This is the fifth article in our iTeach.MSU playlist for the Spartan Studios Playkit.
Community or industry partnerships can make Studios courses’ themes and topics real and compelling for students and reinforce a sense of place-based learning. Based on the theme of your course, you likely have relevant partners in mind already. Benefits to your students aren’t enough, however: to be a worthwhile partnership, your course needs to help your community partner, fit into their broader plans, incorporate their needs and expertise on the course topic, and maintain or improve the pre-existing relationships between the partner and MSU. In other words, work with your community partners so that there are mutual benefits for you, your students, and your partners.
🔧MSU’s Center for Community-Engaged Learning is the campus unit best equipped to advise you about finding and working with a local community partner in nonprofit or community groups. They have guiding principles and best practices for community-engaged learning.
Partnership options can include:
- Nonprofit organizations
- Community groups
- Local businesses
- Government agencies
- Existing university relationships
- Collaborations between universities
Examples: Studios courses have partnered or are partnering with:
- the East Lansing library
- the Rachana Rajendra Neotropical Migrant Bird Sanctuary
- the Detroit Zoo
- the Pakwach, Uganda community
- the Food Bank Council of Michigan
- the Student Organic Farm
▶️Be a supportive coach as your students work with external partners, as this might be very different from their traditional classroom experiences. Work with your students so they are prepared, professional, and empathetic in their partner interactions. Offer opportunities for your students to digest and reflect on their work with partners.
Image by John Hain from Pixabay