Center for Community Based Learning (CCBL)

Wofford's Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL) is the primary coordinating structure for advancing campus-wide community engagement and civic responsibility.  The Center facilitates and deepens mutually beneficial partnerships between Wofford and its larger communities that improve the human condition, enhance the public good, prepare Wofford students for meaningful, effective lives as citizen-leaders and enrich the scholarship and character of Wofford College.

All CCBL programs focus on student learning, specifically in the areas of:
Analysis of Knowledge
Connecting and extending knowledge from academics to community-based experiential learning and to one’s own participation in civic life, politics, and government

Civic Agency
Commitment to act, with others, to address an issue or promote the public good

Civic Contexts and Structures
Commitment to work collaboratively across and within community contexts and structures to achieve a civic aim

Civic Communication
Effectively communicate in diverse formats and forums, tailoring communication strategies to effectively express, listen, and adapt to others to establish relationships for further civic action

Civic Leadership
Capacity to collaborate with and lead others to achieve a common civic aim

Empathy
Relate to and share the feelings of diverse others

Social Justice
Examine systemic injustice and act to promote fairness and equity

CCBL participates in the following programs:
Academic Civic Engagement and Community-Based Learning
The CCBL supports Wofford faculty members across many disciplines in: identifying civic and other learning objectives that can be met through community engagement, developing authentic and mutually beneficial partnerships with community organizations, engaging students and partners in ways that deepen students' civic and disciplinary learning and meet a community-identified need, and then reflecting on and assessing their work.

Wofford's Community Corps
Wofford's Community Corps program connects Spartanburg nonprofit and governmental organizations with Wofford students to fill direct and indirect service positions (internships) within their organizations - and to learn a lot in the process! Placements (and accompanying onboarding, coaching, and reflection) in such areas as Communications, Training & Program Development, Community-Based Research, Policy Research, and more are offered over each semester and over the summers.

The Bonner Scholars Program
Established in 1991 at Wofford, the Bonner Scholars Program is the flagship program of the CCBL.  It engages 60 deserving students in a robust servant leadership development program and 10 hours of service each week during the academic year in Spartanburg community plus at least two full-time summers.  In return, the Bonner Scholars receive full-need scholarships and numerous other financial and developmental opportunities. Most Bonner Scholars are selected as entering first-year students and remain Bonner Scholars throughout their tenure at Wofford, growing in both their responsibility and impact over time. Student leaders within the program comprise the Bonner Leadership Team (BLT) and join student leaders from other Bonner programs around the country on the national Bonner Congress.  There are about 75 Bonner programs around the country, only about 25 of which are Bonner Scholars programs.  All of them are supported by the Corella A. and Bertram F. Bonner Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey.

iCAN Spartanburg
Studies show that the difference in lifetime earning potential between a high school graduate and a college graduate in the United States is more than $1 Million.  Additional research shows college-access coaching and mentoring is a highly effective and efficient strategy for increasing college completion rates. iCAN Spartanburg is a near-peer, college access mentoring program that recruits, trains, matches, and supports current Wofford students (many Pell-eligible and/or the first in their families to go to college) as near-peer mentors/friends/coaches for Spartanburg County high school students in the Citizen Scholars Institute, who will be Pell-eligible and/or the first in their families to go to college.

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA)
The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) has been called the best poverty-fighting tool we have; and because people must be both working and low-income to qualify, it enjoys unprecedented bipartisan support.  Unfortunately, many people who qualify for the EITC don’t claim it.  To make matters worse, some tax preparation outlets claim the EITC for people and then take most of its benefit from them, in the form of tax preparation fees.  With VITA, first year Wofford students are trained and certified by the IRS in basic tax preparation.  Upper-level Accounting students double-check the returns they prepare and some upper-level Spanish students often assist as interpreters.

Milliken Community Sustainability Initiative
 Wofford was awarded $4.25M to support student learning and innovation in human and community sustainability.  The MCSI includes linked courses in human and community sustainability and environmental studies, embedded practical/internships with community partner organizations in the Northside, and a new, 12-bed residence hall across Church Street in the Northside called Milliken House at Northside Station.

Community Service Federal Work Study (in coordination with the Office of Financial Aid)
If you are eligible for Work Study, you can choose to spend your work study time with one of our nonprofit partners, in an internship/project/placement setting.

Database of Community Assets & Needs
The CCBL maintains a searchable database of community partner assets and needs.  Individuals and groups can browse local volunteer opportunities that align with their areas of interest, schedules, and other desired outcomes; register to fill them; and then track their hours, economic impact, and other outcomes all within the system.

Recognition & Awards
The CCBL recognizes campus and community stakeholders’ work toward the common good, through awards like the John Bruce, Henry Freeman, and Currie Spivey Awards.

Social Innovation/Entrepreneurship (in coordination with the Career Center)
The Algernon S. Sullivan Foundation has long been a benefactor of Wofford folks doing good in the world. Now, they are working with their grantee institutions to facilitate social innovation, offering workshops and summer experiences.

Community Advisory Board
This group, comprised of the leaders of some of our closest community partner organizations, helps us incorporate community understanding, context, assets, challenges and opportunities in our shared work.

To learn more, please visit the CCBL website or stop by the office in the Michael S. Brown Village Center.