Resources for Community Partners
Learn more about Community-Engaged Learning at USF
Community Partnership Model
At USF, community-engaged learning happens in the context of mutually beneficial partnerships between USF faculty members and community partners. “Community partner” is a broad term that may include nonprofit and government staff, community organizers and leaders, or other individuals engaging in supervision and mentorship of students while they are in the community.
USF partnerships are rooted in the concept of “reciprocity,” meaning that faculty, students, and community partners all contribute to the success of the partnership and should equitably benefit from the outcomes. The community partner is empowered to identify the most pressing priorities, expectations, and needs of the host organization or community, and determine the best way for students to provide a benefit through their course-related service. In return for student service, community partners act as co-educators who bring their own wisdom and experience to bear on student learning and development.
Become a Community Partner
If you are interested in exploring ways to collaborate with USF students and faculty through community-engaged learning, we encourage you to contact us to schedule a site visit. We welcome the opportunity to learn about your organization’s programming areas, service projects, and activities that may align with community-engaged courses. Please email Star Plaxton-Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more and/or arrange a site visit.
To become a “preferred partner” with the McCarthy Center, we ask organizations to provide the following documentation for our files:
- Proof of nonprofit 501(c)(3) status
- An original copy or PDF from your insurer of a current Certificate of Liability Insurance naming your organization as a "Certificate Holder" and showing existing coverage of at least one million dollars in general liability insurance.
By providing this information, you help the McCarthy Center ensure that we can confidently recommend your organization as a community partner for community-engaged courses.
Community Partner Co-Educator Fellowship
We invite you to join a learning community of nonprofit staff, service providers, public servants, activists, and other local change agents facilitated by the McCarthy Center at USF. The goals of the Community Partner Co-Educator (CPCE) Fellowship are to
- achieve more equitable relationships between USF and our community partners,
- integrate community wisdom into decision-making and actions at the McCarthy Center,
- maximize student learning about, with, and from community, and
- support community partners in making use of USF students toward their priorities and needs.
The CPCE Fellowship meets for six two-hour sessions over the course of consecutive weeks beginning in January each year. Participants receive up to $600 for participation in the sessions, submission of a letter of support from executive director or equivalent, and completion of culminating assignments. If you would like to participate in this opportunity to connect with community peers, share your expertise, and build your understanding of how to work with USF and our students, then please email Star Plaxton-Moore at email@example.com.
Community Partner Awards and Recognitions
The McCarthy Center honors community partners annually at its Year End Celebration with awards for excellence in partnership with USF. Past award recipients have included:
- Bayview YMCA
- Glide Foundation and Church
- Mission Graduates
- Magic Zone and Collective Impact
- Generation Citizen
- Faithful Fools
- African-American Shakespeare Company
Additionally, the McCarthy Center highlights community partners in its biannual publication, Profiles in Community-Engaged Learning.