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  • Two or More Entities
    • Organizations, institutions, individuals
  • In an Agreed Upon Relationship/Alliance
  • Established through Intentional Process
    • Including but not limited to Informal
      • discussions, meetings, written communications and agreements
    • AND/OR Formal
      • planning sessions, focus groups, contract processes, memorandums of agreement, or other formalized documents.
  • Formed to achieve Common Objectives
    • leveraging any of the following but not limited to strengths, resources, shared responsibility.

Students, faculty, staff, administration, retiree, and alumni mentors (as recorded through USI alumni relations – alumni mentors have an established relationship with the University beyond the typical graduate and have interactions with students)

  • Community Engagement: Collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. This can include but is not limited to community development, service delivery, or governance (serving on a board, council, committee or in a leadership capacity).
  • The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching, and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good. (Definition and Purpose according to the Carnegie Elective Classifications)
  • Service Learning: A teaching and learning strategy integrating meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities. (National Service Learning Clearinghouse/ National Youth Leadership Council).

Activities between USI members and community partners that include two or more of the points below:

  • Two or more semesters of collaboration with the same community partner
  • Provide experiential learning in and about the broader community
  • Present collaborative opportunities throughout the entire process, from inception to implementation
  • Meet student learning outcomes, community partner expectations, and/or recipient needs
  • Foster reciprocal respect among USI members, community partners, and recipients

Any project or opportunity that meets all three criteria below:

  • Requires, draws upon, and applies USI’s unique academic knowledge base and areas of expertise
  • Involves an external, non-USI organization
  • Employs systematic investigation, inquiry, analysis, or application, designed to develop or contribute to generalizable knowledge.

What is NOT a project or research opportunity:

  • Service learning
  • Volunteer hours
  • Research done only among USI community members
  • Hosting events on campus