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Effective Community Partnerships
Ryan Rogerson 22 October 2014
Transcript of Effective Community Partnerships
Quality Campus-Community Partnerships
This presentation will cover:
The benefits and challenges of partnerships
Steps for and traits of effective partnerships
Things to think about
Benefits to Community Partner:
Assistance with Organizational Mission
Access to human and physical resources of the campus
New funding opportunities
Assistance with research, program evaluation and assessment
Opportunity to educate about community issues and work to address those issues
Increased pool of volunteers
Benefits to Students:
Real world experience
Involvement with important community issues
Applying abstract knowledge to real situations
Increased civic engagement
Benefits to institution:
Enhance public image and reputation
Increased desirability with the community
Increased appeal to students
Can help reach "target" populations
Can help meet academic requirements
Some Questions Community Organizations may have
"Why did you choose my organization?"
"What's your motivation?"
"What are your expectations?"
"Are there specific requirements?"
They'll ask follow up questions, and voice their concerns.
The academic calendar
Different Values and Priorities
1. Create a vision of where you want the partnership to be in one year/two years/etc.
2. Create a mission statement by taking the mission statements of each organization into consideration.
3. Map out the resources and capacities of individuals, organizations and local campuses.
4. Build community relationships based on local assets for mutually beneficial problem-solving within the community.
5. Mobilize the communities' assets fully for developing the partnership and sharing information.
6. Convene as broadly representative a group as possible for the purposes of building a community vision and plan
7. Create goals, objectives and an action plan with a timeline to support the mission.
8. Develop a means to evaluate and monitor the progress of the partnership.
9. Leverage activities, investments and resources from outside the community to support the development of the partnership.
10. Develop a plan to communicate with others about the partnership, publicize the partnership's efforts, and celebrate and recognize its accomplishments.
Infrastructure of Support
Relationship between Community Staff and Students
Assets and Limits
Nature of Service and Reflection
Knowledge about the Community
Assessing Community Impact
Community Partner Survey
Community Focus Group
Community Partner Interview
Intended to describe community partners' perspectives, motivations, concerns, and attitudes on issues related to their experience with students through the service-learning experience.
A one-on-one conversation with the community partner to explore their perspectives on the experience of working with the institution.
To understand the impact of the partnership and to collect feedback, positive and negative, that will assist the institution in improving partnership activities in the future.
To describe the character and content of interactions between students/faculty and the community partner
To capture the dynamics of the community service experience
To document student learning in the community
To gather data on services rendered to the community
To provide descriptive documentation of the partnership
10 Steps for developing partnerships
Levels of Partnerships
Level 1: Limited Awareness of Each other
Infrequent contact by one individual or posting of an opportunity or position
Community Partner has listing with institution for volunteers or interns that students occasionally fill
Communication is limited
No strong relationship between campus and community representatives
Little to no expectation for either side to continue relationship
Level 2: Limited Activities and Expectations
A predictable but limited relationship that may involve one or a few people each term.
Community partner posts a listing for volunteers, interns, or service-learning students every semester or year
Community partner has a contact on campus, but communication is limited to a few conversations/emails a year
Expectation that a few positions and or events will happen each year
Agreements and expectations may or may not be written down
Level 3: Structured Involvement
Involvement is consistent and may take multiple forms. There are structures in place for staffing, communication, and other functions.
One or more groups are involved with the Community Partner each semester or year
Examples: Service-Learning course(s); work-study students filling positions at the organization to coordinate volunteers; students, faculty, and community researchers working together on a community based research project; students or staff completing volunteer projects several times each year
Clear line of communication and communication is regular and open
Both sides have expectations for the types and quality of involvement
Some joint planning
Some written documents exist to clarify expectations and plans
Campus and Organization's facilities and resources are made available
Level 4: Joint Project Development
Campus and Community Organizations design initiatives that address issues of common concern.
Campus and Community Partners work together to address issues in ways that neither could accomplish on their own
Fundraising, evaluation, and marketing are done jointly
Resources, information, and publicity benefit both partners equally
Communication is clear and open
Power in determining the future of the collaborative is discussed openly and shared
Level 5: Collaboration based on risk and Resource Sharing
In relationships that reach this stage, the partners understand that each one's success in the venture is bound to the other's
Initiatives at this level are characterized by full collaboration in sharing risks and resources, including funding and staff
Governance of the new group does not favor any partner or interest
If a primary partner in the work changes, the entire collaboration changes
All partners are able to articulate their self-interests and assist the other members of the collaboration in reaping benefits from working together
Although in most cases financial gain outweighs the financial costs of partnerships, it is important to anticipate costs as a part of the planning process.
