Drexel Community Collaborators (DCC)
After a two-year hiatus, the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement is beyond excited to begin accepting applicants for the newly minted Drexel Community Collaborators (DCC), a revised and expanded version of Lindy Center’s pioneer program, Drexel Community Scholars. This community-based student engagement program provides students the opportunity to work in collaboration with a local non-profit community organization based on eligibility, interest, and availability. Focusing on direct and/or indirect service projects; positions range in scope but may include duties such as tutoring elementary school youth, serving meals to homeless individuals, or providing administrative support through projects focused on capacity building and/or sustainability.
Students may participate in DCC multiple times throughout their academic career, collaborating with one or more community partner. Students will have the option to participate as either an Ambassador for a single term, or a Scholar for two consecutive terms, based on eligibility.
Drexel Community Collaborator - Ambassadors (DCC-A):
Ambassadors collaborate with a partnering community organization whose mission interests or inspires them by providing structured, regularly scheduled in person or hybrid service hours over the course of a single term. Participants are required to attend one orientation per academic year, serve 5 – 15 hours per week, and submit biweekly reflections. There is no limit to the number of terms a student can participate in the program.
Drexel Community Collaborator - Scholars (DCC-S):
Scholars are members of a civic engagement cohort that provides students the opportunity to learn, engage, and reflect on social issues and the systems that perpetuate them through direct and indirect service placements at local nonprofit organizations in conjunction with a dynamic workshop series aimed at deepening their understanding of responsible civic engagement and social action. Scholars commit to two consecutive terms of structed, regularly scheduled hours of in person or hybrid service and are required to attend an in-person orientation, serve 5 – 15 hours per week, monthly workshops, and submit reflections. There is no limit to the number of times a student can participate in the program.
Who is eligible for the program?
Any currently matriculated Drexel student can be an Ambassador. We accept the full range of first-year undergraduate students through masters and PHD students. Intended as an entry point into civic engagement work, and opportunity to explore their civic identities, participating students must be able to commit to submit biweekly reflections along with their sitework for a single term.
Drexel undergraduate students who have completed CIVIC 101, or graduate and PHD students with a comparable exposure to a Community-Based learning pedagogy are encouraged to participate as Scholars. Based on a cohort model, Scholars are expected not only to commit to collaborating with their community partner, but also to exploring their civic identities, engaging in learning and conversations around models of social action and change through a series of monthly workshops, submitting biweekly reflections, and participating in community building activities over the course of two consecutive terms.
How are students selected?
Step 1: Complete the online application.
Step 2: Schedule an interview with the Lindy Center to take place within one week of receiving your confirmation email.
Step 3: If selected, the Lindy Center will provide the next steps for completion of the hiring and placement processes.
How am I matched with a community partner site?
Each term, the program confirms new and existing listings with our community partner placement sites. New students are given access to the complete list of options and asked to rank their top five choices based on interest, availability, and location. General placement themes could 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 a notification will be sent to each student and their site supervisor with an introduction and proposed schedule. Returning Ambassadors 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 community partner site?
All of our community partners provide us with a detailed description of their DCC position(s). These can vary greatly depending on the organization. Non-profit organizations have many of the same needs as for-profit businesses, in addition to fundraising and responding to crises that may arise in their community. Positions may be direct service in nature (ie- tutoring youth, serving meals) and/or what we call capacity building and sustainability focused or “behind the scenes” work. 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 community partners go through an application process to be a recognized placement 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, ever-changing nature of the life of a Drexel University student, DCC provides students two levels of participation to choose from based on what type of experience they are looking for. Once accepted, Collaborators are welcome, and encouraged, to participate again during any future term of the current academic year.
Ambassadors are required to commit to a single term at their placement, attend one orientation (per academic year), and submit biweekly reflections through the Drexel Community Collaborators Microsoft Team.
Scholars are required to commit to two consecutive terms, in line with the standard co-op schedule, and be active participants in their cohort through attending an in-depth orientation, workshop series, and submission of biweekly reflections through the Drexel Community Collaborators Microsoft Team.
Are there opportunities to be paid?
Yes! Students who have Federal Work Study funding may utilize funding for this position. 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. We do not currently have any non-Federal Work Study student employment opportunities but hope to provide a limited number of paid DCC positions in the near future.
