Participant Resources

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Best Practices

Project Planning

Each co-curricular, service learning, or internship experience should involve a clear, written plan, including academic or co-curricular goals and community outcomes, clarity about the tasks the student(s) will perform and the time investment. See the project planning form.

Pre-Service Training

Each co-curricular, service learning, or internship experience should include pre-service training that includes ethical guidelines for the work, skills needed to do the work, and pre-reflection on expectations and learning outcomes. The faculty member or University of Minnesota, Morris staff person and the partner typically share the work of preparing students for their experiences.

Implementation and Oversight

Each co-curricular, service-learning, or internship experience should involve planned and regular opportunities for students to get feedback from both the faculty/staff person overseeing the University of Minnesota, Morris’s involvement and the community partner.


Each co-curricular, service learning, or internship experience should involve guided reflection helping students connect their community work to primary learning outcomes and community engagement goals/outcomes.


Each co-curricular, service learning, or internship experience should involve an assessment process that includes assessment of student learning, assessment of community outcomes, and assessment of process.

Faculty and Staff

University of Minnesota, Morris faculty and staff can get involved in the community in multiple ways:

  • through engaged research;
  • by teaching a service learning course;
  • by supporting a service project as an adviser to a student organization;
  • or by attending (or helping to plan) one of the Office of Community Engagement’s regular events.

Engaged Research

At times, faculty are able to do publishable research in their fields and provide a product or service the community requested. Faculty have conducted community surveys, focus groups, and other research studies requested by community agencies and published (contextualized) results in journals in their fields. Others have written articles about service-learning pedagogy in pedagogical journals in their fields. The Office of Community Engagement can assist in planning, implementing, and revising articles related to such work; the Center for Small Towns has funding and other resources available for such projects as well. Often, engaged research can begin or continue through service-learning courses, Undergraduate Research Opportunities (UROPs) , Morris Academic Partnership (MAPs) , and other opportunities for University of Minnesota, Morris students. For more information about current community needs or assistance with such a project, contact the Office of Community Engagement.

Service Learning

Service-learning is a classroom experience that utilizes community service, community-based research, or other civic engagement activities along with regular reflection to meet course goals and community needs. The Office of Community Engagement helps faculty plan, implement, and assess service-learning projects that fit their course goals and meet community needs. We help with project planning, pre-service training, oversight of off-campus (and on-campus) projects, assistance with creating reflective assignments and activities, and assistance with assessment. Please contact us to explore options for service-learning courses

Community Project Planning

The Office of Community Engagement helps faculty, staff, and students develop meaningful partnerships with community partners. The best way to work toward planning a community project is to visit the office or make an appointment with the staff. The project planning worksheet will help you think about all the steps needed to plan a project. We can help you complete the form, which also serves as a request for resources from our office.


Participant Goals & Initiatives

In collaboration with faculty, staff, students, and community partners on our advisory board, the Office of Community Engagement is committed to helping our stakeholders meet the following goals, which align well with the goals of a Morris liberal arts education and of working at or partnering with a liberal arts institution.

Goals for Students

  • Increased understanding of how theory, knowledge, and skills learned in and outside the classroom can be used to meet a range of community needs.
  • Increased understanding of human diversity, including concepts of privilege and oppression and an improved ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups of people.
  • Improved leadership skills, including effective communication and collaboration skills necessary for working in a variety of settings.
  • Improved critical thinking and problem solving skills.
  • Increased commitment to and understanding of civic engagement and improved skills and knowledge relevant to effecting social change.

Goals for Faculty & Staff

  • Increased, ongoing engagement with the local community.
  • Increased pedagogical intentionality.
  • Improved ability to link research, service, and teaching agendas.
  • Increased understanding of teaching as a collaborative process.

Goals for Community Partners

  • Increased ability to meet the needs of clients by harnessing University of Minnesota, Morris student and faculty skills and knowledge on an ongoing basis.
  • Increased leadership opportunities for partners who assist in educating faculty and students about agency needs, goals, and related social issues.
  • Increased awareness of partnering opportunities within the Morris community.
  • Each project also seeks to meet specific, identified goals that are articulated through dialogue among partners, students, staff, and, for course-based projects, faculty. These goals are outlined on the project-planning sheet and used as the basis for assessment of each project.