Are you interested in your research having a community impact?
The Community-Based Education Program can help you!
Connect with the Community-Based Education (CBE) Program and your Major Research Paper or Thesis can help address current challenges in our community.
How to get started?
- Review the projects already listed on our website. This will give you a sense of the types of topics that are relevant and of interest to community groups that have the capacity to work with you.
- Get in touch with us! Contact CBE program staff to speak to a projects coordinator about your ideas and interests. We can help identify existing projects that may be a good match or organizations in our area that would be excited to work with you and provide you with direction.
The CBE Program is designed to:
- Assist community organizations with community-based research and other services that otherwise might not be completed.
- Provide students with experience in their fields of study and enhance future employment prospects.
- Increase co-operation and partnership between Trent University and the broader communities it serves.
Scroll down to read about an example of a graduate project completed in 2010.
History of the Shedden Lake Area: A Collaborative Research Project
In the fall of 2009 a Frost Centre MA student, after talking with the Frost Centre Director, contacted the Trent Centre for Community Based Education to explore the idea of doing a community-based research project as one of her course credits. By the start of the term in 2010, she had identified a project to work on. Early in January she met with her two hosts from the Shedden Area Historical Society, located in Haliburton County. In these initial conversations, she helped clarify what it was the hosts wanted her to research. They agree to direct the project towards collecting oral histories from seniors about the role of three institutions in local community life: the Legion; the Victoria Plywood plant; and the arena. It was agreed that she would conduct interviews with community members who could tell her what role these institutions had played in the local history.
The project soon took on a collaborative approach between the hosts, student and interviewees. All three attended each of the interviews, starting first by meeting at their ‘hub”, the local coffee shop. As one of them said, “lots of laughs and stories as well as valuable information” came out of these conversations. When preparing her final report, the student was able to demonstrate the important role this collaborative and flexible approach played in the success of her research.
The Shedden Area Historical Society representatives were extremely excited to be working with a graduate student. As one of the women who worked with her commented, “we feel very fortunate to have had her working with us for this, our first venture in gathering local history from our seniors.” The student’s experience in conducting these interviews was very helpful in developing her own research skills but it also fostered Historical Society members’ confidence to do their own research in the future. The stories collected, along with other information and photographs, have rejuvenated a local interest in learning more about their past. The student returned to the community in the summer to present her research at the annual evening of Local History. Over 125 people attended.
Due to the success of this project, The Shedden Lake Area Historical Society members see this as only the first of other projects that they would like to do with Frost Centre Graduate students. In addition to the report and presentation to the community, the student completed a more academically focused paper on the role of memory in the writing of history to complete her course credit.