How do I keep track of hours?
All students, regardless of pay status, are required to track their hours using Galaxy which will then be confirmed and approved by their site supervisor. Hours must be submitted on a biweekly basis, every other Friday. Work-study eligible students are also required to submit electronic timesheets through the Drexel One portal. Regular reminders will be provided via the DCC Microsoft Team for convenience. The program tracks all hours and can give students a report if needed for other reasons.
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/learning outcomes?
In addition to supporting the non-profit community of Philadelphia, meeting like-minded Drexel students, and becoming an integral part of the Lindy Community at large; through this unique experience participants can expect the following outcomes based on their chosen level of participation:
- Explore their personal civic identity.
- Develop a greater capacity for empathy, learning to relate more deeply to and appreciate people with lived experiences different from their own.
- Experience the personal benefits of forming reciprocal relationships in one's community, including joy, fulfillment, and well-being.
- Practice self-reflection and self- motivated learning
- Develop and expand their aptitude and understanding of civic engagement.
In addition to the benefits and outcomes listed above, Scholars can expect to:
- Clarify and articulate their personal civic identity.
- Develop deep and meaningful relationships with and understanding of non-profit organizations and the communities and people they serve.
- Increase their self-reflection, leadership, and collaboration skills.
- Practice professionalism and gain experiences needed to work in a variety of settings.
- Increase their knowledge and understanding of the dynamics that privilege and power play in creating both access and barriers within communities.
- Strengthen their ability to identify and analyze complicated social issues and connect symptoms and the systems that create and perpetuate them.
What are the expectations?
Ambassador and Scholar Expectations:
- Reporting and Communication: DCC 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.
- Scheduling: It's expected that all DCC will serve between 5-15 hours per week at their site. Please work out any scheduling changes, days off, and absences with your site supervisor. DCS workshops held in the fall term will be scheduled based on the availability provided during the application process and confirmed at orientation; winter term workshops will be scheduled based on availability and confirmed prior to the first day of the new term.
- Reporting Time on Galaxy: All DCC will be required to report onsite hours via Galaxy following the biweekly schedule provided by the Lindy Center. It is the responsibility of each student to confirm with their site supervisor that tracked hours have been approved by their designated deadline.
- Reporting Time Electronically (work study only): Federal Work Study funds, you must also report your hours electronically through Drexel One on the same biweekly schedule applied to Galaxy tracking. Failure to submit hours on time will result in delayed payment.
- Representation: Please keep in mind that you are not only representing Drexel University at your placement site, but also yourselves. It is expected that you will be punctual for your shifts with a positive attitude, open mind, and good intentions. Your site supervisor reserves the right to inform the Lindy Center of performance issues including termination from role.
- Be Part of our Team: All DCC participants are invited to attend any of the Lindy Center’s regularly scheduled events, as well as a number of community building events tailored specifically for our Drexel Community Collaborators throughout the term. Please join us!
Community Partner Expectations:
- Post all DCC approved positions on their organization’s Galaxy page by deadlines provided by the Lindy Center
- Sign-off on hours logged by your DCC on Galaxy, biweekly on Fridays, following a schedule provided prior to the start of the term.
- Sign the Community Partner Contract, and Site Supervisor Agreement.
- Liaise with your DCC to coordinate a weekly schedule and any necessary adjustments once an initial schedule is identified.
- Provide your DCC with orientation and training on or prior to their first day onsite.
- Provide daily supervision and clear duties.
- Liaise with Lindy Center for Civic Engagement to provide feedback when asked, included completion of satisfaction and feedback surveys.
Lindy Center Commitment:
The Lindy Center bases the success of the DCC program on the satisfaction of all participants and is committed to providing DCC and community participants with the resources and support needed to meet the expectations outlined above to the best of their abilities. Lindy commits to treating all participants with dignity and respect through:
- Practicing honest, thoughtful, direct, and timely communication.
- Providing regular opportunities for feedback to be used as a resource for the future direction of the program.
- Placing value on the unique set of skills and lived experiences of each participant.
- Honoring the individual and collective boundaries and capacity of participants.
- Investing in the development and growth of participants by providing continued opportunities for engagement with campus partners, including serving as a liaison to the Office of University and Community Partnerships.
Reach out to the Lindy Center via email to LindyCenter@drexel.edu.
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