Canadian Alliance for Community Service-Learning

The Canadian Alliance for Community Service-Learning (CACSL) supports, educates and networks to ensure the effective growth of CSL in Canada. Our vision is students, educators and communities learning and working together to strenghten individuals and society.

Vision

Students, educators and communities building partnerships to learn from each other while working together in innovative ways to strengthen individuals, communities and society.

Mission

CACSL is a national alliance established to support the active participation of students, educators and communities in community service-learning (CSL) by:

  • providing resources and support to CSL practitioners in the post-secondary and non-profit sectors across Canada
  • supporting local, regional, national and international networks of individuals and organizations involved in CSL practice and research
  • investigating, celebrating, promoting and strengthening promising, community-centred CSL practices which contribute to positive social change
  • advocating for CSL in Canadian post-secondary institutions as a complement to existing teaching, learning, and research and as a means of deepening and broadening inquiry through collaborative community engagement
  • advocating for the integration of CSL into planning and practices within organizations in Canada’s non-profit sector, as a complement to their own existing strategies to educate on social issues, implement programs and manage resources

Values

  • CACSL believes community service-learning is a powerful form of experiential learning and community-university engagement.
  • CACSL believes that informed engagement, through participation in activities focused upon community-identified issues, contributes to community and regional development and is an avenue to achieve social, environmental, and economic justice.
  • CACSL encourages effective communication between, and active participation of, all CSL partners in decisions about the planning, development, and evaluation of individual CSL programs and of CACSL itself.
  • CACSL understands that reflective research and inquiry into the processes and effectiveness of CSL are crucial to its becoming an integral part of academic and community learning.
  • CACSL encourages the effective and creative application of CSL research to further enhance CSL practice
  • CACSL recognizes and respects multiple ways of knowing (e.g. academic knowledge, community-based knowledge, indigenous knowledge) and believes they are complementary and mutually reinforcing.
  • CACSL values the sharing of resources, knowledge, and information; clear, inclusive communication; creative collaboration; and meaningful partnerships with stakeholders from all sectors: educational institutions, community organizations, students, the private sector, and individuals.
  • CACSL values open and inclusive communication and policies that are respectful of diversity and responsive to differences in race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, language, and ability.