Community-engaged learning where we live, work, and study

Department of Management staff at the Toronto Zoo

Department of Management staff at the University of Toronto Scarborough connected with more than a dozen partner organizations across Scarborough on July 11, 2019 to learn directly from community stakeholders about the opportunities and challenges that shape service delivery in our region, and how the University can boost its capacity to uplift the city at large.

“At U of T Scarborough, we share the core values of inclusive excellence that we see reflected in the remarkable work our community partners do every day,” said Christine Arsenault, Managing Director of the Department of Management at U of T Scarborough.

“Our goal is to recognize first-hand how Management staff, faculty, and students can help address the service gaps that our partner organizations face.”

Together with colleagues from the U of T Scarborough Office of Community Development & Engagement, a total of 30 staff members comprising Management’s administrative and co-op areas met with 13 Scarborough-based organizations including non-profits, health care providers, and government-run support agencies (full list below). Over the years, each organization has partnered to varying degrees with the University to support community-engaged education, health, and wellness programs.

“We know that local service organizations are grappling with funding and staff constraints in addition to a burgeoning need for research assistance, data analytics, and accounting support. U of T Scarborough is well positioned to provide resources and expertise in those areas,” said Sischa Maharaj, Assistant Director of External Relations and Communications in the Department of Management at U of T Scarborough.

“With our commitment to one hundred per cent of Management students participating in a Work Integrated Learning experience before they graduate, we will continue to strategize about innovative ways that our academic and co-curricular programming can help solve real-world problems. Sharing ideas and resources allows us all—students, faculty, staff, and community partners—to learn from one another while building a more sustainable, inclusive, and healthy Scarborough.”

Partnering with the Toronto East Quadrant - Local Immigration Partnership (TEQLIP), Management students have consulted with over 40 newcomer agencies in the Scarborough area who were tracking activities in a variety of formats with little ability to obtain on overall sense of newcomer activity and services in East Toronto. The Department of Management leveraged courses, faculty expertise, and co-op student positions to design and deliver a common platform that has successfully collected, aggregated, and anonymized over 90,000 records of refugees and newcomers in the GTA. Management students will continue to collect and analyze this data in order to generate a Scarborough Newcomers Needs and Trends Report that will assist in anticipating services and future trends, improve access to funding for these services, and support community advocacy work.

“We aim to be transformational in our approach to cultivating partnerships, rather than transactional. The experience of meeting face-to-face with community leaders and service providers is an integral part of that process. We look forward to continuing, and growing, our partnerships throughout Scarborough,” Arsenault said.

Pictured from top: Department of Management staff visit TAIBU Community Health Centre, Native Child & Family Services Toronto, and The Storefront.

List of Community Partners:

  • Agincourt Community Services Association
  • Catholic Crosscultural Services
  • Council of Agencies Serving South Asians (CASSA)
  • East Metro Youth Services
  • Hong Fook Mental Health Association
  • Housing Help Centre
  • Native Child & Family Services Toronto
  • Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities
  • Scarborough Health Network
  • The Storefront
  • TAIBU Community Health Centre
  • Toronto Community Housing
  • Toronto Zoo