CSL’s Role in Community-Campus Engagement

Where does CSL fit in the continuum of community engagement?

Universities and colleges play major roles in their community. Community campus engagement has many aspects:

  • Community engaged teaching, learning, and research otherwise known as community engaged scholarship
  • Community engaged activities/services
  • Knowledge mobilization
  • Community Membership

Community engaged scholarship such as community service-learning, community based research, co-op, internship, and extension programs encapsulate the learning  and research perspective.

Colleges and universities also engage with their community through the services they provide such as media contacts, speakers bureaus, experts listing, and so forth.

They affect the economic and social life of a community by their employment policies, purchasing and investment practices, and their openness to community use of facilities.

Post- secondary institutions are members of their community, and, often due to their size, have a major influence in their community. They can affect the economic and social life of a community by their employment policies, purchasing and investment practices, and their openness to community use of facilities.

Knowledge mobilization functions including co-creation, exchange, translation and dissemination of knowledge relate many of the other community engagement activities of post- secondary institutions.

 

Elements of Community Engagement

CSL is one aspect of community engaged scholarship allowing for opportunities for all aspects of knowledge mobilization. At its best, like other community engaged scholarship activities, it provides excellent opportunities for co-creation of knowledge meaningful for the community, the student, and the institution. Community engaged scholarship activities can result in knowledge co-creation, knowledge sharing, knowledge brokering, and lastly knowledge dissemination.

CSL and community based research are close kin with very similar principles. The main difference is that in community service-learning the focus is on providing whatever service the community needs, which can include research, but may also include other types of contribution to the work of the community agency. Co-op and internship programs tend to be longer term in nature and are often paid positions. Some institutions use CSL as a preparation for the longer term co-op placements.

More about other community engagement aspects :

Canadian Association for Co-op Education

Community Based Research Canada

Knowledge Mobilization Research Impact 

Canadian Association for Continuing Education

Association of Canadian University and Colleges Community Engagement

Colleges and Institutes Canada

Institutions role in community and economic development Democracy Collaborative