What time and materials are needed to train, supervise, and evaluate students? What time will be spent planning and coordinating partnership activities? What are the material costs of space and resources dedicated to the partnership?
Many community programs peak in the summer months and during holiday seasons when college student involvement is typically at its lowest. A critical step in the planning process is to account for the academic calendar in your program design, specifically as it relates to community partners.
A campus-community partnership should be a reciprocal one that takes into account the resources each bring to the table. Expectations and resource determinations should be made in advance to help determine what each partner’s obligations should be and to minimize the appearance of “power differentials”.
Similarly, another sticking point can be students and faculty members coming to a partnership with different values and priorities than the organization's. It is essential that faculty and students understand the mission, goals, expectations, site location(s) and populations served of a potential community partner before setting up the partnership.
Both community organizations and institutions of higher education have specialized language --- lack of understanding of each other's jargon can lead to mis-communication and marginalization of one partner. So, in planning, mechanisms should be in place to address this issue.
Become familiar with each community site and learn the community organization's overall vision; this requires time and energy to become acquainted with the mission, activities and individuals of each site, the social issues, and the socio-cultural context.
(This is crucial for laying a foundation of trust and respect.)
Discern the assets, capacities, and potential limitations each brings to the table.Though,
focus mainly on capacities rather than deficiencies.
Keep in mind
Partnerships are often designed and initiated as if all aspects will remain the same. Which isn't always the case. Adaptability and flexibility is a must for effective partnerships.
Consider the nature of the work students will be engaged in. The emphasis should be on the importance of meaningful work that is closely aligned with desired learning outcomes.
But keep in mind, coming up with meaningful work may place a burden on the community organization's staff. Strive to ensure the connection is made.
It is important to help students make the connection that the work they are doing is important and related to the goals of the organization as well as to the course.
Ensuring students are learning from the experience they are being exposed to suggests an integral relationship between the community organization staff and the students.
A way to initiate this relationship is to make sure community organization staff and students clearly understand the purpose of the partnership.
Ensure your institution has the infrastructure to deliver on promises to their community partners. Institutions may not view themselves as rich in resources, but in terms of time, staff, and funding their resources generally exceed those available to community organizations.
It's important to make time to recognized the contributions of the project's partners and participants.
Celebrations don't need to be big or need to wait until the end of the project
Small inexpensive tokens of appreciation throughout the project can make a difference in morale and motivation.(i.e. notes, special food at meeting)
Be inclusive and creative in your celebrations
Invite community partners to the campus for a different perspective.(It could prove useful in future work)
And don't forget to...
As you might tell....
is the most important aspect of planning and continuing an effective partnership.
Identify a primary contact person
Decide how to communicate, though;
Strive for face-to-face meetings
Write down goals and expectations
Put yourself on "equal footing" with your community partner
*Modified from "the promise of partnerships", a publication by Campus Compact and authored by Jim Scheibel, Erin M. Bowley, and Steven Jones
Assessment, Evaluation, and Research
Focused on self-assessment and gauging persons attitudes, awareness and interests in the experience.
provides information about how a class course or program was implemented.
provides information about the program's impact on participants and whether it produced the intended results.
Produces information about why a specific outcome occurred to use to continue maturing the partnership.
Here's another way to look at it
Assessment on both ends helps in reaching these high levels of partnerships
Here's one more concise guide on how to get an effective partnership going.
and for additional resources
Types of Partnership Activities
Community Service Federal Work-Study
AmeriCorps and AmeriCorps*VISTA opportunities
Learn and Serve America opportunities
Florida Campus Compact
1801 Miccosukee Commons Dr
Tallahassee, Florida 32308
Thank you for your time
and if you have any questions
concerning this presentation...
*From "Looking In Reaching Out", a publication by Campus Compact and edited by Barbara Jacoby and Pamela Mutascio
Let's begin with...
Now let's take a look at
Here are some
What's their buy-in?
Remember, assessment should:
Link the abstract to the concrete
Examine and clarify values/goals
Also from "Looking In Reaching Out"
Effective partnerships have assessment plans developed during the program design stage rather than at the end of the program.
Though this presentation focuses on campus-wide partnerships with the community, its content can be applied on a less macro level. (i.e. schools, programs, departments, and individual courses can utilize this content to develop effective partnerships between the community and themselves)
Please email Ryan Rogers, (firstname.lastname@example.org) at Florida Campus Compact your name and the code above upon completing this module. Thank you!