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Community Engagement Option

Note: University regulations apply to all students at Laurier. If there is any discrepancy between the program or progression requirements outlined on this page and those in the university's academic calendars, the academic calendars are the official sources of information. The information below is from the latest calendar, and you may be following progression requirements from an earlier calendar. Students are responsible for checking the appropriate calendar. Contact your program coordinator should you notice any discrepancies.

About the Option

The Community Engagement Option is a unique and innovative partnership of Wilfrid Laurier University and The Working Centre. The Working Centre is a highly respected non-profit, community-based, volunteer-inspired venture in Kitchener that for 30 years has been developing alternative educational initiatives, seeking to give individuals and groups access to tools and opportunities to become involved in the building of local community projects in Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding areas.

The Community Engagement Option offers credit courses that provide you with experiential learning opportunities in downtown Kitchener focused on social inclusion, local democracy, and community enterprise. You'll learn about these concepts while attending classes in various locations across the downtown, and participating as volunteers within the many initiatives of The Working Centre. You will read, reflect and participate together as a means to deepen your learning about community. The Community Engagement Option expands and challenges worldviews within an educational setting that blends both classroom and experiential learning.

The Community Engagement Option will appeal most to senior undergraduate students who are passionate about social justice, and who are ready to start transitioning from university to the broader world – in this case, from classroom-type learning to learning with others in a context that values civic engagement, cultural diversity, and respect for others.

Program Requirements

The Community Engagement Option consists of a minimum of 4.0 credits. Students must complete three core courses and a further 2.0 credits from a list of specific electives.

To obtain the Community Engagement Option designation on their transcripts, students must have a minimum GPA of 7.00 in designated courses, computed on all credits claimed for the option.

Required Core Courses

The required core courses of the option are distinctive because:

  • The three core courses are designed to be a single, extended learning experience.
  • The courses are rigorously designed and implemented in close consultation with community representatives.
  • Each course emphasizes the sharing of student experiences on selected topics (community, inclusion, equitable distribution, etc.) in addition to cultivating an analytical lens on the issue at hand.
  • A significant portion of these courses is co-facilitated by community representatives.

CMEG300: Introduction to Community Engagement (0.5 Credit)

This foundational course for the Community Engagement Option introduces the key concepts of social inclusion, local democracy, distributive economics, and community development. It investigates distinct features of community development in Canada and explores the method of linking experience with critical analysis, ethical reflection and purposeful action. A major part of the course will be an intensive on-the-ground set of learning experiences that take place in Kitchener a week before regular classes begin for the fall term.

CMEG301: Social Inclusion, Local Democracy and Community Enterprise (0.5 Credit)

This core course in the Community Engagement Option studies the processes of understanding and addressing structural barriers that affect individuals at the community level, and explores the collaborative infrastructures and concepts of fair distribution of resources and knowledge within the frameworks of social inclusion, local democracy and community enterprise. Relevant themes, concepts, and models of local democracy, community development, distributive economics and inclusion are investigated through readings, lectures, assignments, and engaged learning experiences at The Working Centre in downtown Kitchener.

CMEG305: Semester in Community Engagement (1.0 Credit)

This capstone course in the Community Engagement Option provides the opportunity to demonstrate and deepen the understanding of themes, models, and concepts in community engagement that have been developed in CMEG300 and CMEG301. Knowledge and skills will be refined, applied and assessed through directed studies, reflection seminars, and in-depth participation in a capstone project at The Working Centre in downtown Kitchener.


Students must complete a further 2.0 credits from a list of specific electives:


  • AN241: City Life and Urban Space
  • AN237: Cross-Cultural Studies of Change
  • AN336: Culture, Power and Politics
  • AN348: Space, Place and Culture
  • AN400: Doing Fieldwork

Communication Studies

  • CS350: Political Economy of Communication and Culture


  • GG265: Experiencing the City
  • GG365: Canadian Urban Spaces
  • GG465*: Capstone Urban Sustainability Project

Global Studies

  • GS221: The Cosmopolitan Village?
  • GS222: Contemporary Western Societies
  • GS231: War, Culture and Conflict
  • GS305: The Individualized World
  • GS325: Religion, Culture and Society
  • GS323: Global Migrations, Refugees and Diasporas
  • GS331: Contemporary Global Conflicts and the Search for Peace: A Case Study Approach
  • GS342: Civil Society, Social Movements and Globalization
  • GS351: Nature, Culture and Development
  • GS421: Ethical Encounters
  • GS441: Ecological Citizenship
  • GS451: City Worlds
  • GS461: Global humanitarianism: Between Gift and Power


  • HI322: Social History of Modern Canada

North American Studies

  • NO202: Narrative, Place and Identity in North America
  • NO211: Canadian Identities and Cultures


  • PP207: Ethical Theories
  • PP223: Contemporary Moral Issues

Political Science

  • PO264: The Practice of Politics in Canada
  • PO312: The Politics of Cities and Regions in Canada
  • PO345: Public Policy Analysis
  • PO350: Theories of Justice
  • PO432: Canadian Democracy


  • PS270: Social Psychology
  • PS282: Community Psychology

Religion and Culture

  • RE212*: World Religions in Global Perspective
  • RE312: The Human Life Cycle and Religious Development
  • RE331: Religious Diversity in Contemporary Canada Sociology


  • SY210: Social Inequality
  • SY218: Constructions of Deviance
  • SY303: Sociology of Youth
  • SY322: Sociology of Health and Illness
  • SY324: Sociology of Food and Culture
  • SY/AN333: Human Rights I: Canadian Responsibility
  • SY406: Environmental Sociology
  • SY410: Human Rights II: Intellectuals’ Responsibility
  • SY413: Sociology of Embodiment and Disability
  • SY422: Subjectivity, Power and Government

Women and Gender Studies

  • WS209: Women and Leadership
  • WS210: Introduction to Feminist Thought and Action
  • WS306: Women and Social Justice

Note: Some of these courses have prerequisites. Although these prerequisites may be waived by the program or department administering the course, it is your responsibility to make such arrangements.