Resources for students taking, or seeking to take, courses with a community-based learning assignment/project.

GivePulse for PCC

Using GivePulse for your Community-Based Learning class

Basics of GivePulse for students (YouTube video)

  • Log in to GivePulse using your MyPCC username and password: All students enrolled in a course with a CBL component will be added to the PCC group and also added to their classes’ group page.
  • Find community partners: Through the PCC group page and your classes’ group page you will be able to find organizations that are affiliated with PCC.
  • Find volunteer opportunities: Under each group’s Opportunities tab, you will see any volunteer opportunities that organizations have posted. You can also search for events based on type, causes, and skills etc.
  • Report your community engagement hours by creating “impacts” and sharing it with your classes’ group page.

For detailed step-by-step instructions, view the GivePulse Guide for PCC »

Other features of GivePulse

Become a member of a community organization’s group

  • Becoming a member of a group is a good way to be a part of a movement or cause that you care about. Joining may give you access to special events that would otherwise be blocked or invisible from the general population.

Create a community engagement transcript

  • When you are making an impact in the community, there is an option for you to generate an impact summary (service transcript) for your own reporting purposes. This service transcript allows you to generate a pdf with each verified impact and its summary.

Mobile App

  • The GivePulse app, available for Apple and Android mobile devices, provides a quick and helpful way to keep track of your engagement. To find the app, simply search in the app store for “givepulse” and download the GivePulse app. (GivePulse support page with video)

Finding Opportunities for Community Engagement

GivePulse for PCC

Groups and community organizations list and post opportunities, events, and internships. If you are enrolled in a class with a CBL assignment/project, they may also have specific community partners listed on the class’s GivePulse group.

Neighbor to Neighbor Fairs

Neighbor to Neighbor Fairs are community resource and engagement fairs for the PCC community. The goals for these events are to:

  • provide opportunities for community organizations to directly connect with PCC students and faculty on our campuses
  • assist students and faculty in identifying organizations to partner with for community-based learning
  • increase student awareness of community resources and general volunteer opportunities
Virtual Volunteering

Here are some resources to help find options for volunteering virtually/online:

Other Online Resources
Advocates for Community Engagement

Want to get involved and volunteer on and/or off campus? Advocates for Community Engagement (ACEs) are here to help! ACEs are available to answer questions about Community-Based Learning, Community Service Work Study Positions, and volunteering in general. PCC students who are interested in becoming a ACE can visit Passion Impact for more information.


Community Engagement Award

The Community-Based Learning Program at Portland Community College recognizes students for their community-based learning efforts in their courses and communities. In addition to gaining valuable academic and work skills, students who receive the Community Engagement Award receive a signed certificate, college recognition, and the benefit of including the award on scholarship applications and resumes. Community Engagement Award information and eligibility.

Frequently asked questions

What is Community-Based Learning?

At PCC, Community-Based Learning (CBL) is a teaching method that integrates reciprocal partnerships, community engagement, and critical reflection to meet institutional and course outcomes while developing individual, civic, and social responsibility.

Community-Based Learning courses combine academic coursework with experience to collaboratively address challenges facing communities.

How is community-based learning different than volunteering?

CBL students serve with a community partner organization as part of a class they are taking at PCC. Community engagement directly connects to what is learned in the classroom.

Instructors and community partners use reflection to help make connections between learning in the community and the classroom.

What will I be doing in a Community-Based Learning course?

Community-Based Learning looks different depending on what course you are in. Generally, faculty have community-based learning as an option to a more traditional assignment like a term paper. Your faculty member will tell you the number of hours you need to fulfill as well as what sort of reflection (journal, short papers, a presentation) you will do to connect your community participation to the course learning objectives.

What are the benefits of taking a course with Community-Based Learning?

Students who participate in CBL benefit by enriching their classroom knowledge with real-world applications and developing personal, professional, and leadership skills.

Through CBL at PCC, students may have the opportunity:

  • Improve their professional skills like problem solving, communication, critical thinking, reflection, and teamwork
  • Build professional connections useful for future internships or jobs
  • Meet others who enjoy serving the community and build personal networks
  • Gain hands-on experience in a community setting
  • Learn more about cultures different from their own
  • Critically reflect on their own values and beliefs
  • Understand both assets and needs in communities
  • Apply what they learn in class to a real-world setting
  • Increase their understanding of course material
How do I know which courses are Community-Based Learning courses?

Visit GivePulse for PCC to view all the courses that have a community-based learning component.

Most faculty members who have community-based learning in their courses will also have a notation in the Class Schedule. You can do a search for “CBL” in the Class Schedule to see a listing of current community-based learning courses at PCC. Some courses have community-based learning integrated into the curriculum, others include it as an option.

Visit the CBL courses page for more information.

Where can I complete my community-based learning assignment?

There are many opportunities to become involved in the community in Portland. The kind of assignment you do will depends on the course, your instructor’s preferences, your own interest, and the availability of a particular service opportunities. Visit GivePulse for PCC for a list of community agencies who are affiliated with CBL and current opportunities for community engagement. If you wish to find an alternative site, please check with your instructor.

What is a community partner?

A community partner is an organization that students serve with as part of their community-based learning class.

Some faculty collaborate closely with specific community partners to designate or develop activities for students that address real community needs. These organizations facilitate learning experiences for students in community settings and encourage students to make connections back to what they are learning in the classroom.

What is reflection?

Reflection is an essential element of community-based learning as it makes connections between community engagement activities and classroom learning. The reflection process may occur through discussions in the classroom or community, reflection journals, and feedback from instructors and community partners. This helps students make meaning of their community engagement experience and draw connections to what they are learning in their class. It also provides an opportunity for students to question their assumptions, values, and pay attention to the impacts and implications of community work.

My instructor says I need to turn in the Community-Based Learning Agreement – where can I find the forms?

All of our forms can be found online on the CBL Forms page. Be sure to check with your instructor for deadlines and any additional forms you may need for class.

Who should I contact if I’m having trouble reaching my community partner?

If students have trouble connecting with their community partner, they should indicate this to their instructor. It is recommended to initiate contact via phone call, as working out the details via phone is much easier.

Can I continue my community involvement after the term is over?

Many community partners would love to have students continue their participation after the term is over. Students should check with their site supervisor to find out how.

Students may also be able to earn Cooperative Education Credit for their community hours. To learn more, contact the Cooperative Education Office.

Related programs

Advocate for Community Engagement (ACE)

Become a student leader who helps other students become active members of their community!

Education Abroad

Take courses through PCC Education Abroad that have a CBL component!