Student Resources | St. Lawrence University Community Based Learning

Student Resources

 Thank you for choosing to participate in a Community Based Learning course. This page serves as a resource guide for navigating your CBL experience.

CBL Goals and Objectives

  1. Foster a civically engaged commitment to the common good both generally and in the context of living in the North Country.

  2. Help students recognize the complexity and diversity of the human experience.

  3. Encourage students to think critically about their place within the complexity and diversity of the human experience. Read more.

CBL Placement Process

The Community Placement Preference Form is used to assist the CBL office in assigning an agency placement based on your course requirements. The form is typically emailed after the first full week of classes in each semester. 

  • It's important to understand that a community placement is an integral component of a course and requires consistent weekly engagement. Students will be expected to spend up to two hours (or more dependent on class), outside of class, per week with a local agency/organization
  • Before completing the preference form, students should carefully assess their weekly availability for a placement by considering their athletic, course, and/or employment commitments. For more info.

CBL Student Commitment Form:

This on-line form replaces the contract and only outlines the CBL expectations of students while in placement. However, most should have completed it during their on-campus orientations. To access the form, click here.

Community Mentor as a Resource

Community Mentors serve as a liaison between all the various constituents (faculty, community partners, CBL students, and CBL staff) involved in the CBL experience. 

Tracking Weekly Engagement:

Each CBL student is required to sign-in and sign-out (paper time log) of his/her community 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 bi-weekly basis. Hours will be reported to faculty at mid-semester, along with a one to two sentence comment about how the CBL student is engaging at their placement, and a final hour summary at the beginning of finals week. To access the time log, click here.

On-Campus Orientation

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

  • Overview of community placement sites and any required paperwork
  • CBL expectations - review of the Student Commitment Form
  • CBL Dates to Remember
  • Transportation Policy (to include the details about SLU’s driver’s certification process, use of personal car, and transportation waivers)
  • Attendance Policy

Agency Orientation

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

  • Agency mission/programming
  • Student role and expectations
  • Completion of required agency paperwork/testing

Transportation

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 Akwesasne, Ogdensburg, Potsdam, etc.), we automatically reserve the CBL van or other university vehicles. We expect, but cannot mandate, students to get van certified. Carpooling should only occur when absolutely necessary given the potential for liability risks; however, in the event that students choose to carpool, they must submit transportation waivers. Should a student need to utilize a taxi service, he or she would need to obtain prior approval from the CBL office (except for emergency situations). For more info. To access the waivers, click here.

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 the community placement serves as part of the course materials, and how it can be incorporated into class discussions and other academic work as the experience unfolds.

Inconsistent attendance will not be tolerated. Community Mentors regularly check the time logs and reports students’ hours to the CBL office. 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. If that should occur, CBL will not be responsible for finding a student a replacement site. 

For Mid-Semester Break: students whose placements end before 5:00pm on Wednesday are expected to attend.

For Spring Break: students whose placements end before 5:00pm on Friday are expected to to attend. For more info.

Festival of SLU in the Community

This event will showcase the many different “pathways to engagement” available such as Community Based Learning, Volunteerism, SLU Public Interest Corps, Internships, and Alternative Break Trips.

Poster Presentation Form
Presentation Approval Form
For more info.

End of Semester Evaluation

This evaluation will be used to allow you to share any positive experiences or obstacles.

Student Evaluation of a CBL Program

Continued Engagement with the Community

Community Engagement Suites
Community Mentor Program
Volunteer Services

Quick Reference Links

Current CBL Courses
CBL Requirements
Common Terms and Definitions
Community Partnerships

Title IX

St. Lawrence University students participate in a wide variety of off-campus internships, programs, fellowships and other similar opportunities, some of which are educational in nature and some of which are aimed exclusively towards a student’s independent pursuit of professional development and career-building experience. These activities may be paid or unpaid, credit-bearing or non-credit bearing. With a robust and loyal international Laurentian network, many opportunities are offered through graduates and parents. The University generally does not inspect, monitor, or otherwise represent that its faculty or staff evaluates the culture, security or suitability of the placement environment. Based on the nature of the activity, the degree of the University’s affiliation/involvement and the circumstances of the activity, the University may have limited authority or ability to address concerns from participating students. Students should independently examine the integrity and safety of any off-campus sites or organizations in which they intend to participate. In situations where concerns do arise, the University will attempt to assist students to the extent reasonably possible under the circumstances. The University encourages students to report immediately any instances of harassing, discriminatory or criminal conduct, or other occurrences or conditions of concern arising during the course of any such activities, to (as applicable) the St. Lawrence program supervisor, site supervisor, employer and/or the University’s Title IX Coordinator, Lisa Cania, lcania@stlawu.edu, 315-229-5656.