Skip to main content

Student Preparation

It is the faculty members role to prepare students for engaging with the community.


Discuss with students your expectations for their behavior while in the community. Remind them that they represent Illinois State University, the department, and the individual faculty member as well as representing themselves. It is important for students to comply with organization expectations, policies, and procedures.

Orientation to Community Partner

It is a best practice for students to be fully oriented to the organization and and social issue they will be engaging with prior to starting community work. Faculty are encouraged to collaborate with the community partner in a co-educational role to deliver this information. Suggested topics include:

  • Mission, vision, and goals of the organization
  • Safety requirements
  • Organization expectations
  • Polices and procedures (emergencies, inclement weather, absences and late arrival, dress code, prohibited behavior/activities)
  • Mandatory reporting (when working with vulnerable populations)
  • Preparation to work with communities and clients (demographics, neighborhood history/contexts, cultural dynamics, terminology, stereotypes and privilege, community and organization assets and challenges)
  • Broader context of the specific work they will be doing and underlying social issue

This can be done by inviting the community partner to class or having the class (or specific student group) visit the organization during the class period.