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. 


“Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” – Leonard Cohen, Anthem
Is it too late in January to write Happy New Year? I’m not quite sure it feels like a new year amid the strains and stresses of COVID-19 and the hurt and tragedy we faced in 2020 that have not quite passed us. But I hold onto hope, knowing as Cohen sang in Anthem, that light will find its way back in. We still move through unprecedented strains and difficulty and I acknowledge and honor the incredible losses many have endured. You are all in my thoughts. In the same breath, I wish for all of us to have the capability to find hope. If we hold onto hope, we can find a way to see the sun rising just over the horizon. Let us recognize that we have this day and this opportunity to work towards and for the greater public good. (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! »


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)