Community Service-Learning (CSL) helps University of Alberta students to build real-life connections between their education and everyday issues in the Edmonton community.
How do I get started?
Why should I do CSL if it is optional in my course?
Community Service-Learning (CSL) helps you to make real-life connections between your education and everyday issues in the Edmonton community. CSL offers you the chance to contribute in real ways to a community organization and gain valuable experience at the same time. CSL offers you the opportunity to:
- Author your own education through your experiences;
- Make a difference in the lives of people;
- Connect with your local communities;
- Apply what you’re learning in class and understand it differently;
- Improve your ability to handle ambiguity (and be open to change);
- Gain hands-on experience in the non-profit sector; and,
- Learn more about social issues and their root causes.
How do I choose a placement?
At the beginning of the semester, check out the CSL Portal
for a list of placement options including a description of each organization and their projects. Community partners may also present in your class to allow you to ask questions and find the right fit for you.
We encourage you to engage in some self-assessment, and consider the following questions:
- What issues or causes really concern you?
- What talents, skills, or abilities can you share with others? Which would you like to develop?
- Do you prefer working independently, one-to-one, or with a group?
- Do you prefer to work with any particular age group?
- What type of environment would you like to work in (indoor/outdoor; structured/unstructured)?
- What type of commitment would you prefer (once a week; intense several day event)?
- What transportation arrangements can you make (bus, car pool, car)?
- What time restrictions do you have (particular days/evenings/weekends)?
You will also want to pick a back-up option if your first choice is full or unavailable. For more help choosing a placement and self-assessment consult the CSL Student Guidebook
I have chosen my placement, what’s next?
First, visit the CSL Student Placement site
and complete the form. Next, contact your community supervisor to discuss your placement, scheduling, and communication. *Note that your community supervisor may require you to complete a security check.
How many hours am I expected to spend at the organization throughout the term?
A minimum of 20 hours during the term. Exceptions include the Spring Immersion course (CSL 350/360) and the Non-Credit Opportunity both of which require 30 hours. Students are always welcome to complete more than 20 hours during the term or continue volunteering after classes have finished.
What will I be doing at the organization?
You will be helping your community organization with projects such as story-telling, strategic planning, media and outreach, research on social issues or outcomes, exhibits and events, front-line assistance, educational workshops and much more.
How can I be more involved with CSL?
Feel free to contact us at any time with any questions!