PARTNERS is a service-learning initiative that enriches educational experiences by connecting academic learning and meaningful community service. PARTNERS brings together students, faculty and communities in mutually beneficial partnerships to solve shared problems and foster civic engagement.
Why Get Involved?
Service‐learning provides a number of tangible benefits for faculty, staff, and college administrators:
Benefits for Community Organizations
- Service-leaning brings new energy, ideas, and enthusiasm as well as specialized skills to an organization.
- Organizations can utilize the efforts of one or more college students under the direction of PVCC faculty to resolve organizational problems, challenges, and needs.
- Because service-learning projects are tied to class grades and monitored by faculty members, student participants tend to be reliable and motivated.
- Service-learning provides the opportunity to expand an organization’s mission and reach without substantially increasing cost.
Becoming a PARTNERS Community Organization
General Criteria for Participation
- Is your organization a nonprofit, educational, government, healthcare, faith-based, or charitable organization?
- Does your organization have a specific need or is your organization facing a problem that is complex enough to support the combined efforts of college students and faculty?
- Can your organization designate a point person to work collaboratively with faculty and students throughout the duration of the project?
Building Successful Partnerships
While ongoing needs for volunteers can produce service-learning opportunities, the best service-learning projects are designed around discrete problems or challenges that require the use of class and career specific knowledge and skills. PVCC students might partner with a community organization to provide tutoring, design fitness education programs, conduct health screenings, conduct marketing and sales research, built a park, write a speech, design a distribution plan for a community garden, develop a website, launch a community education initiate, test well water, cater a fundraiser, or any number of other activities.
Opportunities for service-learning partnerships are limited and selected via a rolling review process. PARTNERS staff is available to help identify appropriate short-term and semester-long activities, offer advice, and act as a liaison with faculty members. If you are interested in a service-learning partnership with PVCC faculty and students, we would love to hear from you. Contact J. Nikol Beckham, PVCC’s Service-Learning Coordinator, to get started.