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Cohort Meetings 4-6: Themes and Activities

Meeting 4: Forming Lasting Partnerships (Design Clinics)

The fourth meeting is focused on design clinics, which are detailed in the Design Clinics section.


We do three design clinics in each cohort meeting. Each takes ~30 minutes, and we take a short stretch break between each clinic.


In this meeting we also build in some time to discuss characteristics of lasting campus-community collaborations.

One resource we share is a “Going Forward Together: Elements of Healthy Campus-Community Partnerships” which is adapted from David J. Maurasse, “Higher Education-Community Partnerships: Assessing Progress in the Field.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 31(1) 2002: 131-139.

Meeting 5: Integrating Your Work (Design Clinics)


The fifth meeting is focused on design clinics.


We build in some time to think about the value of designing campus-community collaborations that support multiple aspects of each Fellows’ professional goals and requirements.


  • For community-based educators, this may mean ensuring a collaboration supports several of their organization’s goals and/or will help them secure future resources for their work from multiple avenues.


  • For non-tenure track/part-time faculty members, this may mean ensuring a collaboration supports several classes that they teach, rather than just one, and/or supports other roles that they play in the community.


  • For tenure-track faculty members, this may mean ensuring a collaboration supports their teaching, research, and service, the categories used to evaluate them for tenure and promotion.


  • For higher education program staff, this may mean ensuring a collaboration supports several of their college or university’s strategic goals, and ongoing or emerging programs.


We warn against designing collaborations that serve only a narrow, or short-term, purpose.  

Georgianne Connell designed a new lab for her WWU biology students to study eutrophication in Lake Whatcom.

"The CE Fellowship allowed me to collaborate on pedagogy with faculty outside of my discipline, which is something that I rarely get a chance to do. I was surprised at how creative the feedback process was and how rich of a resource network we had, which I attribute to interdisciplinary nature of our group." 

- Georgianne Connell

Meeting 6: Telling Your Story (Design Clinics)


The sixth meeting is focused on design clinics.


We build in some time to briefly discuss the importance of documenting your campus-community collaboration for your own internal improvement and in order to promote your work.


We point out literature that reveals that campus-community collaboration stories can be told in misconstrued, skewed or partial ways that damage relationships and misrepresent the work.


Two useful resources along these lines are:


Christy Kayser Arrazattee; Marybeth Lima; Lisa Lundy, “Do University Communications About Campus-Community Partnerships Reflect Core Engagement Principles?” Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning (20:1, Fall 2013).

Randy Stoecker and Elizabeth Tryon (eds.), with Amy Hilgendorf, The Unheard Voices: Community Organizations and Service Learning (Temple University Press, 2009).


We’ve had them do a writing/discussion activity focused around two questions:


  • What would you like to be the essence(s) of your campus-community collaboration story?

  • Which lessons do you not want people to learn from stories told about your campus-community collaboration(s)?


The bottom line for us is to help Fellows be proactive about telling their story in a way that fits the shared values and voices of the people involved. Otherwise, someone might tell their story for them in a damaging or unhelpful way.




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