Community Service Learning with the Scholars Academy

Since 2009, Propellus has been pleased to offer Community Service Learning as a way for our members to help strengthen their organizations.

Community Service Learning, sponsored by Cenovus Energy Inc., is an innovative partnership between post secondary institutions, students, and our members, that allows for non-profit organizations to get much needed expertise that they may not otherwise have the resources to access; and for students to gain real-world, hands-on experience in their field.

This year, Propellus has added a new partnership at the University of Calgary – but it is not a traditional class, it is the Scholars Academy.

The Scholars Academy is a program for the University of Calgary’s best and brightest undergraduates. Their vision is to ensure the University’s most outstanding undergraduate students are supported to achieve their fullest potential.

The Scholars Academy students strive for major national and international graduate scholarship, research, or professional opportunities.

To that end, students from the Scholars Academy are tasked with taking on a project and seeing it come to fruition.

Scholars Academy student cohort groups are looking for projects that will give students the capacity to work in the areas of: strategic planning, evaluation, research, presentations and workshops and written materials (brochures, articles, web content, and social media campaigns).

“We are seeking projects that can utilize the skills scholars possess and enable them to also build relationships with diverse populations while using their thinking and problem solving skills,” says Dr. Jessica Cohen, Scholars Academy Coordinator.

The projects that the Scholars Academy is looking for are exactly the projects that the Calgary non-profit community has a need to see fulfilled.

“Scholars Academy brings to an organization students who are not only at the top of their class but have a history of leadership and research experience. Therefore, these students are astute and motivated to bring the highest quality of work to any project,” says Cohen.

The Scholars Academy also brings diversity to the table. Cohort groups are large, and an organization can expect to have up to 16 people, with varying backgrounds working on a project.

“The challenge and often success of the projects is the fact that they are from all disciplines at different points in their academic career,” says Cohen. “Ideas generated from students studying business, nursing or fine arts produce rich and unique perspectives that contribute to each project’s accomplishment.”

Scholars Academy students have extensive leadership backgrounds, they volunteer extensively, have started their own businesses, founded successful non-profits and represented Canada in sporting events.

“They [the scholars] already have extensive experience engaging in projects, from designing surveys to the presentation of findings,” says Cohen. “More importantly, they represent the student voice and can provide the expertise, opinions and ideas of their colleagues.”

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