St. Thomas More College offers students a variety of opportunities to engage with the larger community both locally and internationally through the Engaged Learning Office.
Hear more about the work that goes on!
Service and Justice Project (SJP)
This co-curricular program allows students to gain valuable volunteer experience, serve real community needs, and reflect on those experiences in a supportive environment. Every year, up to 30 students are able to participate.
- Volunteer Placement
Students volunteer an average of two hours per week in the community (16 to 20 hours per term). At the beginning of the school year, interested students meet with a member of the Engaged Learning Office to select a community placement that is relevant to the student’s interests, and is also serving a real community need. The Engaged Learning Office has a variety of different placement options, but with the office’s approval, students can also choose to volunteer with other organization.
- Reflection Sessions
Students are required to attend two reflection sessions each term. These small group discussions, led by mentors, allow students to talk about their volunteer experiences in a supportive environment, think critically about their own assumptions, and connect those back to larger issues of community, solidarity, subsidiarity, and the common good.
- Community Suppers
Students attend four community suppers throughout the year. These suppers are an opportunity to meaningfully connect with community partners, discuss pertinent social and moral issues, and get to know your fellow SJP-ers better.
Financial Support for Service & Justice Students
Les and Irene Dubé Service & Justice Scholarship
Each year there are up to 12 Dubé Scholars. These are first year students who have been selected by their own high schools due to their commitment to community service. These students are awarded $2,000 scholarships, endowed by the generous benefactors of STM's Community Service-Learning Program, Les and Irene Dubé.
Les and Irene Dubé Service & Justice Award
St. Thomas More College recognizes that many students have employment commitments which may limit their ability to spend time volunteering. To enable any interested student to participate in the SJP, STM offers a limited number of awards of varying amount. To be eligible for this award, students must be enrolled in at least 3 credit units at St. Thomas More College.
What students say about the SJP
I volunteered with SWITCH, Ronald McDonald House, and Best Buddies as part of the Service and Justice Project, and later continued my involvement in the program as a student mentor. SJP provided me with opportunities to learn outside the classroom and take to heart concepts that I was exploring both in the program and in my university classes. I was challenged to reflect on what I was doing and why - What kind of impact was I having on those I was serving and how were their friendships and their stories changing me? What unique barriers and challenges did they face? Why had I taken those things for granted? Learning about the Social Determinants of Health and health equity from a grassroots level helped shape my perception of the accountability doctors have in our society. As a medical student, these experiences and reflections will be invaluable to me.
- Jessica Froehlich, STM graduate and first-year med student
Community Service-Learning in STM Classes
Students can participate in Community Service-Learning as part of their academic program in a variety of courses.
Students are paired with a community organization relevant to the class they are taking, and are given an alternative set of assignments that engage with their volunteer experience. The Engaged Learning Office has many community partners that students can work with, but students are also able to work with a community partner of their choosing, as long as they have approval from the Engaged Learning Office and their professor.
For more information about which STM courses will have CSL options, please contact Caitlin Ward.
Given the current global climate, STM has not yet made a decision concerning the viability of study abroad for spring 2023.
Not Offered Spring 2022
There is no better way to understand the Spanish of Latin Americans than by traveling to Latin America yourself! This St. Thomas More College study abroad offers students the unique opportunity to learn about Latin American Spanish by traveling to communities in and around la Cordillera de Talamanca, the interior mountain range in Panama.
Using an experiential learning model, this 3 credit unit course will help students understand the colonial history and contemporary reality of the Spanish language in Latin America. Rather than working in a classroom in Panama, students take the majority of this course’s instruction in Saskatoon for 3 weeks with Dr. Allison Smith. Students then immerse themselves in the language and culture of interior Panama for 2 weeks, living with families in the town of Santa Fe. Students will meet with some of the founders of La Cooperativa La Esperanza de Los Campesinos, observe small-scale sustainable sugar, coffee, and rice production, and drink coffee that was grown and roasted within walking distance of the house in which they are staying.
To learn more, visit the Panama Field Study program page.
TBD for Spring 2022
Develop an understanding and appreciation of Ukrainian language and culture through this study abroad experience! This five-week full-immersion program accelerates students’ learning of the language while also introducing them to the culture of Western Ukraine.
