Strengthen Communities & Address Social Issues

UNC Asheville’s Key Center for Community Engaged Learning supports student transformation and growth as scholars, leaders, and active citizens. In collaboration with community partners, the Key Center equips students to develop critical thinking strategies, apply transferable skills, explore life purpose, and broaden perspectives.

We coordinate and support service experiences, community-based research, service learning, cultural events, and educational programs. The Key Center fosters authentic relationships between UNC Asheville, our students, and our community partners—relationships that have resounding effects on the lives of students and the long-term stability of community organizations. 

Why Community Engaged Learning?

Active community involvement fosters many positive outcomes for UNC Asheville students. Service learning, first-year experiences, and other community-based opportunities increase student engagement, improve the quality of learning on campus, enhance students’ self-image and self-confidence as community members, diversify students’ lived experiences, and equip students to develop civic engagement skills that empower them to serve in and with communities throughout their lives. The broader community, too, experiences growth, support, and advancement through collaboration with UNC Asheville students and faculty.

Student Testimonials

Community Engaged Scholars Program

two people sitting an talking in town

The Community Engaged Scholar distinction through UNC Asheville’s Key Center involves reciprocal community partnerships and research initiatives in Asheville and Western North Carolina. 

As a Community Engaged Scholar, you work alongside a community partner advisor and faculty mentor to complete a community-driven project, then write and present a reflective research paper.

Service Learning Courses

Pair your academic interests with intentional experiences by earning credit through service learning. These practice-based courses involve a broad range of specializations, including ecology, social research, advancing health equity, and teaching and leading in education. 

Upcoming Events

The Key Center for Community Engaged Learning regularly hosts educational opportunities, service activities both on and off campus, networking opportunities, food distribution events, and more.

A hiking group posing at the top of a mountain

 Partner with the Key Center for Community Engaged Learning

Community-based organizations in and around Asheville and Buncombe County can access valuable services and grow with the support of dedicated students, staff, and faculty through UNC Asheville’s Key Center. 

If you are part of a non-profit, grassroots organization, public agency, or K–12 school, partner with us to provide co-curricular and service-learning opportunities for UNC Asheville students!