CASL ❤'s Its Community Partners
Community partners are crucial to the success of the Citizenship and Service-Learning program at Missouri State University. Our students require experiential opportunities to enhance their learning. But these students are also equipped with knowledge and skills that can benefit a not-for-profit seeking high-quality assistance with their programming. We value any opportunity to collaborate with community organizations commited to addressing social issues and see our partnerships as win-win situations.
Check out our resources below, including the Community Partner Handbook, where you'll find important information about working with Missouri State's service-learners:
Community Partner Handbook
Wait, What's Service-Learning Again?
Service-learning is an academic program designed to connect students and their academics to experiential service opportunities within the community. Service-learners are expected to use the knowledge and skills they gain in the classroom and apply it to social issues, practicing Missouri State public affairs mission at all times. Students earn course credit for their service-learning experience. Community agencies get good help. Win-win.
One-Credit | 40 Hours | Reflection Assigment
In the component course, students have the option of enrolling in a separate, but attached, one-credit course. The student who chooses the service-learning component course is required to complete 40 hours with or for a community partner spread over the course of a semester, which lasts about 5 months.
Embedded Coursework | 15 Hours | Service Meets Course Objectives
In an integrated course, the service-learning element should be embedded into the coursework and fits the couse's learning objectives. Technically, every student in the classroom has a minimum service-learning time requirement of 15 hours with or for a community partner, but student or instructors are not required to track hours like they do with a component course. The instructor chooses if the class will work together as a team, in groups, or as individuals.
✘ Coordinating a community marathon is service.
✘ Measuring body mass index is learning.
✔ Calculating the average BMI of a school, setting up a website to gather statistics, then organizing a “Walk across North Carolina” to help reduce obesity is service-learning.
✘ Picking up trash on a riverbank is service.
✘ Studying water samples under a microscope is learning.
✔ Science students collecting and analyzing water samples, documenting their results and presenting their findings to a local pollution control agency is service-learning.
- Gain new advocates for your organization
- Develop better community resources for all citizens
- Recruit and develop new leadership in the community
- Benefit from faculty and students’ knowledge, skills and creativity
- Create awareness of Community Partners’ services and needs
- Strengthen the connection between the community and the campus
- Receive support and assistance from the CASL staff.
- Accept service-learners who are appropriate for your organization.
- Request support from the CASL staff for inappropriate student conduct.
- Communicate to the CASL staff any recommendations or suggestions regarding the program.
- Decline any program support invitation from CASL, and to do so without consequence.
- Expect service-learners to be timely, efficient and courteous while working at your organization.
Planning and Preparation
- Decide on how many students your organization needs.
- Provide the CASL office with a copy of your organization’s Mission statement so we can share it with students and give them a good overview of who you are and what you do.
- Develop clear and well thought-out position descriptions that outlinetasks, responsibilities and expectations.
- Keep in mind students need a service experience that complements their academic study and help them better understand the broader societal implications of the issue(s) your organization addresses.
Schedule an Interview
- The CASL office requires all service-learning students to set up an interview with their chosen Community Partner.
- Use this opportunity to find out more about the students and share with them about your organization and how they can contribute to your mission.
- Discuss the students’ role, including specific expectations.
- Review policies, rules, dress codes, work schedules and other important information.
- Include a tour of the facility, if possible.
Keep in Mind Students’ Schedules
- Be as flexible as possible regarding students’ work schedule.
- Agree upon number of working hours, days and times.
- Give advanced notice of necessary schedule changes, if possible.
- Give students regular feedback about their work and acknowledge their contributions.
- Keep faculty and the CASL office informed about any sucesses, concerns and suggestions.
- Update your records with the CASL office when there are changes so we can give students accurate information about your organization.