The pandemic has radically altered the way we and our students work with communities, from shifting to remote engagement to adapting to community partners' shifting prioirites in response to the pandemic. As students begin to leave campus for the semester, we encourage you to reflect on these questions as you proactively plan, navigate, and wrap up the remaining weeks of fall semester and into winter break.
What are your and your students' needs?
- We know the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted you and your students in different ways. Check in with your students to hear how they are doing, what their plans are for the remainder of the semester, and how they intend to move forward.
- Reflect on these questions for yourself as well. Do your answers to those same questions have implications for your capacity as a course/program to continue your community-engaged projects? Can you realistically continue to do your work in the same way? Or do some things need to change? Be proactive so that you can communicate with your partner(s) openly and honestly.
What are your community partners' needs and priorities?
- Many communities have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19. Community organizations are continuously navigating how to meet the shifting needs and priorities of their communities.
- As you hear if or how partners are shifting their work, it is important to be honest and transparent with your community partners about whether or not your students are able to continue their projects in the same way. Proactively share this information with your partner...trust, honesty, and open communication are what build strong partnerships!
How can you support your students in executing the plan for the rest of the term?
- Once you have determined where you are as a course/program and talked with your community partner to determine your plan moving forward, how are you ensuring that your students are all on the same page?
- For your students who are directly engaging with community members, tutoring, mentoring, or working on projects: Do they know what the plan is, what the next steps are, and how to have those conversations with those they are working with?
What are some next steps for your partnership?
- If you plan to work with the same partner(s) next semester, be sure to share the later start date for students and what partners may anticipate for the Winter semester.
- If you will not be offering the course/program next semester, please communicate this with your partner(s).
- If you are looking for a new community partner for your upcoming course or program, reach out now for matchmaking support, since it is taking more time to confirm partner availaiblity due to COVID-19.
Additional Resources for the upcoming weeks: