Drexel Community Scholars
Drexel Community Scholars (DCS) is a student leadership program within the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement. Upon acceptance in the program, Drexel Community Scholars 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 or providing administrative support to a local community organization.
Students may serve on a volunteer basis or through the Federal Work Study program. Once students are enrolled in the program, they are given access to the Lindy Center’s student leadership opportunities such as workshops, professional development and community of practice groups. All Drexel Community Scholars are expected to become active participants in the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement, West Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia community by developing their leadership skills through program engagement and volunteer service.
Drexel Community Scholars Expectations
Must have taken the Lindy Center’s introductory CB-EL course, Civc 101 and received a satisfactory grade of C or higher.
Interest and willingness to participate in Drexel Community Scholars learning opportunities and workshops.
Commitment to placement site opportunities through volunteer hours, reflection activities and site communications.
One reflection per term about placement site experiences.
Accurate volunteer hours logging in Galaxy and/or Drexel One.
Attendance at one Lindy Center for civic engagement workshop, service learning, or engagement activity
Participate in one Drexel Community Scholars onboarding training per year
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 list of volunteer placement options on Drexel's Civic Engagement Database and asked to rank their top five choices based on interest, availability, and location. The placements can be fully remote, hybrid or in-person. If students select in-person or hybrid, they must be fully vaccinated to attend their volunteer shifts. 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 recreation, technology, tutoring and mentoring, and youth. The program will match students accordingly and an email will be sent to the student and placement site with an introduction to the placement site supervisor.
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 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!
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 digital log of their hours in the civic engagement database. Hours must be submitted for approval on a biweekly basis. 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.
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?
- Knowledge and deep engagement with the non-profit community
- Deepened knowledge about a specific cause and the access to learn more about it.
- Excellent resume builder and talking point for interviews
- Improved interpersonal skills
- Federal Work Study funding for eligible students
Drexel Community Scholars Partner Information
Placement Site Expectations
- Approve the volunteer service hours logged by student on Drexel Galaxy Digital.
- Maintain an updated profile in our civic engagement database.
- $0 financial commitment
- Sign work study off-campus agreement if student is using funding
- Liaise with your volunteer DCS to coordinate changes to weekly schedule once initial schedule is identified
- Attend or actively participate in the biannual partnership meetings to meet other community organizations and give feedback
- Provide daily supervision and clear duties
- Liaise with Lindy Center for Civic Engagement to provide feedback when asked
Questions about the program?
Please email, Celeste Sumo attn: DCS program
Assistant Director, Civic Engagement and Operations