Each year Mount Royal University (MRU) undergraduates contribute knowledge and skills toward developing sustainable solutions for community organizations. They apply their education to complex issues through Community Service Learning (CSL) projects. This approach to learning deepens students’ awareness of pressing issues, giving them the opportunity to earn academic credit while benefiting a community partner.
CSL is different from traditional volunteer work in that its focus is not only on providing a service but also on learning. The focus of CSL is different from co-ops, internships or practica, with an emphasis on providing concrete service to community agencies while developing student skills, self-awareness, professional capabilities, and sense of commitment to society.
The MRU Academic Plan encourages high impact teaching practices and community engagement. CSL courses offer students the opportunity to make a positive impact in Calgary and global communities through hands-on experience.
Community Service Learning at Mount Royal
MRU recognizes CSL as a high impact teaching practice that offer students the opportunity to make a positive impact in local and global communities through course based hands-on experience. Professors at MRU have employed CSL as a teaching pedagogy for more than twenty years through community based projects where students apply academic theories and processes. Community organizations work with professors to develop deep learning experiences that address real-world challenges and opportunities. In an effort to recognize student engagement MRU developed a CSL Citation in 2013 that is recorded as a co-curricular record in student transcripts.
The Citation demonstrates that a student has significantly integrated CSL into their postsecondary education by completing three courses for a minimum of nine credits that employ community engagement. CSL designated courses entail at least twenty hours of community service, and are worth at least 15% of each course grade. Some courses entail CSL projects worth 100% of the course grade and over 100 hours of project work.
MRU is a leading Canadian university for CSL practice. We have exceeded our goal for student involvement of 25% or more of the student body participating in CSL each year. Our students provided more than 298,000 hours of community service during the 2015-2016 year, through 44 courses (some with 14 sections per annum), for more than 475 partners.
CSL courses are offered across the disciplines, and are available in every faculty. Almost 300 students received the CSL Citation when they graduated in June 2016, including every graduate in the Nursing, Public Relations, Information Design, and Child Studies programs. CSL is supported by the Academic Development Centre regarding curriculum design, research, and development of CSL designated courses.
CSL courses, partnership development, and faculty support are coordinated by Victoria Calvert, the CSL Victoria Calvert through the Academic Development Centre (ADC). Learn more by visiting the Students, Faculty, Community Partner pages, or contact us through the Contact page.