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What is Community Work-Study?

Community Work-Study (CWS) presents students with the opportunity to earn their financial aid awards (work-study) while working at local organizations in the Frogtown and Summit-University neighborhoods in St. Paul.

The program’s focus is to encourage students to serve as a bridge between the local organization and Bethel, enabling both to build on the varied resources of the other. Community organizations receive assistance from a college student approximately 10-20 hours per week. Students are paid $16.57 per hour.

Through community work-study, the Center for Community Engaged Learning provides students an opportunity to contribute to community change by dedicating significant collaborative time with neighborhood partners in advancing a local project. Students learn about community issues, develop new leadership skills, and build their professional network while expanding the capacity of a local organization. Throughout the semester students can attend forums and course presentations focusing on nonprofit issues, models of social change, and skill-building techniques. 

How Do Students Get Involved?

Step #1: Make sure that you are qualified for work-study.  If you don’t know, you can contact the Financial Aid department at

Step #2: If you qualify for work-study, look over the list of job descriptions and find a job that aligns with your passions and your schedule. 

Step #3: Once you have identified a job you are interested in interviewing for, complete the application for a community work-study position.


Once you have completed the community work-study application and interview process, the Bethel Center for Community Engaged Learning will connect you with the on-site supervisor of the position you applied for. The organization’s supervisor will schedule an interview with you.

If you have any questions, please contact the Center for Community Engaged Learning at  

Bethel University
Student Letter of Understanding

Dear Community Engaged Learning Bethel University Student:

On behalf of Bethel University, we want to welcome you into this dynamic learning experience. By taking a community engaged learning course you are entering into a learning experience that connects classroom content with real-life interactions and community knowledge. In order for you to successfully complete your community engaged learning experience, we kindly request that you review the following information.

Community Engaged Learning is the combination of academic coursework with carefully planned, meaningful service that provides direct benefits to the community. Each student will spend 25 hours throughout the semester working with a community organization. STUDENTS ARE REQUIRED TO START WORKING WITH THEIR COMMUNITY PARTNER WITHIN THE FIRST 4 WEEKS OF THE SEMESTER AND WORK WITH THAT SITE UNTIL THE LAST WEEK OF CLASS.  EVEN IF YOUR 25 HOURS ARE COMPLETED, YOU ARE EXPECTED TO SERVE AT YOUR SITE UNTIL THE END OF THE SEMESTER.      

 The goals of Community Engaged Learning are:

  •     To enhance classroom learning

  •     To provide direct service that benefits the community

  •     To promote civic responsibility and social justice

 As a Community Engaged Learning student you need to commit to the following:

  1. Complete the community engaged learning site application. (This must be done by the end of the second week of the semester.  If you fail to complete this application, your course grade will be negatively impacted.)

  2. Contact your placement agency to schedule orientation training. (This task must be completed by Monday of the 3rd week of classes. Your professor will introduce you to your site supervisor through an email at the end of the first week of class. It is your responsibility to follow up with that email.)

  3. Email the professor teaching your course to find out if there are any particular training sessions that all class members must participate in before you start your community engaged learning experience.

  4. Arrange for your own transportation to your site. (Your professor will share a list of other students serving at your site during a particular timeframe so that you can easily arrange to carpool.)

  5. Communicate regularly with your classroom instructor and site organization supervisor regarding questions, concerns, or learning needs.

  6. Complete reflections and assignments in the course syllabus.

  7. Each site supervisor will provide an individual evaluation of each student. Here is a copy of the Community Engaged Learning Student Evaluation form that site supervisors will compete at the end of the semester. 

  8. Your professor’s email and phone can be shared with the site coordinator and other Bethel community engaged learning students for this project.

We would highly recommend that you start planning now for this experience.  

For your own safety here is a copy of the safety guidelines that we expect all of our students to abide by during their community engaged learning commitment: Safety Guidelines.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact

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