Best Practices for Establishing Positive Community Partnerships
- Research the agency history, mission, and related social issues before making contact.
- Meet agency representatives at their office whenever possible.
- When inviting community partners to campus, arrange reserved on-campus parking for them at least 24 hours in advance through the following site: https://sites01.lsu.edu/wp/parking/reserved-parking-request-form/
- Visit the agency or service site to note details on location, transportation, and parking that will be pertinent to your students.
- Ask the agency how what you have to offer might be useful to them. It is a significant role reversal to put you in the position of learner with the community partner as the expert and teacher.
- Learn about the assets of the agency and its clientele. Explore their capacities and abilities and relate this to your students. Reciprocity is integral to the discipline of service-learning.
- Involve the community partner in the planning of your service-learning project.
- Be open to indirect service projects. Consider how you can help students see the value of service that provides support to community with little direct contact.
- Take care to "do no harm." The community and the clientele are not a teaching or research laboratory. The notion of community as laboratory assumes a false hierarchy of power and perpetuates an attitude of institutional superiority.
- Basic goals of service-learning include community development and empowerment. For these goals to be realized, faculty and community must be equal partners.
- Invite community partners to be a part of reflections, presentations, awards ceremonies, and related activities.
The following resources are available to help you select your community partner:
- The CCELL Director (225-578-9264) or Assistant Director (225-578-4245)
- Volunteer Baton Rouge! is a clearinghouse for service providers. Call 225-383-2643
- A list of CCELL- affiliated agencies is available by request from CCELL.
- Once you have selected your community partner, agencies may be directed to the Community Resources section on this website and the LSU Community Partner Handbook.