Student SCP FAQs

What is the Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP)?

The Sustainable Communities Partnership (SCP) is a strategic initiative in the Office of Sustainability Initiatives to link St. Thomas courses and independent student research across disciplines to city-identified sustainability and quality of life projects. Students advance the common good and gain real-world, problem-solving experience by applying course content and independent research to investigate creative solutions and approaches to city-identified sustainability goals.

Why is an SCP course important to me?

SCP courses provide experiential learning opportunities to engage in real-world issues, develop creative problem solving skills, and to collaboratively advance the common good.

Gain Experience

Working with city staff and real-world projects, you'll meet leaders in the Twin Cities area, build your resume, and learn more about what you can do with your major or graduate field of study.

See Your Education in Action

In SCP courses, you'll apply what you learn in class to solve real-world problems. You'll develop innovative and creative approaches to a city’s high-priority sustainability and quality of life goals.

Advance the Common Good

St. Thomas encourages students to think critically, act wisely, and work skillfully to advance the common good. In an SCP course, you'll collaborate with communities to improve their long-term quality of life.

How can I participate if I'm not in an SCP course?

Independent student research!  Learn more here.

How do I learn more about SCP's city partners?

Learn more about our partners here.  Ask your course instructor for your project lead's contact information.  They are excited to partner with us and are happy to answer your questions!

I'd like to learn more about other SCP projects. Where can I find out more information?

Take a look at past SCP project and outcomes here and current projects here.

What options do I have for transportation to SCP course-related activities?


Before you travel for any SCP course-related activities, please sign the SCP travel liablity form here and return to the Office of Sustainability Initiatives in the Center for Local Engagement, Murray-Herrick 212L or MAIL 5026.

Transportation Options

  1. Drive your personal vehicle:  You may drive yourself or arrange student carpools. Student drivers may be reimbursed for mileage using the student mileage reimbursement (see FAQs for instructions).

  2. Drive the University of St. Thomas sedan (driver + 4 passengers): The University of St. Thomas has a sedan available for use for students and faculty. Follow these steps:
    1. Plan ahead.  This process is simple but takes up to 2 weeks for approval.
    2. Become certified as a driver of UST vehicles.  Complete and return the ‘Authorization to obtain driver record’ form with a copy of your Driver’s License to Parking Services on the corner of Finn and Grand. More information is available on the Parking and Transportation Services website.  You will be notified by Parking and Transportation Services when you have been approved to drive a University vehicle.  This process takes up to 10 business days. 
    3. After you have been approved to drive a University vehicle, fill out our request/reservation form for the sedan. Please allow a few business days for your request to be processed.  
    4. The Office of Sustainability Initiatives will notify you once your request/reservation has been approved and will provide instructions for obtaining keys to the sedan at the Public Safety and Parking Services Office.
    5. Please email the Office of Sustainability Initiatives,, if you have questions about this process.

  3. Bus or van rental:  Your course instructor may rent a bus or van for larger group trips.

  4. Public Transportation:  Visit to find bus or light rail routes to your destination. (You may be reimbursed using the student reimbursement form.)

  5. Department van:  If your department has a van, please follow all procedures set by your department in consultation with your course instructor.

How do I receive a reimbursement for transportation costs for SCP course activities?

Instructions for Travel Reimbursement

1.  Fill out the “Mileage Cost Calculation Spreadsheet‌.”  (Use Google Maps to determine your mileage.)  Print the Google Map and the spreadsheet.

2.  Open the Student Reimbursement Form.

3.  Complete the following sections of the Student Reimbursement Form:

  • Date Submitted, ID number
  • Payee Information: (Fill in your name, SSN, and contact information.  Use the address to which you’d like the reimbursement mailed.)
  • Payment Information:  (Example:  I traveled to Elk River on February 20, 2016 to tour the Green Roof site at the Waste Water Treatment Plant for Environmental Problem Solving.)
  • Reimbursement of Student Expenses
    If you drove:  Fill in the total cost from your mileage spreadsheet (plus any parking expenses) in the blank for “Ground Transportation.”
    If you rode the bus:  Write the cost of your bus pass in the blank for “Ground Transportation.” 
  • Leave all other sections blank.
  • Print the Student Reimbursement Form.

5.  Sign your name on ‘Signature of Requestor’ line.

6.  Ask your course instructor to sign the line ‘Budget Responsible Person or Advisor Approval’.

7.  Attach your "Mileage Cost Calculation Spreadsheet" and any parking receipts or bus passes to your Student Reimbursement Form.

8.  Return in person or via campus mail to Office of Sustainability Initiatives, Murray-Herrick 212, MAIL 5026.

If you have any questions, please email Maria Dahmus at

Where can I find the travel liability form I need to sign before I go somewhere for my SCP course?

Find the Office of Sustainability Initiatives Release of Liability form here. Please return to the Office of Sustainability Initiatives, Murray-Herrick 212K or MAIL 5026.

I lost the photo/video release form before I turned it in. Where can I find it?

Here:  SCP Photo Release Form.  Please return to the Office of Sustainability Initiatives, Murray-Herrick 212K or MAIL 5026.

Other Questions?

If you don't find the question you have here, please contact Dr. Maria Dahmus, OSI Assistant Director.

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