Elective Years 1 and 2: Social Justice Community of Service and Scholarship

Title: Social Justice Community of Service and Scholarship
Location: On campus/Virtual seminars and with Community Placement Organizations

18 hours seminar time with final presentation session in March

  • Tuesday afternoons from 1300h to 1600h (approximately 6 sessions)
  • October - March
20 hours (minimum) with community organization/agency
  • Community placement organizations

Dr Jill Konkin, Faculty Co-lead; Professor, Family Medicine; cslfomd@ualberta.ca  780-492-9341
For office hours, please email

Dr Laurie Mereu, Faculty Co-lead; Professor, Medicine cslfomd@ualberta.ca

Medical student Co-Lead Daniel Major drmajor@ualberta.ca


Application deadline has passed for 2021-2022. Information for each academic year available in August. Contact cslfomd@ualberta.ca  for more information and application details.

Participation in this Community is open to Year 1 students. Participating Year 1 students may choose to continue on into the Year 2 program.

Building on the successful Community Service-Learning Program that was implemented six years ago, the Social Justice Community of Service & Scholarship (SJ CoSS) is an opportunity for medical students to explore more deeply issues of social justice, health equity, power & privilege and other related areas; to interact with people from underserved and excluded communities and; to partner with a community agency or organization serving these communities.

SJ CoSS is based on the community service-learning principles: theory, service, reflection. SJ CoSS collaborates with the University Community Service-Learning Unit to maintain and expand partnerships with community agencies. Participants in the Community will identify agencies that they would like to be partnered with from the list developed yearly. The program leads attempt to match students with an agency in their top three choices. Students engage with the liaison at the community agency to discuss the identified areas of need for the agency and the population it serves and agree on an initiative for the students to undertake with the agency. Through these community placements, students will explore health and social issues faced by populations experiencing health inequities in the community.


The SJ CoSS objectives state that students will:

  • Deepen their understanding of social justice & health equity to better serve our communities
  • Develop an asset-based approach to community engagement
  • Contribute to meeting the social accountability mandate of the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry

Specific Goals for SJ CoSS:

  • Apply the social determinants of health in the context of the population served by the agency with whom you’re working.
  • Assess the role, responsibilities, and limitations of the medical student working with community organizations
  • Negotiate a common goal and develop a structured experience in collaboration with the community agency to address a need or challenge faced by the population served
  • Understand advocacy principles and, where appropriate, apply them in the student’s work with the agency
  • Identify enablers and barriers to health equity and social justice in the context of the population served by the community agency
  • Incorporate the three intertwining principles of community service learning into the activities in SJ CoSS – Theory, Service, Reflection
Additional Notes: https://sites.google.com/ualberta.ca/sjcoss2022-23/home-about
Last Updated: September 15, 2022