Community Service-Learning (CSL) has over 250 community partners representing sectors that support our local communities in which our campuses reside, including education, government, community-based, not-for profit/social profit, culture, and environment. Some of our partners have had many years of experience in connecting with Laurier students through the CSL program.
With our direct service placements, students are expected to give approximately two hours per week for approximately 10 weeks throughout the semester in direct service to a community organization. If an organization has higher needs for their volunteers, these are clearly stated by the community partner on the placement opportunity that students will select from.
For project-based placements, an organization works with a group of students supervised by a faculty member to engage in a project with a specified outcome. The project must match the learning requirements for the course. Community partners may be asked to visit the class to present their project at the beginning of the semester and to listen to the project presentation at the end of semester.
Please contact one of the CSL coordinators if you have a project in mind.
Organizations interested in having student volunteers should contact Community Service-Learning. In conjunction with our staff, you can set up a description of your organization on our website and make specific postings for your volunteer positions.
Placement sign-up opportunities are matched to courses so students can gain experiences that overlap with their course content. Placements are introduced to students in their first week of classes. Each organization has their general description and specific placement opportunities listed on our CSL portal. The students have several days to review them before sign-up opens on the first day of the second week of classes. Students will sign up, receive the contact information for their organization, and call the contact person to set up an interview or start date.
Each organization listed on the CSL portal can access and change their organization's information and placement opportunities. They can also access a listing of the students who have signed up for their organization.
Community partners must fill in a placement agreement form with each student at the beginning of the placement period. You will also be asked to verify weekly attendance electronically. You must also complete safety orientation for each student at the beginning of the placement period.
CSL coordinators will be in touch with the contact people at each organization as well as with the students. Their role is to ensure that the placements work smoothly.
“College and university students have a major impact on street youth. Students always have stories about perseverance to tell and the fact that they are currently working toward their goals makes them great mentors for our at-risk and street youth.”
Becca Vandekemp McLellan (BA/BEd ‘12), Community Developer, Why Not Youth Centres
All students are asked to apply for a police record check (PRC). As students may reside in different communities, each police department will have different wait times for processing. Often it takes a few weeks for the students to receive them. If you require a PRC before a student can begin their placement, please ensure that you have included this information, along with the type of PRC required, in the opportunity description on the CSL portal (see the requirements section).
Laurier has a Wellness Centre at each campus that offers tuberculosis (TB) skin tests for students at their personal expense. If your organization requires a TB skin test, please ensure that you have indicated this in the opportunity description on the CSL portal (see the requirements section).
A primary responsibility is to orient the student to your organization – its structure, goals and mandate. You should also give the student a tour that involves an introduction to the people they will be working with, as well as the staff and people involved with your organization will help connect that student to the bigger picture of what you are working towards.
Setting up clearly defined roles for the student at the initial meeting will ensure that both parties are satisfied with the experience. Depending on the nature of the work, a supervisor may be required. Alternatively, letting the student know who they can approach with questions, comments and concerns may suffice.
When you initially register your organization on the CSL portal you will complete the online community partner declaration. Once the student arrives at their placement, you will complete two forms with them. First, there is an agreement form to sign when the student first arrives for their placement. Second, the university asks that you complete a safety orientation checklist. Periodically we will conduct CSL evaluations. These surveys will be optional for you to complete.
We encourage you to update your opportunities by logging into the CSL portal. You are free to change descriptions of roles, add new opportunities, inactivate opportunities, change the number of students needed, and update your organizational information. To access your site you will need your username and password. Please contact one of the CSL coordinators if you need help.
Please work with your CSL coordinator to write up placement opportunities that might appeal to students. Often students will go to the organizations nearest to the campus first, and then seek out the most interesting placements after that.
The students know it is their responsibility to contact community partners directly. If you have received a message that a certain student has selected the opportunity with you and has not called or not shown up, please contact one of the CSL coordinators, who will handle the concern immediately.
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