Community Organizations

The Office for Community-Engaged Learning (OCEL) strives to be a catalyst for creating and maintaining mutually beneficial community and campus partnerships. We engage with community by following a set of guiding principles that commit us to:

  • experiencing shared power and decision-making with our community;
  • communicating honestly with transparency and good will;
  • honoring campus and community members as equitable partners and co-educators;
  • critically reflecting on our continuous learning together both in the classroom and community
  • transcending boundaries created by difference.

Partnerships are integral to the vibrancy and wellbeing of our community. There are numerous ways to partner with Slippery Rock University to further your organization's mission and community-based efforts.  Organizations wishing to propose anything from a short-term service experience to an ongoing partnership should contact the Office for Community-Engaged Learning at ocel@sru.edu.

Ways to Partner with Us

Service-Learning

Service-Learning involves integrating community service or other forms of engagement with academic course content. As a result, SRU students are able to gain real world skills and enhance their learning while contributing to the community. Service-Learning projects are perfect for organizations that have specific needs. For example, some Service-Learning partnerships have resulted in marketing plans for non-profits, research and data collection, youth mentoring programs, website and social media sites, and computer databases. Service-Learning projects are also great for organizations that can benefit from long-term and on-going volunteers. Many Service-Learning courses that study a specific social issue (for example, people with special needs or homelessness) require that students serve weekly in agencies that work to address those issues.  Organizations seeking customized service-learning partnerships should contact the Office for Community-Engaged Learning at ocel@sru.edu.

Short-Term Service Projects

Short-Term Service Projects are opportunities to serve that do not require an ongoing commitment and typically require little to no pre-service training. Short-Term Service Projects are often great for large groups (such as SRU clubs, student organizations, Greeks, athletic teams, residence halls), but can be for individual students, staff, and faculty as well. Examples of short-term Service Projects may include, but are not limited to: building accessible ramps, campus/community clean-ups, holiday charity events (i.e. project Christmas Elf), soliciting and organizing donations (i.e. Feed My Sheep local food pantry), and various other philanthropic efforts (i.e. fundraising for a particular cause).  Community organizations may post short-term service opportunities on their organizational portals on CORE.

Ongoing Service Programs

Ongoing Service programs require an ongoing commitment from volunteers and community partners. This could be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or any other time span that would be most helpful for your organization. Ongoing service programs usually require training and, depending on the population you serve, may require a background check. Examples of on-going service programs may include, but are not limited to: socializing local shelter animals for adoption (see Shelter side-kicks service program), youth development/mentoring/tutoring (see Rock Star Neighbors service program), and recording life stories and legacies for elderly populations (see Dream Chasers service program).  Other examples of on-going service programs could include: tax assistance and preparation, tutoring adults in GED classes, client management assistance, fitness training programs, etc.  Community organizations wishing to explore the possibility of pursuing on-going service programs should contact the Office for Community-Engaged Learning at ocel@sru.edu.

Community-Engaged Scholarship

Community-engaged scholarship is the production and application of academic knowledge in collaboration with community expertise. Through mutually-beneficial partnerships, knowledge and scholarly products are created to address real world problems or create change. Examples include, but are not limited to: co-creating a community partner toolkit for service-learning (public resource); publication of findings of a collaborative, water pollution study leading to policy change (public policy); co-creation of a museum exhibit that documents and disseminates an important facet of local history (public education); or documenting the creation, maintenance, and sustainability of a long-term community/campus partnership (public engagement).

Community organizations may wish to partner with faculty, staff, or students to conduct various forms of community-based research involving collaborative data collection and analysis leading to publication, or may want to pursue the co-creation of creative activities involving art, performance or theater geared towards addressing salient public issues of concern or interest.  Projects should be co-designed to further both community and scholarly objectives. Organizations wishing to explore opportunities for community-engaged scholarship should contact the Office for community-Engaged Learning at ocel@sru.edu