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Community-Engaged Learning Specialist, Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning

Job ID: 19208

Updated: September 18, 2019

Location: Main Campus

Position Overview

The Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning is currently seeking a Full-time Limited Term Community-Engaged Learning Specialist for approximately 18 months.

The Taylor Institute for Teaching and Learning is dedicated to strengthening teaching and learning cultures, communities and practices. The Institute supports the teaching development of instructors, promotes high-impact student experiences such as experiential learning and undergraduate research, ensures the meaningful integration of learning technologies, and fosters research to better understand and improve student learning.  The Taylor Institute works to facilitate conversations, build communities, link networks, and catalyze a culture of evidence and practice-based teaching and learning across the University. Its mandate embodies the University's three foundational commitments of sharpening focus on research and scholarship, enriching the quality and breadth of learning, and fully integrating the university with the community.

The Specialist, Community-Engaged Learning (CEL) is embedded in a growing team that supports the expansion and enhancement of EL at the University of Calgary. Reporting to the Senior Specialist Experiential Learning (EL) this role requires experience in various forms of EL, but the primary focus is developing a strong foundation for Community-Engaged Learning at UCalgary. As such, candidates require progressive experience supporting students, community partners and academic staff in CEL. This position requires a high level of collaboration with other members of the EE Team, staff/academic staff within the TI and across the University of Calgary, as well as EL partners from industry, non-profit and government sectors. 

The interdisciplinary nature of this work requires flexibility, adaptability, and reflective practices to address the needs of a variety of audiences and initiatives. In this position, the staff member will work in an open-office environment to encourage collaboration. Due to the nature of the work, this position will require the candidate to visit host partners for EL, located throughout the Calgary region. A valid driver's license and access to a reliable vehicle is recommended. 

The TI is committed to supporting the implementation of the University of Calgary's Indigenous Strategy, ii' taa' poh' to' p and to build relationships with people from Treaty 7 & and Metis Region III. The candidate will be committed to shifting the University and the TI culture to increase Indigenous perspective and worldviews in teaching and learning practice. Experience supporting community dialogue and campus engagement, with universities, Indigenous communities and community stakeholders would be an asset.

Position Description

Summary of Key Responsibilities (job functions include but are not limited to):

Resources and supports for community/industry partners and students in the CEL (30%)

  • Leading the development of resources and materials related to campus-community partnerships for EL, skills development and student engagement in a higher education setting. 
  • Developing online and print-based resources to support evidence-informed learning, instructional and course design approaches and practices
  • Designing, developing, facilitating training and orientation for community partners in Experiential Learning, and periodically reviewing the efficacy of this training
  • Reviewing literature, networking with other staff at other Canadian universities around best practices for campus-community partnerships 
  • Reviewing literature, networking with other staff at other Canadian universities around best practices for supporting students learning through service-learning, community-engaged learning, community-based research and experiential learning
  • Compiling documents and information on practices across campus for partnership development, risk mitigation and impact assessment, and making recommendations for processes and resources going forward
  • Identifying, reviewing and/or developing resources (print, electronic, in-person, modular) to prepare partners to mentor students through CEL projects
  • Supporting data collection and analysis related to UCalgary's participation in the Canadian Pilot Cohort for the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification
  • Staying current with scholarly literature and evidence-based practices and citing appropriate scholarly resources to appropriately link current scholarly research related to EL to programs, project plans, and initiatives
  • Implementing current research in the areas of higher education, experiential education, skills development and student engagement into daily tasks

Relationship building with EL community partners (30%)

  • Fostering and developing community partnerships for student placements and serving as a liaison with community partners. Performing site visits, ensuring ongoing communication between sites and the University, and responding to evaluations and feedback to ensure mutual benefit for host sites and students
  • Cultivating and maintaining strong, reciprocal relationships with community partners, as well as other leaders in EL on campus including staff supporting Campus as a Learning Lab and the Urban Alliance
  • Develops and facilitates community partners' orientation to CEL/working with students and provides ongoing support to community partners through CEL projects
  • Ensuring risk management measures and processes are followed to satisfy compliance with internal and external best practices, policies and laws
  • Leading and engaging with the development of learning resources and materials related to higher education, EL, skills development and student engagement, approaches and practices
  • Evaluating one's own gaps in knowledge related to EL and developing a plan to continuously learn and improve, in order to meet the on-going needs of the academic community and ourselves

Relationship building with EL educators (20%)

  • Cultivating relationships between departments and administrative units inside the University, and with community organizations, public agencies, and the private sector, to expand and enhance EL and CEL
  • Consulting with individuals across the academic community from a variety of disciplines to design, customize and facilitate activities/programs, and develop or customize resources related to EL and CEL
  • Ensuring appropriate levels of diplomacy are employed to inform and educate faculty, graduate students, postdoctoral scholars, and staff about possibilities for best practice in EL and CEL
  • Facilitating presentations for academic and non-academic staff on incorporating EL and CEL into the curriculum
  • Maintaining a local awareness of relevant programs, opportunities and services offered through the EE team and TI to academic and non-academic staff, graduate students, and postdoctoral scholars
  • Compiling examples of EL and CEL activities and projects, critical reflection and learning activities in EL courses across the disciplines (from UCalgary and other postsecondary institutions)
  • Identifies, reviews and/or develops resources (print, electronic, modular format) to be used by academic staff in order to prepare students for learning through experience.
  • Contributing actively to the (future) Community of Practice (CoP) for Experiential Learning educators and the (future) CoP for Alberta administrators of Community-Engaged Learning

