Community Connect Program

Community Engagement Foundations for Graduate Students

Community Engagement Foundations for Graduate Students

In partnership with Community Service-Learning


We invite students from all disciplines to enrol, with no previous experience or prerequisites required. Please note: To qualify for this course, you must be a current student or a post-doctoral fellow. Students on a leave of absence do not qualify for this course.

Course Description

Are you looking for ways to weave your talents, personal interests, and knowledge into the community? This course is geared towards graduate students at any stage of their program. By collaborating with your peers, as well as members of the local community, we will uncover the strengths and skills we already possess and give you the building blocks to foster new community connections.

In this course, we believe that community engagement is best learned through doing and modelling what we want to achieve in the community through a dynamic classroom. Students will be asked to participate in active discussion, collaborative projects, and envisioning their own future community engagement.

Course Objectives

  • Students will further understand the complexities of defining "community" and identify connections between communities—even if seemingly apart;
  • Appreciate how thinking differently about communities open up new spaces and opportunities for innovation;
  • Build foundations in 'creating new communities' and further understand one's own expertise and strengths; and
  • Establish meaningful and sustainable connections to new initiatives and maintaining its capacity or understanding when it's completed.

Course Outcomes

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

  • Answer the question: "How do we respectfully collaborate with a community without a previous and obvious connection?";
  • Articulate one's personal motivation and values; 
  • Prioritize your time, interests, and intrinsic motivations; and
  • Tell your own story regarding your connection to one - or several - community/ies.

Course Facilitators

Jay Friesen, Community Service-Learning Instructor & Placement Coordinator
Charity Slobod, Community Connect Program Lead & PD Coordinator, Faculty of Graduate Studies & Research

Important Information

Community Engagement Foundations for Graduate Students is a free, pass-fail, not-for-credit, project-based course, equivalent to approximately 25 hours of total in-class and independent work. The course is designed to broaden graduate students' skills and confidence to see themselves as part of a larger community.

Time commitment: Every morning, 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., Tuesday - Friday, Monday (August 4-7, August 10)

**Following the course, students are invited to attend monthly "Follow-Up Fellowships" to discuss designated engagement topics and check-in with one another.

Approximately one to three out of classwork/per class session is required to complete designated readings, activity prep work, and a final project.

Attendance and coursework policy: Attendance, timely completion of assignments and active participation are a significant component of course evaluation. Participants are permitted one excused absence. Exceptions are not made to this policy.

Register Here