Students attend Ukrainian language classes on weekdays at Ternopil National Pedagogical University, with regular tutorials to develop students’ comprehension and spoken language skills. Students stay with host families who live within easy traveling distance of the university, both to fully immerse themselves in Ukrainian culture and to accelerate their language skills. Students will also have opportunities to visit the mountains and villages surrounding the city of Ternopil, as well as take in the unique architecture of this historical city.
To learn more, visit the Spring Session in Ukraine program page.
Not offered in 2022
This 8-week immersive service-learning experience challenges assumptions about poverty, development, and culture by inviting students to live with and learn from communities in Dominican Republic, Ecuador, or Panama.
We invite students to live with host families and work in grassroots community organizations in one of these three countries: students can choose to live with campesino (peasant farmer) communities in the Cordillera Central (central mountain range) of Dominican Republic and work on tree-planting brigades or with coffee nurseries; students can live Indigenous Quechua families in the Ecuadorean Andes and work in community-run daycare centres, medical clinics, or in schools; students can also choose to live with campesino families in Santa Fe, Veraguas, Panamá and work with the town’s impressive cooperative, La Cooperativa La Esperanza de Los Campesinos, now nearly 50 years old.
Using a service-learning model, the Intercordia experience begins months before students actually depart! Students complete ENG 215.3 in the winter term to prepare them academically for the experience, and complete RLST 377.3 while abroad. Rather than learning in a classroom during spring term, however, students are invited to reflect upon concepts they learned in their winter-term class and see how they apply, or don’t apply, to their lived experience.
In addition to academic courses, students also participate in four co-curricular seminars that prepare them practically, philosophically, and emotionally. Upon returning to Canada, students also participate in a 2-day reintegration seminar to help them process their experiences in a supportive environment.
To learn more, visit the Intercordia program page.
The Engaged Learning Office partners with a variety of community-based organizations, locally, nationally, and internationally! Our students work with these groups in many ways, whether they are offering support to existing programs or developing new projects.
National and International Partners
Canadian Roots Exchange (Canada)
La Federación de Campesinos Hacía El Progreso (Dominican Republic)
Fundación Reto Internacional (Ecuador)
Ternopil Pedagogical University (Ukraine)
Are you interested in becoming a partner of the STM Engaged Learning Office?
We are always interested in exploring new partnerships with organizations who work with marginalized communities. If you are interested in finding volunteers through STM programs, we’d like to hear from you! There are a couple of things we would like you to know:
National and International Partners
We’re happy to have a conversation about prospective national and international partnerships. However, since education abroad and immersive service-learning is resource-intensive, please know that we rarely take on new national or international partners!
Most of our local programming requires that students volunteer an average of two hours per week in the community. This does not have to be an exact two hour shift every week, but we would like students to have a regular volunteering commitment throughout the term that adds up to roughly 20 hours. We find generally that it is best for both students and community partners if students have a regular weekly commitment.
With some exceptions, our programs run for an average of two and a half months: from late September to early December, and from late January to early April. Though some students do stay on to volunteer past this commitment, we can’t guarantee it. Because we do volunteer intake in September and January, the best times to get in touch with us to explore a prospective partnership are August and November.
If you are interested in partnering with the Engaged Learning Office, please get in touch with the Manager of Engaged and Experiential Learning, Caitlin Ward.
Engaged Learning Fund
The Engaged Learning Fund is not available for the 2021-22 year.
St. Thomas More College is committed to providing its students with opportunities for community engagement throughout their undergraduate experience. The Engaged Learning Office manages academic community service-learning, the extracurricular Service & Justice Project, and various study abroad programs.
In addition to these programs administered through STM, students have a variety of opportunities to participate in extracurricular community engagement projects and events, such as solidarity trips, UN Study Sessions on social justice issues, or Saskatoon events with a social justice theme. With that in mind, the Engaged Learning Office established the Engaged Learning Fund to help offset the cost of non-college specific CSL-related experiences.
St. Thomas More College students are invited to apply to the Engaged Learning Fund at any time throughout the year. We consider the following criteria in deliberating over applications:
- The event/project has a clearly defined social justice and/or service-learning component.
- The event/project must harmonize with if not implicitly promote STM’s Catholic mission.
- The event/project will be beneficial to the student, to STM, and/or to the larger community.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact the Manager of Engaged & Experiential Learning at email@example.com
MCC Seminar in Ottawa
The Engaged Learning Office is not able to support students attending the MCC Seminar for the 2021-22 year.
Canadian Roots Exchange
The Engaged Learning Office is not able to support students attending Canada Roots Exchange for the 2021-22 year.