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Trent Centre for Community Based Education Receives Close to $1 Million Grant



Five-year contribution will see expanded services to a greater region

January 18, 2005, Peterborough

The Trent Centre for Community Based Education (TCCBE) at Trent University will receive a grant in the amount of $965,000 to pursue plans for new programs and services for non-profit organizations in Peterborough and Haliburton Counties and expansion to serve a greater region including The City of Kawartha Lakes and the city of Oshawa.

The TCCBE is well known for its community-based research and experiential learning programs which connect the University, its students and faculty to the community through valuable research projects. Through the program, students gain academic credit by working with organizations in the community on research projects that serve the needs of the organizations. Meanwhile, students gain meaningful work-related experience.

The grant of $965,000 over five years was provided by the J. W. McConnell Family Foundation to help the TCCBE to expand its operations, building capacity in rural and urban communities across 10,000 square kilometres of central Ontario, through research, planning, community development and service projects. At the end of the five-year plan, the TCCBE estimates it will be serving over 200 students and 70 organizations annually, an increase of 250% over 2003-04.

"The Trent Centre for Community Based Education provides value on both sides of the equation by helping community groups to undertake important research projects and by providing students with priceless hands-on experience related to their field of study," said Professor Susan Apostle-Clark, Trent University's vice president academic. "This grant will help the Centre to fulfill long-held objectives of expanding key programs for students, providing faculty incentives and reaching new communities that have repeatedly expressed interest in participating with Trent University students. This successful proposal is a tribute to the significant work accomplished by the TCCBE, students and Trent faculty in conjunction with community partners."

Highlights of the plan include:

  • Continuing the highly successful community-based research involving a student or small team completing a research project. These research service projects typically involve 75 – 200 hours of service which students complete for course credit.

  • Adding a new community development option where students will work somewhat independently and become more deeply integrated within organizations providing 50-150 hours of service.

  • Introducing a new community service option for service opportunities that do not suit a project-approach. These task-based service learning placements will be open to all students and emphasize exposure to the work of local agencies, assisting with the provision of programs and services, and/or ongoing community action. 

  • Piloting services to a broader geographical area to encompass the city of Oshawa, through Trent University's presence at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, and the City of Kawartha Lakes. The TCCBE already has a strong presence in Peterborough County and in Haliburton County through its local partner, U-Links.

Prof. Apostle-Clark lauded the efforts of TCCBE staff for the successful proposal which led to today's announcement, notably Jennifer Bowe, director of the TCCBE; Professor David Poole, associate dean of teaching and learning; and U-Links, the program's partner in Haliburton County.

In its letter confirming the grant to the TCCBE, the J.W. McConnell Family Foundation expressed its appreciation for what was described as a "careful, thoughtful, and realistic" proposal. "Particular appreciation was expressed for the supports to faculty, the role of the Centre for Community Based Education and the strong focus on evaluation," the letter stated.

An independent evaluation completed in 2002 to evaluate the TCCBE's benefit to the community found that 90% of projects were completed and 83% were rated as successful.

Community groups interested in involving students with research or community development projects are encouraged to contact program staff. In Peterborough County, the TCCBE can be reached at 743-0523. In Haliburton County contact U-Links at 286-2411.



For more information, please contact:

Professor Susan Apostle-Clark, Vice-President (Academic), (705) 748-1011 ext. 1694


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Last Updated January 18, 2005