The Office of Community Engagement would not exist if it weren’t for an amazing group of student leaders. About 100 students each year serve as leaders in OCE programs. They are paid through federal and institutional work-study or other funds and/or take on unpaid leadership roles as lead volunteers or for-credit internships.
The leaders’ program provides training, reflection, and community-building opportunities for students interested in taking a leadership role in community engagement. This program relates to Morris’s mission in that it helps prepare “global citizens who value and pursue intellectual growth, civic engagement, intercultural competence, and environmental stewardship.”
Big Friend, Little Friend Mentors
Students interested in making a two hour/week commitment to mentoring a young person can join Big Friend, Little Friend. A three hour training and criminal background check, available at the start of each semester, is required for Big Friends. Big Friend, Little Friend members are unpaid volunteers. Board members can receive internship credit for their work with the program, are elected by their peers, and must have been big friends for at least one year. Board members plan monthly events for all youth and mentors and coordinate training for and assessment of the program.
Co-Curricular Program Leaders
Five to seven students are hired each year to serve as leaders in our co-curricular programs, which include our days of service and community-building programs. Leaders work together to plan and implement these programs from start to finish, including working closely with community partners to complete a project planning worksheet, planning logistics, facilitating and recording meetings and dialogues, and completing program assessment. Students apply through the campus leadership application process (the same process as CAs, OGLs, and Gateway/Stellar mentors), which begins in February each year. Candidates must have attended several of these programs prior to applying to serve as a leader.
Community-Engaged Learning Project Assistants
Each year, 15-25 UMM classes are community-engaged learning classes. Many of these classes require students leaders to assist with project planning, logistics, and assessment. Some require students to continue working on a project beyond the semester through a directed study, internship, or paid position. Faculty typically choose CEL project assistants and provide mentorship and support along with OCE staff. The best way to get a CEL project assistant leadership position is to take CEL classes.
Community ESL Teachers and Assistants
Students interested in teaching or assisting in Community ESL classes can complete a 12 hour MN Literacy Council training (available for free at the start of each semester). Upon completion of the training, students can choose roles and levels each semester. Lead teachers are paid a small stipend or can receive credit for their work. Lead teachers are selected based on completion of the training and involvement for at least one semester as an assistant. Students interested in intercultural work or teaching will find this opportunity rewarding. Lead teachers create, post, and revise weekly lesson plans, lead lessons, attend monthly retreats, and receive feedback through an observation each semester. Assistants lead small group work and help as needed with content deliver. Students interested in intercultural work or teaching will find this opportunity rewarding.
Students interested in unpaid leadership positions can complete a 2-4 hour training (depending on the level of involvement) to serve as facilitators in critical dialogues that occur during our community-building programs and days of service. Students must have attended at least two events like the one they will be facilitating before they are eligible to complete the facilitator training. Facilitation trainings are available twice each year. Dialogue facilitators often go on to become paid student leaders in other programs.
Jane Addams Interns
Jane Addams leaders and interns receive credit for coordinating weekly Jane Addams meetings. For more information, Contact Spanish instructor Windy Roberts, who coordinates these internships. Interns must be bilingual in English and Spanish.
Morris Intercultural Education Initiative Leaders
Eight to ten students serve as leaders in the MIEI leaders. These students work directly with one of our MIEI programs (Community ESL, ESL TREC, Jane Addams, and TERCERO) and also serve as a coordinator of the program, part of a planning team of faculty, staff, and community members. MIEI leaders communicate with stakeholders, plan and lead meetings and dialogues, and coordinate logistics. Leaders who are competent speakers, readers, and writers of Spanish and English are preferred.
TERCERO Translators and Interpreters
Students interested in serving as interpreters or translators (regardless of second/other language competency) can complete a nine hour training (available for free at the start of each academic year). Upon completion of the training, students commit to a two hour weekly shift as a translator or interpreter and are on call for special events. Students interested in intercultural work and who are competent in a second language will find this opportunity rewarding. Opportunities to receive further levels of certification and ongoing reflection and training opportunities are provided. For more information, contact Tammy Berberi or Thomas Genova.
TREC (Tutoring, Reading, and Empowering Children) Tutors
Students interested in serving as tutors and mentors for young people--as well as those who wish to read to young children and teach pre-literacy skills--can complete a six hour training (available for free at the start of each semester) and criminal background check (both free). Upon completion of the training and background check, students commit to between four to 10 hours of volunteer or paid work. TREC tutors are observed once/year and get written feedback; they also participate in monthly reflection and training retreats. Education majors and students interested in careers working with young people are especially encouraged to apply. Paid federal work-study positions available are posted at the UMM Student Employment site. Volunteer applications and applications for those who are not federal work-study eligible but wish to be paid are available by contacting the Office of Community Engagement. After serving as a tutor for one year, students have the opportunity to apply for lead tutor positions, which include mentoring new tutors and coordinating tutoring sites.