Community Partnership Program
West Virginia University is committed to building our communities. We know how important it is for our students to extend their learning beyond the classroom. We we strive to offer innovative teaching and learning opportunities, but what matters most is that we do so in a way that helps meet the critical challenges faced our state and our residents. Community, faith-based, and governmental organizations in West Virginia and the surrounding region are at the front lines of meeting these challenges and with your partnership, no disparity is impossible to overcome.
Through the Partner Program at the Center for Service and Learning, WVU facilitates connection to organizations that meet community needs through meaningful and impactful service. We strategically guide the development of service-learning projects and volunteer opportunities to produce mutually beneficial interactions that are transformational for emerging professionals and communities alike.
What does the Partner Program provide for community organizations?
- Personalized consultation for your agency staff about how civic engagement opportunities can enhance and support your mission and programs.
- Consultation on project design.
- Participation in and support from the large network of organizations that we partner with at WVU—check out our list here.
- Continuous support and streamlined communication that reduces time needed to recruit, train, orient, and retain student volunteers.
- Access to iServe, the Online Service Management System used at West Virginia University and managed by the Center for Service and Learning (CSL) to recruit, place, and verify hours for student volunteers. Personalized consulting on writing and promoting your opportunities.
- Opportunities to work with professional and qualified faculty and students with expertise that can offer meaningful and lasting deliverable outcomes through service learning projects.
- Connection to the WVU campus community that provides publicity for your events and initiatives, as well as opportunities for networking and involvement with your agency.
- Access to campus facilities such as the Mountainlair.
The CSL strives to connect WVU volunteers to needs in our community, and so local organizations or programs not participating in the full partner program can use our iServe system (eligibility requirements apply—click here to learn more about approved service activities). If you’d like to read more about iServe or register your organization,visit our Frequently Asked Questions page.
Official Community and Campus Partners with the CSL also benefit from academic service-learning placements; priority for large group Day of Service projects; listing and link from the CS&L website; and priority support and promotion on campus.
What’s required to be part of WVU’s Partner Program?
- Partners are asked to participate in periodic trainings to maximize success for projects and volunteer placements. Our staff can discuss with you what is most convenient for you and your staff to do so. The focus for partner training and orientation is to provide clear communications and simple systems that offer convenience and practicality for partners.
- Partners are expected to maintain iServe volunteer postings, providing accurate and up-to-date information, and encourage all WVU volunteers to log their hours. Good communication is also expected with students and the CSL to help the placement process run smoothly for all involved.
- Approval or denial of service hours submitted by students is generally expected to be completed within 5 business days. The CSL strongly recommends that WVU volunteers sign-in and out at your site to help provide accurate records of their service.
- Partners working with service-learning groups may be asked to participate in student grading for some courses. We regard supervising personnel with our community partners as “community instructors” and want you to know that your evaluation of student performance, attitude, and attendance can potentially play an integral part in the student’s semester grade. You’re essentially the instructor while students are serving out of the classroom!
- Some parts of the partnership process require submission of grades and contracts by particular due dates as the academic calendar at WVU dictates much of the student project and participation schedules. Please adhere to due dates.
- Partners will be asked to meet or talk with staff about your organization’s goals as well as complete a Memorandum of Understanding before entering into official partnership with the CSL (download link below).
Check out our lists of official Community and Campus Partners here. If your organization isn’t listed yet, you should contact us! Catherine Whitworth, our community partner program coordinator, is happy to talk with you about the program and how your organization’s needs can best be met through partnership.
Contact Catherine by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 304-293-8347.
- Corporate Social Responsibility Class Grant RFP
- Partner Program MOU 2016-17
- Service-Learning Course Project Descriptions
- Service Learning Evaluation 2016 paper format
- Sample Service-Learning Projects
- Student Volunteer Sign-In Sheet
CSL Partner Program Handbook May 2017
- CSL Partner Training slideshow Updated 2016-17
- Partner Best Practices
- Script for Initial Meeting with Students
Current Partner Testimonials
“I want to say I am pleased with the quality of the groups In Touch and Concerned has this semester. All the students have been knowledgeable about their projects before we had our first meeting. The follow up so far has been fantastic and I can’t wait for the final products!”
Lisa Maxey, In Touch and Concerned
with the Center for Service and Learning is always a positive experience and
always very organized. Thanks for all you do for the students and the
community! Both the ReStore and
the construction site really enjoyed working with the students. They made a big
difference in both locations." Olivia Carline, Habitat for Humanity
"This was wonderful. I may schedule an event in 2018 on Greek Day of Service just to have their help again!" J.R. Petsko, Mason-Dixon Historical Park