Successful campus-community partnerships are crucial to the development of service-learning projects that have lasting impact. Bentley Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Center's community partners identify real community needs and collaborate with BSLCE to meet those needs. Working with faculty, staff, and program managers, community partners also play the important role of guiding Bentley students on site as they engage with the clients the community partner serves.
The service projects that Bentley students deliver are wide-ranging. Some examples include:
- Tutoring Waltham residents in computer skills
- Working with nonprofit organizations to develop marketing plans, business strategies, sustainability plans, and enhanced IT capabilities
- Working on a variety of social service projects for school-aged youth, elders, the economically disadvantaged, and individuals whose native language is not English
Partners include, among others, public service agencies, schools, after-school programs, governmental entities, and nonprofit corporations. In addition, BSLCE students also provide income tax preparation assistance through VITA, the Voluntary Income Tax Assistance program. For a complete list of our partners and the Service-Learning programs that we oversee with them, take a look at our programs page: http://www.bentley.edu/centers/service-learning-center/programs
Responsibilities of Community Partners
- Help BSLCE identify important community needs and provide a service opportunity that meets those needs.
- Provide adequate and consistent project supervision for students, and project feedback to faculty and BSLCE staff.
Responsibilities of the Bentley Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Center
- Collaborate with community partners to identify community needs
- Assist faculty and community partners in the selection and design of relevant service projects
- Monitor project implementation
- Assist community partners, faculty, and students in troubleshooting issues that might arise during the project
- Provide logistical support to community partners, faculty, and students in completing those projects
BSLCE also sponsors meetings for community partners and Bentley faculty to discuss issues of mutual interest. One such meeting is the annual Community Partner and Faculty Recognition Luncheon at which an award is given to the community partner that has made an outstanding contribution to Bentley Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Center.
In addition to the assigned student project manager, community partners are encouraged to maintain ongoing contact with BSLCE’s administrative staff and relevant faculty. Contact BSLCE Senior Associate Director of Students, Programs, and Center Operations, Brian Shea by email for help in resolving logistical and other practical issues.
Interested in becoming a community partner? Email Lynne Johanson and we will be in touch!