Loyola University Chicago

Center for Experiential Learning

CEL EXPL Courses

The Center for Experiential Learning offers a number of engaged learning courses (EXPL courses, formerly UNIV) through the center. Throughout the academic year, staff from the Center for Experiential Learning teach a number of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary courses that engage Loyola students in experiential learning opportunities that take them beyond the traditional classroom. All of these courses are open to students from all majors of the university's schools and colleges; all of them fulfill the University's "Engaged Learning" Requirement.

For Spring 2017, the following courses will be offered: EXPL 390.

Detailed information on the various CEL courses and their instructors can be found in LOCUS, or by clicking on the course-specific links below:

EXPL 290: Seminar in Community-Based Service and Leadership

Community Power and Social Change explores how urban communities build power to generate political and social change. A tradition of civic and political activism has been part of the ethos of our northeast side neighbor communities (Rogers Park, Edgewater, Uptown, Lake View) for several generations. EXPL 290 will examine the approaches, strategies and issues that community leaders engage and address to bring important change to their neighborhoods. Students will be placed with ONE Northside (www.onenorthside.org) or comparable community organization for 35–40 hours of service. ONE Northside is a multi-issue, multi-ethnic community organization and has used a distinct model of organizing for more than four decades. Student experiences will be a critical component of the course as we will borrow heavily from them to understand and analyze various tools of democracy used by community groups across the country.


Jon Schmidt
Service-Learning Program Manager
Phone: 773.508.7080

EXPL 292 International Service-Learning

This course is a seminar course focused on an international service-learning experience, in the context of community development, contemporary global issues, the impact of the current environment on specific populations, social justice, and global citizenship. As an international service-learning course, students will complete service experiences while traveling to various international settings. The first half of the term will prepare students for the experience abroad by providing a common understanding of service-learning, community development, social justice and an overview of the country’s history, culture, economy, politics and more. During the international travel experience, students will be immersed in and actively participate in global citizenship through observation, interaction and service.  Upon return, students will reflect on their immersion and service experience specifically focusing on community development, social justice, and global citizenship. Students will complete an ePortfolio on their international experience as a capstone experience in this service-learning seminar course.

EXPL 291 Seminar in Community-based Research and Leadership

Do you want to engage in community-based projects in different neighborhoods around Chicago, exploring rich culture along with high-need communities? EXPL 291 is a service-learning seminar course focusing on community-based research and leadership, in which you will complete 40 hours of service with a community-based organization. The service-learning component will consist of direct service and working on a community-based research project with a designated community organization for a total of 40 hours (organizations/projects developed prior to semester and will be assigned). Students will reflect on their service and community-based research experience in the context of asset-based community development, social change model of leadership, social justice, leadership in the community, and research as service for the common good. This course meets the Engaged Learning University Requirement.


Patrick M. Green
Director of the Center for Experiential Learning
Phone: 773.508.3945

EXPL 390: Internship Seminar: Organizational Change & Community Leadership

This is a 3-credit seminar course where students reflect on their personal, professional and civic development in their internship or advanced student employment experience. Students work a minimum of 100 hours over the semester at their organization, and explore topics such as leadership, organization theory, and civic professionalism through readings, class discussion, and reflective assignments. EXPL 390 fulfills the Engaged Learning requirement and provides for general elective credit. Enrollment in EXPL 390 requires permission of the instructor. To enroll, contact the Academic Internship Program Manager to set up a meeting. Prior to scheduling the meeting, please complete this information form.


Danielle Forchette
Academic Internship Program Manager
Phone: 773.508.6090

EXPL 391 Seminar in Undergraduate Research Methods

This seminar course offers undergraduate students the experiential opportunity to engage in research while building their foundation of research methods. Students may be part of the Loyola Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (LUROP) through a funded fellowship, or students may be working independently with a faculty mentor (volunteering in a lab, working on a research team). All students must have a research project with a faculty mentor identified prior to enrolling in this course. As an experiential learning course, students will need to be engaging in research with a faculty mentor concurrently to taking this course. Students must work a minimum of 5–10 hours each week over the semester on their research projects (10–15 hours per week over the summer session). Students will reflect on research experience in the context of understanding research paradigms, application of research methodologies, understanding the implications of ethical research, and preparing to present research professionally. This course will provide students engaged in research with the opportunity to develop a formal written research paper and poster, as if the students are preparing to present their research in a professional setting, such as the LUROP Symposium.


Kevin Kaufmann
Undergraduate Research Program Manager
Phone: 773.508.3886

EXPL 393: Seminar in Integrative Leadership

This 3-credit seminar course focuses on integrative leadership through student engagement in co-curricular leadership opportunities/field work, similar to an internship. Students will engage in a co-curricular leadership opportunity for 5–10 hours/week for a minimum of 100 hours/semester, while reflecting on their experiences in the context of integrative leadership—or the holistic understanding of one’s leadership identity, capacity, and style in varying dimensions and contexts. Students will be required to explore their leadership identity by creating an ePortfolio to showcase and demonstrate the intersection of their skills, abilities, leadership capacity, and experiences. Students holding a leadership position in a student organization and/or co-curricular program may be eligible to enroll in EXPL 393. Enrollment in EXPL 393 requires permission of the instructor.


Michelle Kusel
ePortfolio Program Manager
Phone: 773.508.3952