CommUNITY Partner Program
Mission: The CommUNITY Partner Program supports efforts to address community priorities; creating quality learning opportunities through student engagement.
Vision: Our University carries out its land grant mission in improving outcomes for the state through the active engagement of students, faculty and the greater community. Community partnerships are reciprocal and members effectively carry out their role as co-educators of students.
Through the CommUNITY Partner Program at the Center for Service and Learning, we facilitate connections to organizations that meet community needs and engage students through meaningful and intentional service. In support of mutually beneficial experiences we strive to connect our partners to campus resources that go beyond volunteerism; including professional development, and networking opportunities.
What does the CommUNITY Partner Program provide for community organizations?
- Personalized consultation for your agency staff about how community engagement opportunities can enhance and support your mission and programs.
- Invitations to special training and networking events to help build non-profit capacity. Check out our
- Invitations to informal gatherings for the greater community such as the Non-Profit CommUNITY Roundtable.
- Participation in and support from the large network of organizations that we partner with at WVU—check out our list here.
- 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. Our staff can assist with consultation on writing and promoting your opportunities. Your opportunities can also cross post to VolunteerMPC, the United Way of Mon and Preston Counties' volunteer management platform so that you may recruit both WVU and community volunteers on one system.
- Opportunities to work with WVU faculty and students for a full semester through service-learning course projects from a wide variety of academic disciplines.
- Connection to the WVU campus community to publicize your events and initiatives, as well as opportunities for networking and involvement with WVU faculty.
- Access to campus resources facilities such as the Mountainlair.
- Access to valuable data that can demonstrate the community impact of of your projects.
- Opportunity to hire Community based Federal Work-Study students at NO COST - available to most 501.c.3 nonprofit organizations and campus partners.
- Access to WVU Surplus items for qualified organizations.
The CSL strives to connect WVU volunteers to all needs in our community. Local organizations or programs not participating in the full CommUNITY program may still 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.
What’s required to be part of WVU’s CommUNITY Partner Program?
- A commitment to play an active role as a co-educator of WVU students.
- Partners will be asked to meet or talk with the CommUNITY Partner Coordinator about your organization’s goals as well as complete a Memorandum of Understanding before entering into official partnership with the CSL. There is no cost.
- Attend a new CSL Partner training session to learn how to use iServe effectively, access partner benefits, engage service-learning students from academic courses, and make the most of your partnership. If you cannot make a session, alternate arrangements can be made.
- Ensure safe and supervised volunteer placements that contribute to student learning, development, and civic engagement.
- Provide orientation to your organization's mission and the population being served so volunteers understand the value of their service.
- Convey important policies and behavior expectations before service begins. Ensure volunteers have adequate training and someone to approach with questions to successfully complete tasks.
- Maintain communication with the CSL regarding contact changes, or any concerns that arise related to a service experience.
- Agree to use the iServe volunteer management platform. Encourage all WVU community members to log hours on the system as this data is extremely valuable to the CSL and to you as a partner.
- 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; or that you use iServe's electronic check-in feature.
- In the spirit of a reciprocal partnership, support our Center by participating in occasional networking events, special trainings, promotional events on campus, special days of service,
- Support the CSL in data collection by completing occasional surveys and assessments when requested.
- Partners who opt to work with service-learning class groups may be asked to participate in student grading for some courses. We view our community partners as “community educators” 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 are considered the co-educator while students are serving out of the classroom!
- Participation in service-learning courses requires submission of evaluation 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.
- Volunteer placements must adhere to WVU Board of Governors Policy 44: West Virginia University is committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive culture by promoting diversity, inclusion, equality, and intercultural and intercommunity outreach. Accordingly, the University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, marital or family status, pregnancy, veteran status, service in the uniformed services (as defined in state and federal law), religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, genetic information, gender identity, or gender expression in the administration of any of its educational programs, activities, or with respect to admission or employment.
Check out our lists of official Community and Campus Partners. 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 explore opportunities to collaborate.
Contact Catherine by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 304-293-8347.
- Partner Program MOU 2018 Update
- Service-Learning Project Descriptions
- Service Learning Evaluation 2016 paper format
- Sample Service-Learning Projects
- Student Volunteer Sign-In Sheet
- Partner Best Practices
- Script for Initial Meeting with Service-Learning Students
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." Habitat for Humanity
The Service-Learning team could not be more helpful and encouraging. Your serving spirit was appreciated and we look
forward to our next engagement with the University. New Vision Renewable Energy, Philippi, WV
were thrilled with the outcomes of this project. We've already been
contacted by several students we met that day who would like to
volunteer with us. We are so grateful. Well done! Appalachian Prison Book Project