Once you have attended an Applied and Service Learning Student Orientation, the next step is to secure an applied and service learning position with a community partner.
Selecting a Community Partner
Selecting the right community partner is an important step to ensuring a positive experience. However, for specific guidelines refer to your course syllabus and your class information found on the Applied and Service-Learning Dates and Deadlines Calender. For some courses, you might be assigned a specific community partner where you will only be able to provide assistance. While in other courses, you may have a list of community partners from which you may choose. Please note that some community partners have additional requirements that potentially take more time to process. Furthermore, many openings at community partner organizations do fill up quickly and it is in your best interest to start early. However, do not contact community partners until you have attended an Applied and Service-Learning Student Orientation and understand the guidelines and expectations of the Applied and Service-Learning Program at SMC.
Once you have attended the Applied and Service-Learning , here are some tips on how to select an organization
- Review the list of approved community partner organizations for your class. They can also be on found the Applied and Service-Learning Dates and Deadlines Calender.
- Do your research. Look for an organization that works with issues that you might feel strongly about and that will allow you to meet the objectives of your course
- Consider the skills you have to offer. Some placements are looking for people who have the skills you are able to provide.
- Step out of your comfort zone and try to learn something new. Learn a new skill or gain exposure in a new area
- Identify what organizations fit your schedule and qualifications.
- Know that all organizations have a selection criteria. It is just as important for you to feel a match with the organization as they with you.
Contacting a Community Partner
Once you have identified a community partner where you may want to provide assistance, it is up to you to initiate contact with the organization and to secure an Applied and Service-Learning position. If your class is given an option to choose an organization from a list of community partners, it is a good idea to rank them by preference, in the event that your first choice is not a match. Here are some suggestions on how to contact a community partner
- Always be professional. First impressions matter. The community partner is serving you by investing their valuable resources in your learning.
- View our Phone, Voicemail and Email Templates to help you reach out to a community partner
- Be patient and courteous. It is also important to set a positive standard for other SMC students to follow as part of the SMC Applied and Service-Learning Program.
- Identify yourself as an SMC student when you contact an approved organization. Let them know what class you are taking and that you looking to gain some experience related to your class.
- Try another organization or reach out to the Applied and Service-Learning Program, if contacting an organization becomes too challenging
- Avoid waiting until the deadline to reach out to an organization. Some sites require 3 to 4 weeks just to process your application. Some sites also require that you complete additional requirements (i.e. interview, immunizations, background checks, training, etc.).
- Bring your Student Application and Agreement Form and your course syllabus to share during your first meeting with an organization
Matching with a Community Partner
Once you and the community partner decide it is a good fit to work together, the next step is to discuss your schedule, your first day on site, any and all expectations, as well as have your supervisor sign your Student Application and Agreement form. Don't forget to submit your Student Application and Agreement form by the deadline assigned to your course. View the Applied and Service-Learning Dates and Deadlines Calender for more information.