CBL Faculty Resource Guide

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. Encourage students to think critically about their place within the complexity and diversity of the human experience and the natural world.

  3. Cultivate a habit of reflection in the context of civic engagement.

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. Their primary responsibilities include:

  • Trouble-shooting issues and relaying information pertaining to the CBL experience and/or general concerns to the appropriate constituents

For information on how students may apply to be a Community Mentor visit: Community Mentor Program

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. 

CBL Student Commitment Form

This on-line form replaces the contract and only outlines the CBL expectations of students while in placement.

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


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: Transportation For waivers: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 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: Attendance Policy

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.

For more info: Festivals

Other Resources: