Los Angeles has an incredibly dynamic social and cultural landscape, providing limitless opportunities for Oxy students to learn from—and with—community partners.
In our diverse and complex setting, social issues play out on a daily basis. As a result, you are able to connect what happens in the classroom with the real world through firsthand experience. Oxy’s curriculum bridges traditional instruction with experiential learning through collaborative partnerships, programs, field research, and internships. Half of all Oxy students participate in some type of community engagement each year, and many report satisfying experiences of personal growth.
Oxy’s Partnership for Community Engagement (PCE) is dedicated to collaborative, long-term partnerships between faculty, students, staff, and community partners. Our approach emphasizes working with organizations to identify their needs and then addressing them collaboratively. PCE is led by the Center for Community Based Learning; Student Leadership, Involvement & Community Engagement; and the Urban & Environmental Policy Institute.
Oxy’s approach develops citizens committed to lifelong learning and engagement for the sake of positive social change. There are numerous ways you can get involved as part of your Oxy experience:
Oxy Arts is the community-based arts hub of Occidental College. Oxy Arts hosts free art exhibitions, performances, film screenings, and workshops that are free and open to the community. Community Studio is our after school program for local 4-8th grade LAUSD students. Oxy Arts has a range of Arts Education and Community Programs for the Northeast LA community and beyond. Oxy students and community members can learn more about our programs at oxy.edu/oxyarts
SLICE brings together programs focused on student leadership, student activities and community engagement, in one central office. It gives students the opportunity to put Oxy’s values into action through community-based collaborations with organizations in L.A. and beyond. Some of our programs include Days of Service, Alternative Spring Break, and our signature OxyConnects program, where students volunteer for a year with a community partner.
Based on community organizing practices, CCBL has a community engagement approach that aims to enrich Oxy students' learning and commitment to social responsibility. Courses incorporate field work and internships that meet learning objectives through off-campus projects with community organizations, schools, museums, and libraries. CCBL brings together students, faculty, and community partners as co-thinkers and collaborators in addressing social justice issues.
UEPI is a research, policy, and advocacy organization at Oxy that is committed to bringing about social change and a more just, livable and green society. UEPI engages students, faculty, and staff on campus and connects them with Oxy’s community partners in L.A. and beyond. UEPI has over a dozen local, statewide and national programs that employ strategies related to research, organizing, coalition-building, education, advocacy and policy.
CLC connects Oxy students and elementary students in a warm and welcoming environment. As part of the Community Literacy course, Oxy students work one-on-one with younger pupils, tutoring them and helping them discover a love of reading, writing and creative expression. CLC integrates arts, technology, critical thinking and critical literacy in an engaging and meaningful way.
NPP enriches the educational experience of Oxy students by affording them real-world, hands-on educational experience outside the classroom. NPP volunteers work with local high schools to guide prospective college students through the application process, and host field trips to Oxy to help demystify the college experience.
Upward Bound helps students from low-income, first-generation backgrounds prepare for success in post-secondary institutions by providing them with a simulated college experience that is rich in academic and motivational support. Participants can take advantage of one-on-one academic advisement, weekly academic enrichment services and workshops, and a summer residential experience.