The goal of Community Learning at Trinity College is to work with Hartford-area partner organizations to help them fulfill their short- and long-term missions, while encouraging deep student learning about the kind of work they do. Toward that end, we believe in:
- Building relationships with partners where power and resources are shared
- Relying on community partners’ knowledge and understanding of local issues to determine the best methods for addressing community needs
- Creating projects that reciprocally benefit community partners and Trinity students and faculty*
Most of these partnerships begin with a Trinity course, where students work with community organizations either as individuals, in small groups, or as an entire class. These partnerships generally fall into one of three categories:
Service: Students assist in the day-to-day operations of an organization or with implementing a special program or project. They often serve as an extra pair of hands in getting your work done. Examples include:
- In EDUC 200: Analyzing Schools, Trinity students work with a classroom teacher, helping their students to learn for three hours every week.
- In PSYC 246: Community Psychology, students work in youth support programs every week, participating in mentoring, tutoring, and other daily tasks.
Products: Students create a text (pamphlet, op-ed, white paper, research brief) or other product (video, infographic, map) based on an organization’s need and with their guidance.
- In CACT 101: Envisioning Social Change, teams of students film and edit short promotional videos for their partners.
- In FORG 201: Data Visualization Internship Seminar, students partner with local organizations to create interactive charts and maps for their websites.
Research: Students work with community partners to design and implement research projects, ranging from data collection and analysis to program development and evaluation.
- In PBPL 351: Diversity in the City, students act as short-term research consultants to answer partners’ questions through scholarly research, interviewing, and policy recommendations.
- In CLIC 400: Community Learning Research Fellows, students design and conduct a semester- or year-long research project a community partner, often as part of an independent study or senior thesis. Read more at the CLI Research Fellows page.
*For more specifics, see the “Principles of Good Community Campus Partnerships” developed by Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, which we draw on in our approach to building and sustaining partnerships.