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Drexel Community Scholars

Drexel Community Scholars (DCS) is a student leadership program within the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement. DCS provide 5-15 hours per week of either direct service or capacity building to a non-profit organization. Positions range in scope but may include duties such as tutoring elementary school youth, serving meals to homeless individuals or providing administrative support. In addition to their work at their placement sites, DCS engage in leadership development and team-building activities. Students may serve on a volunteer basis or through the Federal Work Study program. 

Please review the following Frequently Asked Questions if you’re interested in joining the team in future terms. 

Who is eligible for the program? 

Every student at Drexel University is eligible to join the program. We have the full range of first-year undergraduate students through masters and PhD students. Students represent a wide variety of academic disciplines, incoming skill sets, and specific civic engagement interests. The program is truly a microcosm of the university at large. 


How are students selected? 

Step 1: Complete the DCS application online. 

Step 2: One of the Lead Drexel Community Scholars students will reach out to you to schedule a one-on-one meeting. 

Step 3: Meet with a Lead DCS. 

Step 4: The Lead DCS will either recommend you to the Lindy Center team or your application will be deferred to another term. 

Step 5: If accepted, the Lindy Center team will send you next steps for placement. 


How am I matched with a non-profit placement site? 

Each term, the program confirms new and existing listings with the non-profit placement sites. New students are given the complete list of 75+ options and asked to rank their top five choices based on interest, availability, and location. General placement themes include animals, arts and culture, community development, education, environment and conservation, health, homelessness and hunger, human and civil rights, media and communication, seniors, sports and recreationtechnologytutoring and mentoringand youthThe program will match students accordingly and an email will be sent to the student and placement site with an introduction and proposed schedule. For future terms, students are asked to complete a form around Week 8 of the current term indicating if they’d like to stay at their current site, switch sites, or take the term off for co-op, study abroad, course load, etc.  


What will I be doing at my non-profit placement site? 

All of our non-profit placement partners supply us with description of work. These vary greatly depending on the needs of the organization. Many are direct service in nature (ie- tutoring youth, serving meals) and others are what we call capacity building or “behind the scenes.” You may wish to do something tied to your major (example- social media for a communications major) or simply something you’re passionate about! When ranking your choices, please carefully review the description of work and any requirements.


Can I serve somewhere not on the list? 

Yes and no. Our non-profit placement sites go through an application process to a recognized site. That said, perhaps a non-profit you’re already connected to would want to join the team! We always welcome referrals, but can’t make a guarantee. 


What is the commitment? 

Understanding the fast-paced, every-changing nature of the life of a Drexel University student, we ask that students commit to just one full term at a time. Once you’re accepted, you can serve for any terms you like! There is never a need to reapply to the program.  


Are there opportunities to be paid? 

Yes! Students who have Federal Work Study funding may utilize funding for this position. We do not have any student employment opportunities. Note that students may not have two work study positions at the same time but can have a work study and a student employment with another department if they don’t exceed 20 hours per week. 


How do I keep track of hours? 

All students, regardless of pay status, are asked to keep a paper “hours verification form” to be signed by the non-profit placement site at each shift. These are due to the Lindy Center every other Friday. The program tracks all hours and can give students a report if needed for other reasons. Paid students are also asked to submit electronic time-sheets through the Drexel One portal. Students who serve 100+ volunteer hours (work study not eligible) in the July-June period will receive either the President’s Volunteer Service Award or the Global Volunteer Service Award depending on citizenship status. 


How does travel work? 

We recognize that it takes a commitment to travel off campus, particularly for sites in North or South Philadelphia. For students who are serving on a volunteer basis, free SEPTA passes are available for pick-up at the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement anytime Monday through Friday from 9am-5pm. Students who are utilizing Federal Work Study funding are not eligible for SEPTA passes; however, they may include travel time in their paid hours. 


What are the benefits? 

  • Support the non-profit community of Philadelphia 
  • Learn about a specific cause 
  • Excellent resume builder and talking point for interviews 
  • Federal Work Study funding for eligible students 
  • President’s Volunteer Service Award or Global Volunteer Service Award for students volunteering 100+ hours in a July-June period (volunteers only) 
  • Meet like-minded students and professional staff and enjoy some free meals 


What are the expectations? 


Student Expectations: 

  1. Reporting and Communication: You are expected to communicate regularly with both your placement site supervisor and the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement. We understand that life happens, but please COMMUNICATE! If you determine that you’re not able to continue with the program for any reason, please let both parties know as soon as possible. 
  2. Scheduling: It's expected that you serve between 5-15 hours per week at your site. Please work out any scheduling changes, days off, and absences with your placement supervisor.  
  3. Reporting Time on Paper (all students): You will be asked to keep a paper copy of the "DCS Hours Verification" Word document. At each shift, please ask your Placement Site Supervisor (or another staff member if applicable) to verify your hours. Feel free to come to the Lindy Center to print it. 
  4. Reporting Time Electronically (work study only): IF you are using Federal Work Study funds, you must also report your hours electronically through Drexel One. Note that all students are starting summer on a volunteer basis until work study funding is announced in late July. 
  5. Representation: Please keep in mind that you are representing Drexel University at all times. It is the expectation that you will be punctual for your shifts with a good attitude. Your placement supervisor reserves the right to inform the Lindy Center of performance issues including termination from role.  
  6. Be Part of our Team: We schedule team-building and leadership events for our Drexel Community Scholars throughout the term. Please join us! 


Placement Site Expectations 

  1. Sign-off on hours logged by student on “DCS Hours Verification Form”. You do not need to submit anything electronically. 
  2. $0 financial commitment 
  3. Sign work study off-campus agreement if student is using funding 
  4. Liaise with DCS to coordinate changes to weekly schedule once initial schedule is identified 
  5. Provide daily supervision and clear duties 
  6. Liaise with Lindy Center for Civic Engagement to provide feedback when asked 



Celeste Sumo

Assistant Director, Civic Engagement and Operations