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Community Engaged Learning Tool Kit: Partner Development

This research guide highlights resources for those interested in the pedagogy of community engaged learning. Included are sample syllabi, reflection resources, possible outlets for publishing on the topic and more!

DUgood Partner Database

Drake University has connections with over 150+ agencies in the Greater Des Moines area. Login to DUgood to find opportunities to get involved in our community, message participating organizations, track your student's impact, and explore what fellow Bulldogs are doing to make a difference. It is our goal that DUGood becomes a place of connection between Drake students and the broader community.

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Establishing a partnership

Community Partners may be public, community-based, private, an industry business or academic organization working at the individual, neighborhood and city, regional, state, national, or international levels. A community partner may be an organization that serves community members or clients, or it may be an affinity group working to promote its own self-interest. 

Partnership development can begin a number of ways, including:

  • CEL Office reaches out to a faculty member after receiving a request from a community partner to involve students in a project. 
  • Faculty member reaches out to a member of the CEL team about a project idea, and CEL team helps them find a community partner.
  • Faculty member develops a relationship with a community partner, and they develop a project together. CEL office is here for support!

Recommended steps to project development:

  1. Introductions: Instructor and community member meet to discuss goals and possible activities prior to the start of the semester or project.
  2. Risk management: Instructor checks with CEL Director or an experiential learning coordinator within their academic program to see what risk management steps are recommended or required.
    1. A certificate of insurance may be required for your CEL activity - depending on tasks, location, and group size. Drake maintains up-to-date certificates for numerous area partners.
    2. Drake requires a personal vehicle release form for any faculty, staff member, or student who will be driving students to participate in a course-related activity.
  3. Agreement and mapping the basics: Instructor (and/or students) work with community partner to fill out a Drake Partnership Agreement to help manage expectations and timeline. Syllabi and course schedule reflect agreed-upon tasks and dates.