Introduction to the CESP Blog

Welcome, Scholars, to the Community Engagement Scholars Program Blog!

We at the Community Service Learning Center hope that this blog will be utilized fully, as it is a great tool for building community within the Scholars Program. It will serve as a space to publicize and discuss topics and reflections related to community work, and give voice to scholars who would like to share their experiences with their peers and learn from one another!

We hope that each of you will come back regularly for updates to the blog - to post your own topics, comment on others, and create a discussion space.

If you would like to post things to the blog, please send them to, explaining that you would like your assignment posted to the blog (unless it is "Curator of Images," "Create a Video Documentary," or "Write a Blog Post," in which case they will automatically be posted when you send them.

We know that there is a lot of hateful speech out there - the internet can be an awful place for someone to share their ideas - especially when the writer is anonymous. We ask that you be courteous in your criticism of other ideas. Offer constructive feedback, instead of negative and snide commentary: i.e. "This sucks." Please keep in mind that, even though you think your idea is better, it is always best to engage and wrestle with something than to have a knee-jerk reaction (unless, of course, that "thing" is a pack of wolves, in which case it is probably better to climb a tree than to "engage" with them - a rare exception though.) That being said, comments are not anonymous, and we do not allow the use of "screen names" - if you have a comment, please own it and be willing and able to defend it using reasonable argument.

Now - We'll stop being a Debbie-Downer, and say that we all are very excited to have this blog available for use by all of the Scholars! It is a great way to help you all engage with not only one another, but with people in general.

Peace, and happy postings!

CESP Peer Advisors

Welcome to CESP!

Program Basics

The Scholars Program is open to all degree-seeking undergraduate students at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. To enroll, you must have at least four semesters (two years) left before graduating. We encourage you to enroll as early as possible.

Official Recognition:

* A certificate of recognition from the University of Minnesota

* Community Engagement Scholar notation on your official academic transcript

* Acknowledgement of your accomplishment listed in the commencement program

* A cord of distinction to be worn at commencement

* A special recognition reception honoring Scholars Program participants

Additional Benefits:

* Structured approach to making a difference in the community

* Opportunities to connect with other students, community organizations, faculty, and staff

* Quality skills development including critical thinking, decision making, flexibility, and intercultural competency

* Opportunity to design and actively participate in your undergraduate course work

* Career exploration and development

Program Requirements

1. Attend a Workshop for New Scholars - Meet other students in the Scholars Program and have discussions regarding community work and its implications for both you and the community.

2. Meetings with Advisors - Meet with a Scholars Program advisor twice. Once to review your Ethic of Service Assignment, and once for your midpoint advising - halfway through the program.

3. 400 community engagement hours - Perform 400 hours of community engagement addressing social issues and community needs throughout your undergraduate career at the University of Minnesota. Community engagement includes direct, indirect, research, and advocacy experiences.

4. 6 reflections on community engagement experiences - Complete a total of six themed Reflections throughout fulfilling the 400 Community Engagement hour requirement. Scholars Program advisors are available to discuss the variety of ways that you can approach completing this requirement. Options include, but are not limited to: written reflections, group reflection sessions (RAP sessions), creative projects, and presentations. Themes include: Ethic of Service, Diversity, Power and Privelege, Integration and Contextualization, Sense of Self, Agency, and Collaboration and Community Building.

5. 8 credits of service-learning course work- Choose from a variety of designated service-learning courses or explore alternatives to designated courses.

6. Integrative Community Engagement Project (ICEP) and Seminar - Choose a project to be completed for a community organization. This project should be based on your academic interests and done in response to a community-identified need. The process of planning for and completing the ICEP requires you to participate in a one-credit ICEP Seminar, meet periodically with your ICEP Advisory Team, and complete a 5-page ICEP Summary paper.

To learn more about the Community Engagement Scholars Program or how to enroll, register for and attend a Scholars Program Info Session! Info Sessions are offered frequently throughout Fall and Spring semesters each school year. You'll learn all the details of the program, have plenty of time to ask questions, and can decide if it's a good fit for you. After attending, you'll be able to enroll.

Please click here to see the Community Service Learning Center's website for dates and times of CESP Info Sessions and to sign up.

Check back early and often for more updates to the blog regarding interesting happenings and reflections regarding community engagement.


CESP Peer Advisers.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.


  • Events
  • How To Use Blog!
  • Program Basics
  • RAP Sessions
  • Reflections
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