Community Engagement Network (CEN)

Students/Faculty/Staff

Q. How do UST students, faculty, or staff begin using CEN?

All active students, faculty, or staff are automatically enrolled in CEN. To gain access, click here and enter your UST username and password.

When you locate an opportunity of interest, you can save it for later review by clicking on “Add To My Inquiries.” In addition to storing the opportunity in “My Inquiries,” you will receive an e-mail directing you to contact the organization and inquire about the steps necessary to sign-up for, or commit to, the opportunity. Please note that clicking on “Add To My Inquiries” does not automatically sign you up for the opportunity.

Q. Is it possible to receive notification of newly posted opportunities that may be of particular interest to me?

Yes. Once you log-in to CEN, click on "Account Information." Check the "Issues" and "Types" that are of interest to you and  make sure you select "Yes"  to the question "Would you like to receive service opportunities periodically through your email?".

In "Account Information" you also have the ability to select whether or not you would like to include your basic contact information (Name, Phone Number, Email Address) with organizations when you inquire about an opportunity.

 

Q. What if I need to cancel an opportunity that I have scheduled?

Volunteer involvement is a critical component in the day-to-day operations of community organizations. If you are unable to keep the commitment you made to a community organization, please provide them the courtesy of at least a 24-hour notification. Also, please withdraw the inquiry from your pool of stored inquires by clicking on the “Remove Me” button found at the bottom of the particular opportunity.

Q. What transportation options are available for off-campus volunteer opportunities?

To find opportunities within walking or biking distance, CEN provides the option of searching for opportunities within a selected distance from a particular zip code. You can change the default zip code of 55105 (University of St. Thomas, St. Paul campus) to a zip code of your choosing. You can find walking or biking directions for an opportunity by clicking on “view map” under “Location Information.” This will open a new window with the opportunity location displayed in Google maps. Once in Google maps, clicking on “Directions” will provide you the ability to locate walking and/or biking directions.

College Pass (C-Pass) bus passes from Metro Transit are good for unlimited rides on Metro Transit buses and light rail. A C-Pass is available for purchase at the Parking Services office, 2119 Grand Avenue on the St. Paul campus or MSL 252 on the Minneapolis campus. Regular bus passes are also available in the bookstore.

You can find bus route information for an opportunity by clicking on “View Map” under “Location Information.” This will open a new window with the opportunity location displayed in Google maps. Once in Google maps, clicking on “Directions” will provide you the ability to locate the appropriate bus routes. Note that that the bus directions obtained may not be accurate due to weekend and holiday changes.  

Metro Transit’s website also provides detailed information about bus routes and schedules.  You can pick up bus schedules at the Information Desk on the first floor of the Murray-Herrick Student Center as well.

University cars can be reserved if available for students in University-sponsored programs.  You must provide your license and have a driving background check in order to drive a University car. Contact your program director or faculty member for more information about this option

For a nominal fee, an HourCar is available for use by UST students, faculty and staff. Click here for more information. You must be an approved driver and go through an on-line orientation in order to use the HourCar.

Q. Can I use the opportunities that I have identified through CEN for Business 200, clubs and orgs, etc.?

Please contact the respective representative (e.g., faculty member, program director) to determine the applicability of an opportunity for a given course, club, or program/scholarship requirement. 

Q. Can I track and report the hours for my completed opportunities?

Yes. CEN has the functionality to record, store, and report hours for the opportunities in which you have participated.

Q. What if I encounter a problem with CEN?

If you are having trouble logging-in or need to have your password reset, please call 651-962-6230 or toll-free at 800-328-6819 extension 2-6230 , or send an email to irthelp@stthomas.edu.

If you encounter problems while logged-in and using CEN, please contact the Office of Service-Learning & Civic Engagement (OSLCE) at community@stthomas.edu or 651-962-5380.

Q. Is there a fee for using CEN?

There is absolutely no cost to UST students, faculty, and staff for using CEN.

Q. Can I use CEN to post for volunteer opportunities that my UST department, office, club, etc. sponsors?

Yes. Simply register your department, office, club, etc. as an organization in CEN. Once registered, you may post your opportunities.

Q. Can I use CEN to record and track my volunteer involvement with organizations and opportunities not listed in or found through CEN?

Absolutely. In “Reports Hours” select the pre-assigned opportunity titled “Personal Volunteer Opportunity” and follow the supplied directions.

