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Students in Community

Providing meaningful work beyond the classroom that is designed for students to cultivate interest in community and examine the connection between place, community, health, and identity.

The Students in Community program provides an opportunity for students to receive a competitive hourly salary, while providing a historically critical link between Whatcom county communities and the Center for Community Learning. In alignment with WWU’s Strategic Plan Goal #2, this community of practice program structure engages students as partners, practitioners, and community members, while providing a bridge for WWU to maintain long-term sustainable partnerships with current community partners and community engagement fellows members. Community based partnership opportunities allow for students to cultivate community through place-based programs, participation in Center for Community Learning events, and regular gatherings. 


This program is one avenue to remove the barrier to entry many students face when deciding how and when to engage in the community. Moving beyond service learning, community service, or working in the community, the Students in Community program provides a required link from the Center for Community Learning to the community partners through a co-created program. In this program Students in Community participants build opportunities for other WWU students and community members to become involved in conversations around community health equity and food security both on campus and in the community.


Students in Community provides meaningful work beyond the classroom that is designed for students to cultivate interest in community and examine the connection between place, community, food, health, and identity.


Students in Community

Minimum requirements:

  • Accepted a federal work study award for 2022-2023

  • Access to reliable transportation to the community site. 

  • Ability to follow community partner on -site policies and WWU employment requirements.  

  • Required (paid) attendance of group gatherings with Center for Community Learning supervisor.

  • Required (paid) participation in at least 3 community events co -hosted by the Center for Community Learning and/ or the Community Engagement Fellows Cohort each quarter.

*Some community partners may have additional requirements, such as:

  • Ability to carry and move 20 lbs. 

  • Interest in working with children.

  • Ability to work outside, in all weather, on uneven ground.

  • Must pass a background check

What students are saying about the program:


“I liked getting to know other students at our get togethers and learning about the other community organizations people are involved in. Specifically for the farm, I learned so much about gardening.”


“I think this program is so amazing! I can't say enough good things. I have some ideas for other organizations that might be a good fit for the program. I'd be happy to chat anytime about these ideas. And I thought the concept statement was great! I feel really lucky to be a part of this program.”


“It was nice getting to meet up and collaborate with others in the same program. Thank you to Laurel for all the hard work collaborating meetings and activities!!!”


“It has made me feel so much more connected to Bellingham and that I'm finally part of the community.”


“I think that combining my studies in farming to the work I do alongside school has given me direct experience that has solidified what I've learned in class. I also have made great, long-lasting friends from doing hard farm work!”


“Learning from my coworkers helped me be more confident and outgoing in approaching projects.”


“Through my work, I met community members that I run into regularly out and about. These connections supported me in integrating into this community. I feel more prepared to offer counsel or support to friends or community members who are navigating care systems and seeking support.”

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