Many successful partnerships have grown between Illinois State and community organizations over the last year. A few brief examples include:
Teacher candidate students created a collection of integrated learning activities to engage children at Bloom Community School. Activities were shared with teachers and used as the summer curriculum. Students practiced designing learning activities and the school benefited by receiving the new curriculum.
Senior public relations students researched and talked with target audiences to help YMCA increase membership retention. Students applied the culmination of their course work for this client. YMCA received a report of strategies for increasing member retention and saved time by not having to conduct target audience interviews.
Graduate students in Political Science and Sociology worked in small groups to learn about an organization and then they wrote a grant for that organization. Students learned about the grant writing process and practiced those skills. The organizations were the recipients of a completed grant application. Organizations included KTB Financial Services, Marcfirst, Northwest Neighborhood Community Center, Wish Bone Canine Rescue, and the YWCA.
Psychology students in the infant and child development course volunteered 1 to 3 hours weekly throughout the semester with a community organization serving children and families. Students wrote weekly reflections about their experiences that included what they were learning about child development, community engagement, and themselves. Students supported an organization that needed regular volunteers while also observing and connecting to their class material.
Nutrition students identified common food/nutrition problems, created research based infographics related to the problem, and displayed the infographics in relevant dining centers (hospital, K-12 schools, ISU). Through their research, students learned about topics in nutrition and how to communicate the topics in an easy-to-understand way. The organizations were able to use the student work to communicate relevant nutrition information to the populations they serve.
Psychology students conducted applied research and behavioral consulting for Pet Central Helps Animal Rescue and Shelter. Students worked with individual clients, prepared and implemented behavior change plans for the dogs, and worked with the director and board to develop and research factors in foster parent retention and best-practice training programs.
Civic engagement can take on a wide variety of attributes. When considering your new partnership, keep in mind the Center's classifications of student community engagement.
During "Bioenergy Plant/Microbe Biology and the Environment," a course in the School of Biological Sciences, students took some form of action that addressed/brought awareness to an issue or issues related to climate change and/or bioenergy. For example, some students contacted their legislatures and others created petitions, encouraging their classmates to sign them.
Students attended a Town Council meeting and wrote a paper about their experience for "The Ideal of Democracy," through the Department of Philosophy.
In "Oral Communication in Spanish," students were required to seek out of class opportunities to speak Spanish. These opportunities often included speaking Spanish in a volunteer setting. This class is part of the Department of Languages, Literature, and Cultures.
As part of "Business Systems Analysis" through the Department of Accounting, students performed business needs analysis to identify a problem, create data flow diagrams to understand processes, and to recommend process changes and technical solutions to mitigate problems for a community organization.
As part of a professional practice course in the College of Fine Arts, graphic design students served as interns for community organizations.
As part of "Communication as Critical Inquiry" through the School of Communication, students raised $1,200 to support the educational expenses of a child in the Congo, allowing the child to go to school instead of working in the mines.
Through the School of Kinesiology and Recreation, students participated in SHAPE UP Illinois where they spoke with Illinois legislators in person about the importance of K-12 physical education curriculum in schools.
Psychology students conducted applied research and behavioral consulting for Pet Central Helps Animal Rescue and Shelter as part of a research apprenticeship course. Students worked with individual clients, prepared and implemented behavior change plans for the dogs, and worked with the director and board to develop and research factors in foster parent retention and best-practice training programs.
Fashion Design and Merchandising Association students provide free clothing repairs on campus, in Bloomington-Normal, and in Chicago to reduce textiles in landfills and allow for development of textile economies in underdeveloped countries. As part of their Fix It Friday program, they simply set up a table and some sewing machines on Fridays, and they do clothing repairs on the spot for those who ask.