Community Service-Learning

CSL Community Partner Info

Since 2003, the CSL Office has partnered with nearly two hundred community organizations of all types and sizes. Community partners are vital to the functioning of CSL, and organizations benefit in many ways by getting involved.

How do I get involved with CSL?

Contact our Partnership Coordinators, Erin Kelly and Kathleen Kruper. They are happy to sit down with you and help you plan a CSL partnership that contributes to the work that you already do, or one that uses the specific skills of our students to contribute something unique to your organization.
To ensure that your project is considered for the upcoming Fall/Winter term, we recommend that all Community Partners indicate their intention to participate in CSL by May 30th/October 10th respectively by accessing the CSL portal. However, project ideas are accepted on an ongoing basis.

Are CSL Students the kinds of volunteers I need?

CSL students are enthusiastic and engaged learners. They are required to commit a minimum of 20 hours over the course of the term to a project that you personally design. Depending on your project needs, students can come from a variety of courses.

How can partnering with CSL support my staff and organizational mandate?

CSL is committed to working with you to find the best ways that student involvement can complement and flex with your program, staff goals, and structure. CSL projects are designed by and for your staff, with us as support.

CSL students inject new energy, enthusiasm, and perspectives into your organization. It is an opportunity for you to gain additional human resources needed to achieve your organizational goals. As a community partner, you will co-educate youth about community issues (perhaps correcting misperceptions), and increase public awareness of key issues. Involvement with CSL also allows you to network with colleagues in other organizations and agencies. Lastly, working with CSL offers a chance to identify and access other university resources, as well as build relationships with faculty and staff.

What are my responsibilities as a Community Partner?

Please provide as much detail and background about your project and your organization through the CSL Portal. As well, please make yourself available for: the CSL Orientation Workshop, beginning of term class introductions/presentations, connecting with students to complete communication plans, mid-term check-ins, and end of term wrap-ups.

We ask that the designated CSL Supervisor be available at the beginning of the term to connect with students, and for check-ins at least every two weeks for students. We also recommend a volunteer orientation so students have a feel for their place within your programming. At your last check-in to sign the Student Completion Form with your students, you can talk about project outcomes and learning.

How many hours will a student typically spend with an individual organization per placement?

CSL students commit to a minimum of 20 hours though the term. This may be increased depending on the class/project. Some students may opt to stay on with the organization past the 20-hour requirement.

How many students will my organization receive?

You tell us! When you submit your project description through the CSL Portal, determine the appropriate number of students that is ideally suited to the project based on an estimate of 20 hours of student time, per student, per term.

How are students graded? Do I have to help with this?

You are not responsible for any academic evaluation, this is the responsibility of the Instructor.
Note that students are not graded on the activities performed with the organization during the project, but rather their reflection of the experience.

What can I do to ensure that the students understand our goals and our unique work environment?

When you submit your project, please be as detailed as possible and have a clear set of guidelines for the student. When the student arrives at your organization, discuss your organizations’ goals and show them around! Please take the time to hold an orientation at the beginning of term. This increases students’ understanding of how your organization’s work is relevant to their academic studies, and shows them how their project fits into the bigger picture of what you do.

What do I do if I have concerns about the student not following through on their commitments?

Please contact the student directly, or communicate with the instructor of the class you’re paired with. If this does not alleviate any concerns, please contact us.

Are there any examples of previous placements with other organizations?

Examples of the types of tasks that CSL students can help with include:

  • Assisting with front line client services and supports;
  • Planning and/or carrying out an event or series of events;
  • Conducting research/evaluation, or gathering information/stories;
  • Contributing to outreach activities (communication, fundraising, etc.);
  • Designing and/or providing educational opportunities;
  • Piloting or prototyping a new program;
  • Updating or creating materials and resources (including digital resources);
  • Conducting needs or planning assessments with organization staff.

My organization deals with vulnerable persons – will students undergo security checks?

Yes, the CSL Program pays for and facilitates the processing of both EPS Record Checks and Youth Intervention Checks for students. Please indicate in your Project Intention whether a security check is required.