CBL Terms and Definitions

As a Community Based Learning Student, it is important that you understand the following terms and definitions before you begin the placement in the Community.

Center for Civic Engagement (CCE): A program at St. Lawrence University with the primary mission of increasing and enhancing opportunities for students to be agents of positive social change both on and off campus. The CCE oversees the Community Based Learning Program and the Civic Engagement Themed Housing at SLU.

Civic Engagement: Active involvement that forges a positive relationship between the individual and community as a result of mutual understanding and communication.

Community-Based Learning (CBL): Engagement in the community as an integrated part of an academic course. The course is shaped by active reflection on the part of the student. This may also be referred to as Service-Learning.

Community Mentor: A student staff member of the Center for Civic Engagement. The CM will assist the CBL professors and staff with the orientation of new CBL students as well as an orientation at their appropriate agencies at the beginning of the semester. CM’s will continue to act as an intermediary between the CBL students, professors and Community Partners throughout the entire semester.  For a CBL student, the CM will be responsible for monitoring their placement hours at the assigned agency, oversee students’ activities at their CBL Placements, and assist the CBL Student throughout the entire CBL Experience.

Community Partner: A local program/agency that works with St. Lawrence University to provide opportunities to SLU students either in CBL courses or volunteer opportunities. In the past, students have served with of Community Partners that include nursing homes, day care centers, farms, tutoring programs, environmental agencies, social service programs, criminal or family courts, food banks and a variety of agencies and programs associated with the needs of poor and disabled. CBL Placements are dependent on the course topic.

Community Placement: Agency or organization within a community with which a student performs community-based learning, such as Canton Day Care Center/United Helpers Nursing Home

Compassion: Identification and empathy with someone’s existing problems coupled with the desire to influence and make a difference.

Difference: To effect change in a tangible manner.

Empathy: Not only an understanding and appreciation for, but an identification with another’s feelings.

Faculty Associates: Faculty associates are professors at St. Lawrence that teach CBL courses and act as an advisory board for CBL programming. They are available as mentors to new CBL professors or existing ones with questions on how to incorporate CBL placements into their new or existing course.

Journal: A document produced by the student to encourage self reflection relative to a community placement and to facilitate the incorporation of community-based reflection into a student’s everyday life. This learning tool incorporates dialogue between the student and the professor of a CBL course. Meant to be an interactive dialogue that fosters honest reflection in order to strengthen the experiences and maximize the learning of all parties involved.

Leadership: “...a relational process of people together attempting to accomplish change or make a difference to benefit the common good.” (Komives, et all, 2002, p. 31)

Reciprocity: A mutual exchange of ideas, services, or experiences.

Reflection: An active process of placing the experiences in the community in context as a student and as a member of a democratic society.

Service: Acts of duty willingly preformed to benefit others.

Service-Learning: Synonymous with community-based learning; service-learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.

Student Profile Sheet: A form that is sent to students via email before the semester begins. This form gives the CBL office general information and is used to communicate with each student throughout the semester. This form needs to be completed by the CBL student before the first day of class.

Student Preference Sheet: A form used to assist the CBL office in finding the CBL placement that best meets the needs of the course as well as the student’s schedule. A CBL student will be given information in regards to CBL placements that are available to them during the Mandatory Orientation held during the second week of classes. The CBL student will need to complete this form before the end of the orientation session.

Student Placement Contract: An important document to be signed by the student, the Community Partner, and the Professor before the student begins the service hours.

Student Time Log: A form used to track completed CBL Placement hours. The student uses it to make sure they are completing their hours on time; the Professor uses it to confirm at the end of the semester that the student completed the required hours; and the CBL Program uses it to track hours for statistical purposes related to funding and to confirm hours for mileage reimbursement.

Sympathy: An understanding and appreciation for another’s feelings.

Volunteering: Hands-on community service work performed by people who receive no remuneration for their work, such as a grade for an assignment or course.

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