Going Forward Together:

Elements of Healthy Campus-Community Partnerships



  1. Community residents shape the direction of collaborative projects.

  2. Campus administrators support campus-community partnerships.

  3. There is a shared commitment to capacity-building.

  4. Faculty members are sensitive to community needs.

  5. There is a shared belief that partnerships will be mutually beneficial.

  6. The campus’s capacity is sufficient for the tasks.

  7. Community partners know how to fully utilize campus resources.

  8. More than a handful of people are involved.

  9. Third parties act as brokers and intermediaries, when needed.

  10. The most disadvantaged community residents participate.

  11. Campus-community projects are related to broader collaborative efforts.

  12. There is a joint exploration of separate and common goals and interests.

  13. The partners create a mutually rewarding, shared agenda.

  14. The partners articulate clear expectations.

  15. Success is measured in both institutional and community terms.

  16. Each partner shares control of resources.

  17. The partners focus on each other’s strengths/assets.

  18. Partners identify opportunities for early success and regular celebration.

  19. Partners pay attention to communication and cultivate trust.

  20. Partners commit to continuous assessment of the partnership itself.



Adapted from Maurasse, David J., “Higher Education-Community Partnerships: Assessing Progress in the Field.” Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 31(1) 2002: 131-139.

Our programming takes place on the ancestral homelands of the Coast Salish Peoples, who have lived in the Salish Sea basin, throughout the San Juan Islands and the North Cascades watershed, from time immemorial. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, particularly the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.

(For more information: WWU Tribal Relations)

Thank you to the numerous organizations that have empowered and continue to support this collaborative effort through co-sponsoring events and providing meeting space, expertise, and communication support. Special thanks to Eastern Washington University, Northwest Indian College, University of Puget Sound, Whatcom County Library System, and Whiteswan Environmental for their ongoing dedication to the work.

©2020 Community Engagement Fellows