Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon Portland Community College

This content was published: March 12, 2020. Phone numbers, email addresses, and other information may have changed.

COVID-19: Impact on CBL for Winter and Spring Terms

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For faculty teaching CBL courses winter and spring 2020

The Community-Based Learning Program would like to reiterate the need for flexibility and accommodating student needs when it comes to your CBL projects/assignments. In striving for reciprocal partnerships, it is important that we also take into consideration the impact this situation is having on our community partners. Please keep in mind that organizations/groups may have limited capacity to interact with our students in person or virtually as they address internal immediate needs and concerns around COVID-19.

We encourage you to reach out to your community partners to discuss their current needs and what capacity they have to engage/support students. There are many things students can do that do not require direct service (organizing and/or analyzing data, creating marketing materials, political advocacy, online advertising campaigns, creative fundraisers and/or drives, creating materials, etc…). Feel free to reach out to our team of Faculty Coordinators to discuss ideas and brainstorm.

If your students are feeling uncomfortable going out in the community, please refer them to PCC’s webpage for resources on tips and prevention. It may also be helpful to consider preparing flexible accommodations for populations that are more vulnerable to COVID-19. Please also keep in mind PCC’s statement regarding xenophobic reactions to COVID-19:

“In some cities around the world and locally in Oregon, there has been a xenophobic reaction to COVID-19, directly associating the virus with community members who are perceived to come from China or regions near Asia. PCC stands with members from all affected communities, and students of all races, ethnicities and backgrounds. There is no single profile for those who have been exposed to COVID-19.  Xenophobia has no place in our community. Discrimination or bullying of any kind is not in line with PCC values and will not be condoned or tolerated. A community member who experiences discrimination in any form is encouraged to report the incident immediately to the College for the appropriate team members for follow up, harm mitigation and resource referral.”

For this current Winter term, alternative assignments may be necessary due to students’ concerns about exposure and/or due to organizations/groups suspending their volunteer programs. It may also be helpful to consider preparing flexible accommodations for populations that are more vulnerable to COVID-19. As with any community engagement that may not go according to plan, critically reflecting on the experience is still the best method for students to make connections to your course’s learning objectives.

It is our hope that we continue to strive for working in collaboration and community, especially in these challenging times.

– The CBL Team