Student Support

Community Partner Orientation


Before you start your applied and service-learning experience, remember that you set the tone for your experience. As such, it important to ask yourself at the beginning as well as throughout your involvement, what do I want to get out of my experience? Note that what you learn at your community partner may not always be evident in the beginning. Try to reflect back to your course learning objectives. Is what you are doing related to your course content? If not, ask yourself, what you can do to change your experience?

To be most successful with the applied and service-learning experience, it is important to be flexible and open to learning. Expect a little uncertainty. Try to challenge yourself. And most of all, remember that you have several support systems in place (SMC instructor, the Applied and Service-Learning Program, your community partner supervisor) to help structure your first day on site as well as throughout your entire experience. As the term progresses, you will begin to feel more comfortable with your experience and will grow into your role.

Community Partner Orientation/Training: At the beginning of your applied and service-learning experience, you may be energetic and eager to make a difference at the community partner site where you have been assigned and/or with the people with whom you work. Remember you may encounter a variety of situations that may not always be predictable. As such, we want all applied and service-learning students to attend a Community Partner Orientation/Training on or by the first day on site.

Community Partner Orientation/Training

  • The following are topics both you and your supervisor should address on or by the first day of site:

  • Meet with your supervisor; learn more about the community partner where you will be assisting

  • Tour of the organization, including any work areas

  • Meet and be introduced to other employees and volunteers

  • Learn more about the organization

  • Historical background, mission statement, values, goals, and objectives

  • Client base

  • Community needs

  • Review any materials provided by the community partner

  • Discuss any risk, safety and emergency evacuation guidelines

  • Discuss student and organization expectations

  • Discuss job description (tasks and responsibilities)

  • Discuss any sign-in/sign-out procedures

  • Discuss the Student and Supervisor evaluation instruments