What a year of learning in the Community Service Learning (CSL) program! We have been very busy working with 7 university instructors, to connect and coordinate 56 member projects in the community. 231 post-secondary students, from those 7 courses, worked on projects in the areas of development research and evaluation, public relations management, strategic communications planning, human resources strategic management, organizational learning and development, web-based writing and navigation and organizational research.
At a conservative estimate, these students (in the 56 projects) contributed upwards of 7,000 hours to our member organizations. What makes me smile, according to our evaluation, the vast majority of this work is of immediate value to members and is being implemented or used.
What some members say about CSL:
Not every project was perfect or “over the expectation” but we learned from those projects with weaker outcomes. I made mistakes but they quickly made me realize how important clarity and support are, and, as a result, we’ve adapted. We learned that beginners (even instructors) need extra support, complex projects need more clarity, and wide-ranging projects need a narrower scope. And, there is no replacement for face to face meetings to solve problems.
CSL is a model of both education and engagement and it demands that we reflect and learn together. We’ve benefited greatly from members who told us about their experiences and instructors who gave us feedback, and listened to ours. So, as we’ve learned to better support CSL projects, our members have deepened their understanding of engaging students as skills-based volunteers (like a team of consultants), our campus partners have a greater understanding of assisting students to meet members’ needs and the students…they just learned and learned and learned!
What students have to say…
Our thanks to all of the members, students and instructors who worked with us and helped us learn this year!
We’ll let our members recommend CSL to you:
Community Service Learning blurs the lines between campus and community to create campus-infused non-profit practice.
Three CSL Courses will be offered for Fall 2012. Click on the image on the left to see the list and course descriptions.
If you are interested in the benefits of this campus-community synergy, contact Ralamy Kneeshaw, Coordinator, Community Service Learning or apply online for the Fall 2012 CSL courses on the Volunteer Calgary website.