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 2024

Connect Cleveland is a presidential initiative organized by the Office of Student Leadership and Involvement 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 28th. 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.

This video alternates between a scrolling list of Connect Cleveland project locations and a slideshow of pictures. Dancing Fever, a funk track by Jürgen Brischar, plays in the background.

The video opens with the text “Oberlin College & Conservatory” and “Connect Cleveland,” with faded out images from students behind it. After it disappears, the following text pops up on the screen over a red background:

  • 870+ students
  • 47 sites
  • One day

The red slides away and the images from the day play in quick succession.

  1. Students, all wearing red Connect Cleveland shirts, boarding a bus.
  2. A silhouette of students at an empty baseball stadium.
  3. A wide shot of students in the media room of the baseball stadium, listening to a man wearing a Cleveland Guardians cap, lanyard, and jacket.
  4. A student taking selfie on the baseball field.


  1. A group of first-year students, accompanied by two PALs, two site coordinators, and a dog, stand in front of a red van that reads “City Dogs” and “Great Dogs From Our Great City!”
  2. A close up of a leashed dog licking a student.
  3. Four students giving a dog a belly rub.
  4. A view from above of students talking inside of an indoor market.
  5. A wide shot of students talking in the same market.


  1. Students walk on an elevated grassy area towards the Cleveland skyline.
  2. Students ride down an escalator in the Cleveland Museum of Art.
  3. Students examine a glass-encased Vogue magazine in the museum gallery.
  4. A wide shot of three lavish golden dresses in museum gallery, with students in the background.
  5. Students huddle around a framed work of art in the museum gallery.
  6. Students talk amongst themselves as they look at framed works of art in the museum gallery.
  7. Students gather in a semicircle around a speaker.
  8. Students pose for a photo in the seats of a theater.


  1. A group of students walk towards the camera.
  2. A group of students pose in front of a mural-decorated brick wall.
  3. A close up of students eating popsicles at the Botancial Gardens.
  4. A PAL looks off to the distance, laughing. Out of focus, other PALs are sitting down, eating.
  5. Students eat their lunch on the lawn of the Botanical Gardens. One student stands on top of a sculpture.
  6. In the foreground, a student throws a frisbee. In the background, other students are eating on the grass.
  7. A wide shot of students on the lawn of the Botanical Gardens. Students are playing games, visiting food trucks, and eating on the lawn.

Throughout the slideshow, a scrolling list of Connect Cleveland project locations, white text on a red background, interrupt the sequence where indicated “break” above. These locations are:

  • Advocates for Ohio’s Future & Center for Community Solutions
  • Art House Inc.
  • BAYarts
  • Cleveland Clinic Lerner Research Institute
  • Cleveland Guardians
  • Cleveland Museum of Art
  • Cleveland Museum of Natural History
  • Cleveland Orchestra
  • Cleveland Public Library
  • Cleveland Public Theater
  • Cleveland Restoration Society
  • Destination CLE
  • Edwin’s Restaurant
  • Fair Housing Center
  • Friends of City Dogs Cleveland
  • Garfield Park Reservation
  • Great Lakes Science Center
  • Greater Cleveland Aquarium
  • Greater Cleveland Food Bank
  • ICA Art Conservation
  • International Women’s Air & Space Museum
  • InterReligious Task Force on Central America
  • Italian American Museum of Cleveland
  • Kids’ Book Bank
  • Lake Erie Ink
  • LAND Studio
  • LGBT Community Center
  • Maltz Museum
  • Medwish International
  • Morgan Paper Conservatory
  • Music Settlement
  • Playhouse Square
  • Plexus
  • Policy Matters Ohio
  • Praxis Fiber Arts
  • Refugee Response
  • Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
  • Rust Belt Riders
  • Shoes and Clothes for Kids
  • Spaces Gallery
  • Upcycle Parts Shop
  • Vel’s Purple Oasis
  • West Park Kamm’s Neighborhood Development

The video concludes with the text “Oberlin College & Conservatory” and “Connect Cleveland” on a white background.

Return to video description link