CBL Faculty Resource Guide

Community Mentor as a Resource

Community Mentors are hired to serve as the primary liaison between all the various constituents (faculty, community partners, CBL students, and CBL staff) involved in the CBL experience. Their primary responsibilities include:

·       Implementing on-campus orientation, to include troubleshooting transportation needs

·       Assisting with agency orientation

·       Engaging in on-going communication with all constituents (students, community partners, faculty, CBL staff)

·       Trouble-shooting issues related to the CBL experience and/or general concerns

For information on how students may apply to be a Community Mentor visit: https://www.stlawu.edu/community-based-learning/community-mentors

Tracking Weekly Engagement:


Each CBL student is required to sign-in and sign-out (paper time log) of his/her placement site during each visit to the agency. The agency identifies a space where the time logs will be kept (usually in a binder). CMs are required to check the time logs on a weekly basis. Hours will be reported to faculty at mid-semester, along with a 1-2 sentence comment about how the CBL student is engaging at their placement, and a final hour summary at the beginning of finals week. 

CBL Student Commitment Form:


This on-line form replaces the contract and only outlines CBL expectations of students while in placement. This form is due on September 24, 2017. However, most should have completed it during their on-campus orientations. 

On-Campus Orientation

During the on-campus orientation, CMs will share with students the following information:

  • CBL Student Email Group - main mode of mass communication with all constituents (CBL staff, students, and faculty)
  • CBL expectations - review of the Student Commitment Form
  • CBL Dates to Remember
  • Transportation Policy (to include the first phase of SLU’s driver’s certification process and personal car usage and release forms)
  • Attendance Policy

Agency Orientation

This orientation is mandatory and necessary before any student can start their community placement. During the time, the community partner (agency) will cover:

  • Required agency paperwork/testing
  • Agency mission/programming
  • Student role and expectations


Each CBL student is responsible for getting to and from their placement site; however, given that CBL is a required component of the course, CBL does everything it can to assist students in finding transportation. For community placements that are far from campus (such as Ogdensburg, Potsdam, Akwesasne, etc.), we automatically reserve the CBL van or other university vehicle. We expect, but cannot mandate, students to get van certified and that process is started during the on-campus orientation. Carpooling should be viewed as a last resort given the potential for liability risks; however, in the event that students carpool, they must submit transportation waivers. For more info: http://www.stlawu.edu/community-based-learning/transportation. For waivers: http://www.stlawu.edu/community-based-learning/resource/transportation-waivers.

Attendance Policy

A community placement is an integral component of any Community Based Learning (CBL) course, and as such, students are expected to attend their placement every week throughout the entire semester. On average, a student can expect to be on site for at least two hours each week. In addition, students are encouraged to think about the experiential aspect of the community placement, how that placement serves as part of the course materials, and how it will be incorporated into the class during the semester as the experience unfolds.

Inconsistent attendance will not be tolerated. The Community Mentor assigned to the community placement regularly checks the time logs and reports students’ hours to the CBL office each week. Students should view their community placement like a real job with real consequences. Failure to adhere to the CBL student commitment form or an agency’s code of conduct can serve as grounds for termination from a placement site. If that should occur, CBL will not be responsible for finding a replacement site and as a result, the depth of understanding course content may be compromised.

For mid-semester break: students whose placements end before 5pm on Wednesday are expected to attend.

For Thanksgiving break: students whose placements end before 5pm on Friday are expected to go; unless, they have made prior arrangements with their community partner to come earlier in the week.

For more info: http://www.stlawu.edu/community-based-learning/attendance-policy.

Festival of CBL for First Year Students

This event is provided to showcase students’ CBL experiences through a combination of oral, video, and poster presentations. First Year students plan their yearly event and is held this year on Tuesday, December 5th and Thursday, December 7th, from 10:10am – 11:40am in Eben Holden.

For more info: https://www.stlawu.edu/community-based-learning/festival-cbl

Festival of SLU in the Community for NON FYP Courses

This event is an enhancement of the NON-FYP Festival of CBL that is normally held in both the fall and the spring semesters. This event will showcase the many different “pathways to engagement” available such as Community Based Learning, Volunteerism, SLU Public Interest Corps, internships, Higher Education Opportunity Program summer service, and alternative spring break trips.

The event typically runs during the last week of classes, with this fall being Wednesday, December 13, from 5:00-7:00pm in Eben Holden. 

For more info: https://www.stlawu.edu/community-based-learning/festival-cbl