Welcome to the Office of
Community Engagement and Applied Learning!

UNCW’s Office of Community Engagement and Applied Learning is committed to uplifting our faculty, staff, students and community partners to support a thriving future for southeastern North Carolina, our surrounding region, nation, and the world. 

The mission of OCEAL is to create opportunities for faculty and students to engage in community-based learning and scholarship; and to support, leverage, and build applied learning activities across campus aimed at achieving student success.

The Office also acts as the front door for community-based organizations and government institutions seeking University support to address unmet community needs. Our outreach units (QENO, OLLI, CPE and the Office of the Arts) provide access to inclusive and diverse leadership and learning experiences, cultural programming, and community-building opportunities. We look forward to working with you and for you in the near future. 


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In my role as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Community Engagement and Applied Learning and the Executive Director of the Office of the Arts, I have the incredible opportunity to oversee offices and units that work tirelessly to create programming that works with and gives back to our communities. Each one of these offices is like no other. Starting this Tuesday, April 6 at noon until April 7 at noon, the UNCW family will rally together like never before as part of Seahawks Give. And we hope you see Seahawks Give as an opportunity to support these areas as an opportunity like no other. (more)


For Faculty

Support in activities related to teaching, scholarship, and service.

For Students

Opportunities to practice leadership and inspire positive change.

For Community

Opportunities to connect and partner with the university.


Engagement Outreach Units


News & Events

Click here to read the OCEAL Newsletter

UNCW’s Office of Community Engagement and Applied Learning posts  monthly updates  with information about UNCW faculty, staff, and student work in collaboration with community partners, as well as a listing of upcoming public events (some of which require registration). These updates are posted here and on our  Facebook page  and sent out to our email list. To submit stories or events for a future newsletter please contact  communityengagement@uncw.edu.

Click here to subscribe to the newsletter! »


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Each year, the Office of Community Engagement & Applied Learning gives out awards to UNCW faculty, staff, and community partners who exhibit outstanding dedication to community engagement. Our 2021 awards nomination applications are open!

Click here to learn more about each award! 


UNCW Staff Award for Excellence in Community Engagement
Deadline: Friday, March 12, 2021
Click here to nominate!

UNCW Faculty Award for Excellence in Community Engagement
Deadline: Friday, March 12, 2021
Click here to nominate

UNCW Community Partner Award for Excellence in University Engagement
Deadline: Monday, March 15, 2021
Click here to nominate!


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UNCW Supports Rural Organizations During COVID

UNCW's QENO and Career Center paired 10 undergraduate students with 10 different rural nonprofit and local government organizations through the SECU Public Fellows Internship program amid a global pandemic. (more)