Contribute to future planning for scaling EL at UCalgary (20%)

  • Reviewing process and practices at UCalgary and other postsecondary institutions and making recommendations for EL and CEL at UCalgary in areas including but not limited to: relationship development, risk management and insurance, critical reflection, partner orientation, student preparation and impact assessment
  • Supporting the implementation of a campus-wide platform to support EL including the training of other campus educators and administrators, collaborating with the EL Platform Working Group and IT to design system processes that support the scaling of CEL
  • Supporting program evaluation of EL (especially CEL) projects and initiatives and making recommendations to revise processes and resources for the future
  • Supporting the program enhancement and relationship building by collecting ongoing feedback about campus-community collaborations for EL; working in partnership with the Specialist (Evaluation, Metrics & Support) to evaluate the impact of CEL/EL, preparing reports and share findings with internal and external stakeholders with a goal of program improvement
  • Telling the story of experiential learning at UCalgary, including supporting tracking EL participation and CEL partnerships, contributing to annual reporting and highlighting initiatives, people or partnerships for the EL website and other media

Qualifications / Requirements:

  • A postsecondary degree is required, preferably a masters degree with a focus on adult education, social work, community development or instructional design (a combination of experience and education will be considered). A clear progression in responsibility over time as well as demonstrated leadership in program coordination is required
  • Three or more years of progressive experience supporting teaching and learning, student engagement and/or career development in higher education is required; equivalent experience supporting campus-community partnerships from the non-profit sector will be considered
  • Experience teaching, administering, developing and/or supporting EL activities in an academic setting required
  • Demonstrated excellence and accuracy in written and oral communication and presentation skills are required, including writing for a variety of audiences (students, staff, academic staff and external partners) involved with various levels of the organization and university community.  Experience with technical or professional writing considered an asset
  • A proven ability to foster collaboration and build mutually-beneficial partnerships is required. Must be tactful and diplomatic and demonstrate the ability to work with/build consensus among diverse audiences (students, community partners, staff, academic staff) is required. Formal training in group facilitation and/or conflict resolution and asset
  • Strong understanding of the literature and theory related to Experiential Education and Community-Engaged Learning (or Service-Learning) required
  • Proven experience contributing to the design and development of educational resources
  • Experience working with community (industry, non-profit and/or government) partners in an Experiential Learning context is required. Experience working within the non-profit sector is considered an asset.
  • Understanding of the pedagogy and practice of experiential learning, including demonstrated contributions to the development of learning outcomes, assessment strategies, and critical reflection prompts and activities
  • Knowledge of University of Calgary culture, context, and strategic plans considered an asset
  • Knowledge of EL programing across Canada (required) and at the University of Calgary (an asset)
  • Highly skilled in interpersonal, organizational, communication, critical thinking, problem solving
  • Demonstrated ability to lead projects and initiatives related to teaching and learning and/or campus-community partnerships, required
  • Strong ability to incorporate theory, scholarly evidence and best practices in one's work.
  • Demonstrated ability to determine their work-related priorities and deadlines for the purpose of achieving collaborative team and individual project plans
  • Strong demonstrated understanding of pedagogical theories and evidence-informed learning and instructional design practices in an university context
  • Evidence of personal leadership, self-motivation, self-direction, and an ability to work independently and as part of a team, required
  • Demonstrated commitment to fostering the development of expertise in teaching and learning to promote continuous learning and improvement
  • Proven ability to perform comfortably and effectively in a fast paced, highly complex environment with multiple projects, a high degree of independence, and competing deadlines

Application Deadline:  October 1, 2019

We would like to thank all applicants in advance for submitting their resumes. Please note, only those candidates chosen to continue on through the selection process will be contacted.


Additional Information

This position is part of the AUPE bargaining unit, and falls under the Specialist/Advisor Job Family, Phase II.

To find out more about management and staff opportunities at the University of Calgary and all we have to offer, view our Management and Staff Careers website

About the University of Calgary

The University of Calgary is Canada’s leading next-generation university – a living, growing and youthful institution that embraces change and opportunity with a can-do attitude. Located in the nation’s most enterprising city, the university is making tremendous progress on its Eyes High journey to be recognized as one of Canada’s top five research universities, grounded in innovative learning and teaching and fully integrated with the community it both serves and leads. The University of Calgary inspires and supports discovery, creativity and innovation across all disciplines. For more information, visit

The University of Calgary recognizes that a diverse staff/faculty benefits and enriches the work, learning and research experiences of the entire campus and greater community. We are committed to removing barriers that have been historically encountered by some people in our society. We strive to recruit individuals who will further enhance our diversity and will support their professional success while they are here. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply, however preference will be given to Canadian citizens and permanent residents of Canada.


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