Connecting with a Campus

When you feel confident that your program is ready to engage college students as volunteer leaders, you can begin to identify the best avenues for establishing a relationship with a local college, university, or technical school.

Initial Point of Contact

The entire process of establishing the relationship will vary from school to school. You may talk first with a student who expresses an interest in having the initiative at his/her college; or you may speak with a professor who likes the idea but recognizes the bureaucracy involved in beginning an official connection between your program and the school. Your conversations may end with a service fraternity that wants to spearhead the movement, or you may end up working with a dean's office or the service-learning department. The important thing is to persevere until you speak with a person, group, or department with whom you can build a strong partnership.

Ideas for Building Partnerships

Consider the following questions when thinking about how to build partnerships with your college campus:

Marketing/Recruitment: Whom should I contact about marketing the SVL program on campus? What is his/her contact information? Can I post fliers on campus? Where? Where can I set up a table on campus? What other marketing techniques work well with students on this campus? Are there any upcoming events where I could market the program? Is this program appealing? What aspects should be emphasized in our marketing?

Campus Contacts: What departments on campus would you suggest contacting about this initiative (e.g., student activities, residence life, sociology/education/ psychology departments, other)? Whom should I contact in that department? Do you have a volunteer/service-learning office or department? If so, who is the contact there?

Summer Continuance/Annual Day of Service: What is the student presence on campus during summer? Would your campus likely participate in a large, multi-campus event once during the school year (e.g., Martin Luther King Day of Service, Earth Day, or Make a Difference Day)? Who might be available in the summer to collaborate on planning this event?

Senior Week Event: What is the campus schedule for senior week commencement activities? Would the campus be willing to collaborate with our program to plan a service event during the senior week activities? Would your students be willing to participate in a volunteer event in conjunction with more typical senior week activities?

Student Contacts: What individuals or groups on campus should I contact about this initiative (e.g., student body/government, community service groups, honor/academic groups, fraternities, sororities, sports teams, clubs, leadership groups, residence hall association, others)? What is their contact information?

Questions for Prospective Campus Partners

Download the following list of questions to help guide your conversations with campus contacts. You may want to adapt the questions to fit your program, the campus, or other factors that can affect your SVL program. QuestionsforCampuses.pdf