Eligibility, Requirements and Expectations
Community Fellowships are paid academic-year internships with the CBL Program. Fellows are driven, community-minded students who develop citizenship, advocacy and non-profit career skills through year-long projects with area community partners that advance social justice, education and community development aims. Students make a significant commitment to supporting community partnership projects, and in exchange, are given valuable responsibilities, leadership roles, and learning opportunities.
Eligibility for Fellow and Mentor Positions
- Applicants must have taken a CBL course (at MHC or locally at another of the Five Colleges) or held a significant volunteer or work-study leadership position with an area community organization
- Applicants must be eligible for Mount Holyoke College employment
- Applicants for CBL positions cannot hold another concurrent campus job. Fellows are expected to commit fully to their community partner, and cannot risk exceeding the College's annual earnings limit ($2100). In special circumstances, responsibilities do not require a full-time position, in which case exceptions may be made. But as a rule, all students should consider their CBL position as their exclusive paid employment and first priority. CBL Mentors and Admin Fellows are also expected to commit fully to their roles, but it is also common that this role may not require the full-time obligation.
- Applicants must be in their first year, sophomore or junior year. Students entering their first semester of senior year will be considered only if they are selected and endorsed by a community partner with whom they are already working in some capacity (e.g. from a summer internship, volunteer, CBL course, or work-study project). Second-semester seniors may serve as CBL Mentors, but cannot apply for paid fellowships. All students are welcome to explore other credit-bearing (unpaid) independent study projects as appropriate.
Position Requirements for Fellows and Mentors
- Fellows and Mentors commit 6-10 hours per week to community organizations/projects, CBL course support, and/or other CBL Program administrative duties
- Fellows and Mentors contribute to initiatives and projects of all CBL Program staff, participate in community-building trainings/orientations, lunch and reflection meetings, events, and represent the CBL Program on- and off-campus as needed
- Community Fellows and Mentors contribute to monthly postings on social media sites (e.g the CBL Blog and Facebook pages), and write reflections to share with other fellows or the Director about project experiences
Specific Position Requirements for Fellows
- Enroll in 2-credit CBL Program Courses: (CUSP 202) Networking, Reflection and Meaning (Fall); and CUSP 203: Integrating Learning, Service And Social Action (Spring)
- Must complete a Community Fellow Learning Agreement with their community partner, which sets out placement expectations including scheduling, project aims and methods
- Commit to a two-semester placement (this can be two non-consecutive semesters, as may be needed to accommodate study abroad, by mutual agreement with the community partner).
Specific Position Requirements for Mentors
- Participate in a program of ongoing professional development including workshops, trainings, and reflection sessions
- Must complete a CBL Mentor Agreement with their supervising faculty member, which sets out mentorship roles and expectations, including schedules and responsibilities
- Commit to supporting a CBL course for the fall and/or spring semester
Expectations for Fellows and Mentors
- Fellows and Mentors carry out their CBL placements with the highest levels of professionalism, responsibility, and reliability
- Fellows and Mentors are expected to contribute to a vibrant campus network of community-based learners, as active participants of the CBL community
- Fellows and Mentors are expected to maintain consistent and thorough communications with CBL Program staff. It is vital that CBL staff be aware of and are consulted on initiatives taken by Fellows and Mentors involving other campus and community partners and resources
- Fellows and Mentors commit to providing clear and substantial documentation regarding their projects to their community partners and to the CBL Program at the close of their projects. This aspect is a critical component of the Fellows’/Mentors’ commitment to reciprocity and ethical practice in community-based learning
How Can I Become a Community Fellow?
CBL Fellow positions are awarded on a highly selective basis to students who consult with the CBL Coordinator and staff from community organizations. Students become fellows by:
- Developing their own project/partnership with a community organization, through a course or independent study project, a work-study position, a CAUSE or other community service relationship
- Discussing continuation of community-based learning activities following a CBL course
- Responding to a position announcement from the CBL Program seeking fellows to meet specified community partner needs
The CBL Program assists students to develop Community Fellowship applications for 2013-14 during March and April. The deadline for applications is April 22, 2013 at 5pm. Prospective fellows should start by meeting with Assistant CBL Coordinator Angelica Castro (mailto:email@example.com) by early April before proceeding with an application.
Applications must include:
- A Community Fellow/Mentor Application Form
- A Faculty Reference Form
- A Community Organization Letter of Support Form
All of the above forms and further instructions are available on the CBL website
For more information, visit the CBL Program online: