the community even more directly. The application form was clear and fair. We did have to wait a little longer than told to receive the actual funds into the department.

'This course will no doubt be remembered as a high point in my undergraduate degree. Courses such as this are essential, and invaluable, to our learning and experiences as geography students. The entire experience was immensely rewarding.’ – 379b student

‘We were really impressed with the students, impressed with the project in general…. Our contact at BC transit was very impressed. [The student project] might have been one of the most valuable pieces of BC Transit’s review that they were conducting at the time.’ – Jessica Knodel, Social Planning Council Coordinator

ENVR 400

Applicants:

Tara Ivanochko and Sara Harris

Amount Awarded:

$603.30

Project Description:

Three UBC students in ENVR 400 partnered with the YMCA Camp Elphinstone in Gibsons, BC to strengthen the camp’s existing environmental science education program aimed at school aged children who come to the camp on school trips. UBC students worked with camp counsellors to connect sustainable practices to camp activities.

Highlights and Outcomes:

The project outcome was a wild edibles curriculum for Camp Elphinstone along with training material for camp counsellors and a plant encyclopedia describing local plant species.

“Thank you for such amazing people.  Taylor, Alex, and Derek were incredible to collaborate with this past academic year.  They were always very positive and engaging… I was honestly stunned with their final product; it's so polished and balanced. From where we sit as a camp there is a debt owed to them and many years of campers participating in a truly quality activity.  Above and beyond what I hoped for in regards to their work ethic, communication styles, honesty and of course program material.  I wish there was more we could do for them in return.”  - Adim Hébert, Supervisor, Outdoor Education & Summer Programs at YMCA Camp Elphinstone

LIBR 596 / ARST 596

Applicants:

Lisa Nathan

Amount Awarded:

$5,000

Project Description:

Supported in partnership with Dr. Mark Turin and students from FNEL 489H, UBC students partnered with the Heiltsuk First Nation in Bella Bella, specifically the Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre’s ( HCEC) where they spent 120 hours on a series of Heiltsuk language and information organization related projects.  The project was developed to contribute to the ongoing organization of the Centre's collections with an eye towards the use of material in language programs and for other community driven initiatives. The Centre had created and compiled an extensive collection of analogue and digital resources and materials and was seeking support through this project to mobilize access to and use of these materials through new and emerging technologies.

Highlights and Outcomes:

A story from one of the students participating:

Kim Lawson, Heiltsuk community member and Reference Librarian at UBC’s Xwi7xwa Library, was our mentor. The staff at HCEC, William Housty (Heiltsuk Integrated Resource Management Department Board Chair),  Jess Housty (curator of the Thistalalh Memorial Library), as well as the principal and teachers who work in language and cultural programs at the Bella Bella Community School were also generous with their time. Throughout the week we were particularly fortunate to have the opportunity to learn from Jennifer Carpenter, a Heiltsuk community member, scholar and Director of the HCEC.

The Centre has created and compiled an extensive collection of analogue and digital resources and materials, and we envision future work could focus largely on community grounded information organization systems that can support the needs of teachers, community members and the goals of HCEC.For us, this experience was not simply an opportunity to connect what we have learned in SLAIS within the complexities of a ‘real-world’ setting. We were provided a supportive and welcoming space to think about what we might be able to contribute as new professionals and how the information field might shift commonly accepted practices to better support projects of a similar nature moving forward. Reflecting on our time spent in Bella Bella we are very thankful for the opportunity to make new friends, to contribute our skills where appropriate, and to learn from the good work undertaken by Heiltsuk community members.

FNEL 489H

Applicants:

Mark Turin

Amount Awarded:

$5,000

Project Description:

Through an MOU signed in 2016, the Heiltsuk Cultural Education Centre, the Bella Bella Community School and UBC’s First Nations and Endangered Languages Program (FNEL) are partnering in an effort to collaboratively create new opportunities for speaking, writing and reading the Híɫzaqv (Heiltsuk) language by expanding and deepening existing community language revitalization and cultural documentation in a digital environment.

In coordination with Lisa Nathan (Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia’s iSchool, SLAIS), Kim Lawson (Reference Librarian, X̱wi7x̱wa Library, UBC & Heiltsuk community member) and graduate students from the School’s First Nations Curriculum Concentration, FNEL instructor Mark Turin led an intensive, community-based course in Bella Bella in early July 2016.

Highlights and Outcomes:

In the course of the week in Bella Bella, FNEL students (two of whom are from the Heiltsuk community) worked with Heiltsuk community members to design and test a cross-platform Híɫzaqv Unicode keyboard, trial a beta version of a searchable online Híɫzaqv Digital Dictionary and digitize a number of unique language resources held in the Cultural Education Centre and the Community School to facilitate wider use and access.

At the end of the week, students gave presentations to community language experts on what they had learned through their coursework. Student-led demonstrations of the keyboard input system and the public sharing of student-made Heiltsuk language videos were very well received, with a number of Heiltsuk community members expressing interest in joining future community-based classes for credit should they be offered.

EDUC 430 Field Experience

Applicants:

John Yamamoto

Amount Awarded:

$5,000

Project Description:

A total of 20 UBC Education students completed community field experience for graduating teachers in rural communities in school district #27, Cariboo Chilcotin. The focus of these placements in rural schools was to foster new relationships and for students to enrich and expand their understanding of the rural setting in which education occurs, including aspects of non-formal education, understanding the role of community in education, and frame an inquiry into places of learning.

Highlights and Outcomes:

100 UBC students participated in the project, supporting 6 school districts, an increase from 4 last year and more districts asking to be a part of the program. As a result of the Fund, approximately 20-25% of all field placements for the enhanced practicum are in rural setting now. The following pictures capture the experiences of 3 students that were supporting projects in Haida Gwaii and Williams Lake.

Apply now

Applications are welcomed on a rolling basis until the funding is exhausted. You will be notified of the results of your application 2-3 weeks from submission. Please note that there is $30,000 in funding to be awarded in total.

Faculty are invited to apply for up to $5,000 per course for the 2017/2018 academic year. Funding is intended to cover:

  • Student travel to remote locations
  • Student accommodation in remote locations
  • Community events related to student projects
  • 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 CBEL 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. Faculty members will be required to share student outputs from any students who benefitted from the Remote Community Based Learning Funding.

Faculty members interested in accessing these funds should apply online. Please expect to provide details to the following sections:

  • Introduction: Provide a brief overview of your course, describing the key learning objectives, and the nature and goals of the student projects. Note: if you have received these funds in the past, please articulate how this project differs from the previous year.

  • Community Partner: Describe the community organization(s) you are partnering with, your relationship with the organization(s), their capacity to act as a co-educator of UBC students, and the commitment they have offered to support the project (e.g. staff time, use of facilities, etc.).

  • Learning Objectives: Describe how this remote CBEL project links to the overall learning objectives for your course.

  • Budget: Please provide a detailed budget for the requested funding.

Have any questions? Please review the answers to some FAQs or contact our office.

Contact us