Requirements | St. Lawrence University Community Based Learning


All of our CBL courses integrate a CBL Placement with classroom learning. When enrolling in a CBL Course, the student is aware of the commitment to a community placement before the course begins. If a student is reading this for the first time and is not able to commit to this placement, the student should discuss this immediately with the professor and withdraw from the course if needed. Throughout the semester, professors will assign course readings and assignments that are relevant to the CBL Placement to enhance the overall student learning. Below is a summary of what is required by the CBL student during the semester.
  1. Community Based Placement: A Student enrolled in a CBL course is required to participate in a Community Based Placement during the semester. The type of placement will depend on the course a student is enrolled in. The student will work with the CBL office to select the placement that best fits the needs of the course as well as what works within the student’s schedule. A student must remember that the placement is a course requirement and is an academic commitment that takes priority over clubs and non academic events. If the student is an athlete, the student must inform the CBL office at the beginning of the semester of their athletic practice/game commitments, as this may limit the choice of placement.
  2. Mandatory Orientation: A student enrolled in a CBL course is required to participate in a CBL Orientation at SLU within the first two weeks of classes as well as an Agency Orientation at the CBL Placement during the next two weeks of classes. Students are required to check their email daily for emails from the CBL office in regards to their placement and answer immediately as to not delay the placement process.
  3. Required CBL Placement Hours:  A student enrolled in a CBL course will be required to complete a set number of CBL Placement Hours during the semester. The number of hours depends on the level of course as well as what is set by the professor. Hours are spread across the semester and should not be completed in large chunks unless the course syllabus specifies differently. A student, on average, completes between 20 hours and 40 hours per semester for each standard CBL course, however some courses may require more. The professor will inform the CBL student of the hours required either on the syllabus or during the first week of classes. Please be advised that if a student is enrolled in more than one CBL course during a semester, the student will be required to complete the hour requirements for each course. This could be time consuming for students, so a student must schedule their time to allow for both placements/hours or withdraw from one of the courses.
  4. Learning from Reflection:  There are three main components to any CBL program or course: reflection, reciprocity and exposure to and appreciation of difference. Reflection requires that students understand the broader historical, social, political, economic, environmental and/or physical/natural contexts of their experience in the community. A student enrolled in a CBL course will be required to reflect on their experiences through reflection activities. Across our CBL courses, reflection has taken on many forms including research projects, short papers, oral presentations, journals, collaborative projects and/or creative projects. The professor will inform the CBL student of the reflection assignments on the syllabus during the first week of classes. Reciprocity means that all parties (students, professors and Community Partners) involved in the CBL experience are teaching and learning. Our CBL courses and programs emphasize partnerships where defining and assessing community needs and developing approaches to address those needs is done collaboratively between the students, professors and the Community Partners.  Lastly, our CBL program emphasizes opportunities to explore and better understand difference. In addition to emphasizing race, ethnicity, gender and sexuality, which are typically the foci of many diversity initiatives, our CBL courses also open the doors of understanding to social class, geography, disability, and age. What is especially rewarding is that CBL allows for the understanding of diversity in all its forms from a more personal and critical perspective.  Community Partners are encouraged to ask the students placed at their agency about their assignments and offer assistance or additional information as needed. The more the student understands the agency, the more the student learns both in class and out.
  1. Forms: A student enrolled in a CBL course is required to complete the following forms. These forms assist the office in the placement process as well as document statistics for use by the professor and to help secure funding for the program. The forms needed are Student Preference Form/Profile Form, a CBL Student Commitment Form, and time log (located on site.)
  2. Evaluation: Students are asked to complete an end of semester evaluation. The end of semester evaluation is used to assist the CBL office in improving the CBL placement experience for years to come. Honesty and solution focused responses are highly encouraged.
  3. Attendance Policy

Student Placement Preference Form/Profile Form:
Placement Preference Form: A student will be given information in regards to CBL placements that are available to them either in their first few classes or the student might also be contacted by the CBL office, via email, with placement options. The CBL student will need to complete this online form by the deadline given to have the best options for placements. The CBL office tries very hard to place the student in their first choice; however student class schedule, athletics and even transportation may play a role in being assigned a second or third choice. Students should consider all commitments before ranking their preferences.

CBL Student Commitment Form: This form represents the understanding of the expectations and commitment that is required of the student during their CBL experience. This form is submitted online by the deadline each semester.

Tracking CBL Hours: All students will be required to track their CBL hours via a time log.

Why does the CBL Office Require a Student to Track Hours?

  • The student uses it to make sure they are completing their hours on time and getting their community partner supervisor to approve hours
  • The Professor uses it to confirm at the end of the semester that the student completed the required hours (based on what their supervisor approves) as it pertains to their participation/professionalism grade
  • The CBL Program uses it to track hours for statistical purposes related to funding and to confirm hours for mileage reimbursement