The Role of the Service-Learning Community Partner
Service-learning students’ experience at their service site is an important aspect the Feinstein Institute oversees. To ensure a quality experience, the Feinstein Institute asks Community Partners to agree to following:
Students will perform useful service:
- Faculty and staff are available to help community partners develop projects or determine what roles would be most appropriate for students.
- The community organization is responsible for providing materials needed to carry out projects.
Service will take place in an environment conducive to learning:
- Students should be viewed as learners as well as workers in their service experience
- Changes in service mid-semester should be discussed with CA/L and SLC beforehand
Service will be conducted in an environment with an acceptable level of safety:
- Sites will provide students with the amount of supervision necessary to complete projects/tasks.
- Sites will brief students on issues that could affect their safety or well-being.
- Sites will alert students about confidentiality policies that they will need to adhere to.
What distinguishes Service-Learning Community Partners from other service sites are three very important things:
- Mutual commitment to the missions of both the Feinstein Institute and the Community Partner. This means the Feinstein Institute is committed to assisting the site in achieving its objectives and the CP is committed to our mission of educating students about community and service.
- Understanding that the service site is a location for student learning and that the site serves as a central “text” for students. This means that faculty needs to know the sites and the sites need to know what we do within courses. To help accomplish this, many faculty and partners will work on courses together.
- A deep understanding that the key to effective work in the community is relationship building, which requires sharing of assets, creating mutual goals and objectives, and working through problems that arise.