Partnerships serve as the foundation of service-learning programs in higher education.
These partnerships can exist in different configurations depending on the nature of the program: between faculty and community agency staff, between academic institution and community agency, between student and community agency client, faculty and student, etc.
- How can you build a solid foundation by developing a trusting relationship with your community partners?
- What strategies will you use to achieve 'gain-gain' relationships, whereby your community partners and you academic institution both benefit first student participation
- In service-learning how can you move away from the 'community as placement site' model to the community as partner' model of students serving and learning in community settings?
- How can you build partnerships into all aspects of service-learning?
Principles of Campus & Community Partnerships (Ideals to Strive Towards!)
- Partnerships form to serve a specific purpose and may take on new goals over time.
- Partners have agreed upon mission, values, goals, measurable outcomes and accountability for the partnership.
- The relationship between partners is characterized by mutual trust, respect, genuineness, and commitment.
- The partnership builds upon identified strengths nad assets, but also works to address issues and increase capacity of all partners.
- The partnership balances power among partners and enables resources among partners to be shared.
- Partners make clear and open communication an ongoing priority by striving to understand each other’s needs and self-interests, and developing a common language.
- Principles and processes for the partnership are established with the input and agreement of all partners, especially for decision-making and conflict resolution.
- There is feedback among all stakeholders in the partnership, with the goal of continuously improving the partnership and its outcomes.
- Partners share the benefits of the partnership’s accomplishments.
- Partnerships can dissolve and need to plan a process for closure.
Adapted from: Faculty Toolkit for Service-Learning in Higher Education,. Edited by Sarena D. Seifer and Kara Connors for Learn and Serve America’s National Service-Learning Clearinghouse