Orienting students on-site

Best Practices for Orienting Students to your Organization and their Community-Engaged Learning and Research Position:


  • Introduce yourself, site supervisor (if not you), as well as all team members who will be working with the students. If time permits, provide background on how you chose your career path.
  • Possible questions to ask students:
    • Why did you select this position/organization as your CELR placement?
    • What are the learning goals of your CELR course and can you share the course syllabus?
    • What are a few goals you have for your time with our organization?
    • If appropriate, ask student to elaborate on any skills or interests they would like to use or explore during their time with your organization.

Overview of your Organization

  • History of organization
  • Mission and values of the organization
  • Overview of programming/service offered

Review Organizational Policies and Procedures

  • Discuss any policies and procedures for working within the organization and in their specific position
  • Dress code, arrival and departure time and procedures, policies regarding the use of any office supplies and equipment, etc.
  • Discuss potential health and safety risks of the position and/or within organization, community, etc.
  • Review emergency management procedures

Elaborate on the Tasks/Responsibilities and Expectations of the Position

  • Provide student with contact information for their site supervisor and emergency contact information
  • Provide a detailed overview of the position, including; A. Scope of work; B. Tasks/Responsibilities; C. Expected deliverables; and D. Timeline. It is very helpful if this information is written out, if not, the student should be encouraged to take notes
  • Explain how the student’s position contributes to the mission of the organization


  • Provide a tour of the facilities and provide any guidance regarding transportation, food options, safety precautions, etc.
  • Introduce the student to other program areas and staff members

Required Paperwork and Q&A Session

  • If appropriate, review required paperwork with students and give them time to complete forms (i.e., new hire paperwork, background checks, disclosure forms, confidentiality forms, etc.)
  • This is a good time to complete the learning contract, if required by course instructor (i.e., Health Studies Fieldwork)
  • Give the student an opportunity to ask questions
  • Ask the student if they are seeing new ways their position may connect to the course they are taking