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.

Oberlin College & Conservatory with Connect Cleveland Underneath

Connect Cleveland Fall 2023

Connect Cleveland is a presidential initiative organized by the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement, in collaboration with the Bonner Center of Service and Learning, 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 will take place on Wednesday, August 30th. Nine hundred students will spend 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!


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, EV 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 an email to with suggestions.