Q. Do volunteers undergo a criminal background check?

This is up to the specific policies of each community organization. When potential UST participants submit an inquiry and subsequently connect with an organization, they will learn more about these requirements.  If community organizations do require a background check, it is typical that the organization completes the process and covers related costs.

Q. When I try to record my hours I notice that my classes and/or my membership in clubs and organizations is incorrect. What do I do?

For classes, please contact the Registrar. For clubs and organization membership, please contact the leadership of your club or organization.

The data displayed in CEN is updated from BANNER each day. The data is current as of close of business the previous day.

Community Organizations

Q. How does a community organization begin using CEN?

Creating an account is easy. Click here to access the CEN Website. In the left-hand navigation, click on "Organization Links". This will provide 2 menu items – click on "Register Your Organization". The required information to register an organization is designated by an asterisk “*”.

Upon review of the submitted registration, you will be notified in approximately 1 - 2 business days if  your organization has been approved.

Prior to receiving approval, your organization may create opportunities. If the Display Begin and End Dates for these opportunities are current, these opportunities will automatically be visible on the CEN site once your organization is approved.

 

Q. What if I encounter a problem with CEN?

For all problems you may encounter, please contact the Office of Service-Learning & Civic Engagement (OSLCE) at ServiceLearn@stthomas.edu or 651-962-5380.

 

Q. What are the guidelines for the types of opportunities a community organization can post?

The Community Engagement Network is a free service provided by the University of St. Thomas’s Office of Service-Learning & Civic Engagement (OSLCE).  Opportunities posted to this site are viewable by UST students, staff, faculty, and alumni.  Community organizations creating an profile and posting opportunities agree to abide by the following guidelines: 

  • All opportunities must be of a nature that is appropriate for students of a Catholic institution and compatible with UST mission. Postings from single issue political organizations must be consistent with Catholic teaching.  Controversial postings may be removed from the site without notice.
  • All organizations posting on this site agree that any information received regarding a potential participant must not be used for any purposes other than providing further information about the opportunity.
  • The University of St. Thomas Community Engagement Network cannot accept opportunities from private families/individuals.  This includes, but is not limited to, tutors, personal care assistants, nannies, and pet care. This is a precaution not only for the safety of our students, but also for the community members we serve. OSLCE reserves the right to remove from this site, sometimes without notice, opportunities that are out of date, vague in description, and postings that conflict with our Office or University guidelines and policies. More info. 
  • OSLCE reserves the right to remove from this site, sometimes without notice, opportunities that are out of date, vague in description and postings that conflict with our Office or University guidelines and policies.

An organization’s use of the site is deemed to be their consent to comply with these guidelines. If you have comments or questions please direct your inquiry to the Office of Service-Learning & Civic Engagement (OSLCE) at  ServiceLearn@stthomas.edu or 651-962-5381.

 

Q. Is there a fee for using CEN?

There is absolutely no cost to community organizations for using CEN.

 

 

Q. Do I use CEN if my school or organization is already participating in the Tutor Mentor and/or Literacy Connections programs?

There are no procedural changes to either of these programs as a result of CEN. Please continue to work with the director of these programs to submit your site request forms each semester.

More information can be found at Tutor Mentor and Literacy Connections.

Please use CEN for other volunteer opportunities you may have.

 

 

Q. What type of response to our organization’s volunteer opportunities should be expected from UST students, staff, and faculty?

The University of St. Thomas is a strong and vocal supporter of community service. However, the University cannot guarantee that any given opportunity will generate volunteers for your opportunity.

Q. Do volunteers undergo a criminal background check?

This is up to the specific policies of each community organization. When potential UST participants submit an inquiry and subsequently connect with an organization, they will learn more about these requirements.  If community organizations do require a background check, it is typical that the organization completes the process and covers related costs.

Q. Do I use CEN if my school or organization is already participating with a course-based service-learning project?

Please use CEN if you wish to list any new or additional opportunities.  There are no procedural changes if you wish to continue working only with a UST faculty member with whom you have already communicated.

Q. Does my school use CEN to schedule an Early College Awareness visit?

No. Please contact OSLCE directly by phone at 1-651-962-5381 or e-mail at servicelearn@stthomas.edu to schedule an Early College Awareness visit.

Q. How do I attach a document or image to my organization profile and opportunities?

Click here for a pictorial description of how this is accomplished.

Q. We have multiple individuals at our organization that coordinate volunteer opportunities. How does CEN handle this situation?

We recommend only one account per organization, so select a User ID and Password that reflect the organization and can be shared among staff members.