A Model for Connecting with Community Partners

Friday, January 6, 2017

Our Service-Learning workshop, Connecting Community Partners with University Resources, led by Nicholas School Professor Liz Shapiro-Garza and her co-teacher from the non-profit world Calvin Allen, was full of ideas and strategies they have developed to ensure students and partners have successful and productive relationships during projects in their course, Practicum in Community-Based Environmental Management. 

Shapiro-Garza and Allen discussed what makes an authentic partnership, noting that authentic partnerships take time - time to listen, to learn and to grow together. They also shared some of the elements in their "toolbox" that factor into successful university-community partner relationships, citing establishing clear expectations of accountability, matching interests of students with project needs, and emphasizing relationship building, networking and negotiating skills.