Office of the Dean of Students

Connect Cleveland Initiative

Oberlin College is committed to community engagement and allowing our students to experience the benefits of the Greater Cleveland and Northeast Ohio area. 

Connect Cleveland links Oberlin students with opportunities and partnerships in the Greater Cleveland area.

Connect Cleveland

Connect Cleveland Fall 2021

Connect Cleveland is a presidential initiative organized by the Bonner Center for Community-Engaged Learning, Teaching, & Research, that brings all new Obies to Cleveland during New Student Orientation to learn about Cleveland and greater Northeast Ohio; meet Oberlin alumni; and identify possibilities for future service, internships, and careers.

This year’s program took place on Friday, October 1, 2021. Nine hundred students spent the morning in their PAL/ConPAL cohorts learning about Cleveland through meetings and service projects guided by 50 different organizations and community partners throughout the city. In the afternoon, everyone came together for lunch in University Circle, outdoor activities, and to explore local museums. ObieSafe protocols were practiced to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, and community partners.

We are so grateful to all of our Connect Cleveland partner organizations for being such gracious hosts and welcoming the incoming freshman class to the fabulous city of Cleveland and all it has to offer! 

Connect Cleveland 2021 Site Visits

Advocates for Ohio's Future & Center for Community Solutions

Art House Inc.


Case Western Weatherhead School

The City Club of Cleveland

Cleveland Botanical Garden

Cleveland History Center

Cleveland Kids’ Book Bank

The Cleveland Museum of Art

Cleveland Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)

Cleveland Museum of Natural History

Cleveland Print Room

Cleveland Public Library

Cleveland Public Theatre

Cleveland Restoration Society

Cleveland School of Science and Medicine

EDWINS Leadership & Restaurant

Fair Housing Center for Rights & Research

The George Gund Foundation

Great Lakes Science Center

ICA Art Conservation

Inter-Religious Task Force on Central America

Intergenerational Schools -- Lakeshore

Intergenerational Schools -- Near West

Karamu House

Lake Erie Ink

LAND Studio

LGBT Community Center SAGE Program

Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage

MedWish International

Midtown Cleveland

Morgan Paper Conservatory

The Music Settlement

Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency (NOACA)

Ohio City Bike Co-op

Plexus LGBT + Allied Chamber of Commerce

PNC Fairfax Connection

Policy Matters Ohio

Praxis Fiber Arts

The Refugee Response

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Rust Belt Riders

Shoes and Clothes for Kids

Somatic Center

SPACES Gallery

ThirdSpace Action Lab

Upcycle Parts Shop

Vel's Purple Oasis

Waterloo Arts

West Park Kamm’s Neighborhood Development


The Cleveland Immersion Program (CIP) is a for-credit course that helps connect students with opportunities and resources in Greater Cleveland. Contact Greggor Mattson, associate professor of sociology, or Gina Perez, professor of Comparative American studies for more information about the program.


For students looking for transportation to Cleveland for independent purposes, we offer several options. Refer to the Oberlin Transportation website for options including public transportation, Enterprise CarShare, and chartered excursions.

Professional Experiences and Development

As Cleveland is a thriving metropolitan area, students may look to find professional experiences to further their vocational aspirations. The college’s Career Development Center has plenty of options for students looking for these opportunities.

Programs and Activities

Destination Cleveland

Oberlin College is partnering with Destination Cleveland to provide tastes of Cleveland in Oberlin while advertising the varied experiences of the area to our community. For more information, please refer to the Destination Cleveland website .

Neighborhood Crawls

Want to visit a neighborhood of Cleveland and explore at your own leisure? This is the program for you! Future "Neighborhood Crawl" events are being planned. If you have a suggestion for a neighborhood, please send email to with suggestions.