The Community Service-Learning Program integrates service-learning into existing courses in diverse subjects and disciplines, including women’s studies, visual anthropology, rural economy, creative writing, aboriginal governance, criminology, modern language studies, political science, social entrepreneurship, and many others.
While each course takes its own creative path, each includes service in the community as an integral component. Students contribute in real ways to community organizations and gain valuable experience at the same time. CSL students might be matched with one of over 100 different community organizations to help with projects such as front-line service, media and outreach, research on social issues or outcomes, exhibits and events, educational workshops, and much more.
Here are some thoughts on CSL by Martin Garber-Conrad, CEO of Edmonton Community Foundation, and CSL Advisory Board Member:
Students in Linguistics 324: Endangered Languages volunteered in Edmonton organizations concerned with decreasing use of a language (e.g., indigenous and immigrant groups). They combined these experiences with class readings and lectures to create in-class reports on debates about preserving the world’s languages.
Teams of students in Humanities Computing 530: Project Management helped design digital resources—an interactive web site, a database, an information management tool—for several non-profit organizations while learning the interdisciplinary and collaborative skills necessary for successfully managing and planning a project.
In Rural Economy 173: Plate, Planet & Society, a group of students helped to plan and implement a project to distribute locally produced food in the city. A series of class discussions and synthesis papers invited students to connect their hands-on experience with core course concepts in agriculture, environment, and society.
The number of courses, and the approaches they take to CSL, continue to expand. View the list of current and past courses.
The CSL Program also offers CSL-designated courses (CSL 100, 300, 350/360, 480, and 550/560) that introduce and develop students’ understanding of CSL theory and practice while they do more in-depth community projects.
By completing a certain number of CSL courses and a non-credit opportunity, students can earn a Certificate in Community Service-Learning.
The number of community partners committing their time and support to the program also continues to expand. View the list of current and past community partners.