Program Spotlight: Office of Community-Based Learning Community-based learning is an educational approach that integrates learning and mentorship with community engagement.
“Through my CBL experiences, my education was never confined to the classroom but showed me how to combine theory with practice, how to never be complacent with the status quo, and how much I still have to learn about the world around me. Thank you for giving me the opportunity to become a part of the Lexington/Rockbridge Community in a way that I could not have imagined. You have shaped my college experience and my future to come.”
~ Kate McEvoy ’20
Community-based learning is an educational approach that integrates learning and mentorship with community engagement. At W&L, the Office of Community-Based Learning (CBL) supports, enhances, and develops mutually-beneficial collaborations with over forty local and regional community partners and beyond. These collaborations advance community interests and deepen student learning.
CBL staff facilitate credit-bearing courses that span the arts, sciences and humanities, bringing students, faculty and community partners to collaborate and learn together.
Sascha Goluboff, director of the Office of Community-Based Learning, cultivates reciprocal community-academic collaborations and works closely with the Provost, academic deans, student affairs staff and others throughout the university.
“It has been a pleasure to assist faculty, students and community partners in crafting meaningful ‘real-world’ learning experiences that move our communities toward more just and equitable practices and beliefs,” Goluboff said.
Goluboff, who arrived at W&L in 1999, teaches courses in Cultural Anthropology, including a community-based learning course in Winter Term titled “Unheard Voices of Black Lexington,” which focused on Black businesses that thrived in Lexington during the Jim Crow era, and included historical research and guest speakers who offered accounts of growing up in the community. Students helped to highlight the hidden histories of local Black-owned businesses on a digital map that expands on the ongoing efforts by the Rockbridge Historical Society. The map also is on display at the Lexington Visitors Center.
In addition to her work at W&L, Goluboff is trained as an instructor in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program, which facilitates dialogue and education across profound social differences, and currently serves as the program’s Virginia state coordinator. In 2019, she taught a course at the Augusta Correctional Center with W&L students and incarcerated students learning side-by-side. She holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and anthropology and Russian studies from Colgate University, a master’s and doctorate in anthropology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and a master of fine arts in fiction writing from Pacific University.
Additional information for parents and families about the Office of Community-Based Learning is available here.