In 2007, the CSU Center for Community Engagement (CCE) was awarded a three-year grant from the Surdna Foundation, The Next Stage: Boosting Service Learning to New Heights, to expand and formalize training for leaders in community engagement, including students.
During the initial year, representatives from each of the offices charged with service learning and community engagement in the 23 campuses gathered and identified three key focal areas of interest and need:
- strategic relationship building,
- marketing and public relations, and
- leadership development.
Systemwide retreats, regional meetings, ongoing consultation and follow-up technical support were integrated into a comprehensive 3-year professional development program (see chart in 411 section for some overall results).
While a few CSU campuses already had strong student-training programs, many more wanted to create them. Four campuses provided model programs:
Drawing on these successes, training materials and useful examples were gathered, adapted, and published as Advancing Community Engagement with Student Leaders: A 'How-To Manual from the California State University. Following its release, CCE announced competitive sub-grants to develop new opportunities for student leadership in the CSU.
Four campuses – East Bay, Fresno, Fullerton and San José – were funded, and during the spring 2010 term, teams of students and their advisors designed and implemented initiatives with student leaders at the forefront. Each team took such elements as campus history, geographic setting, resource availability, and student culture and demographics in tailoring the ideas to fit their unique profile. They also received training and technical support from CCE.
STUDENT LEADER MENTORS
Three student leader mentors were instrumental in supporting funded campuses as they developed new student leadership for community engagement programs. They also helped to disseminate the manual at regional and national conferences. Kristina Barger (Chico - CAVE) was a tireless advocate for student voice during the project and helped represent CSU student leadership at several national conferences. Anna Leeper (Humboldt – YES) was instrumental in designing effective training sessions and offered problem solving insight to emerging campus programs. Roxanne Visaya (LA – EPIC) provided excellent one-on-one consultation and resource sharing to emerging campuses throughout the project.
Watch this short video - training in action!
The graph below shows how community engagement leaders rated their offices in the dimensions of visibility, integration on campus, and value at the start of year one activities of the Surdna grant program and in 2010 (the final year). The differences between the ratings given for “initial status” and “current status” indicated how much progress, if any, leaders felt their offices had made during the period of the Grant.
Tools and Resources and Training and Consultation
Visit these links to get you started on how-to develop a student leadership program to support community engagement efforts within your college/university or organization.