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For Community Partners

Community partners are not-for-profit organizations, government agencies and social service groups that join with Iona College to meet the needs of the community while providing a learning experience for our students within the context of an academic course. Community partners are an essential component of service-learning and serve as co-educators for the service-based learning experience. “Partnerships are designed to create a service to the community while addressing educational opportunities for students. No two community partnerships are exactly alike” (Reitenauer et al., 2013, p. 20). Service-learning as a teaching style has the unique opportunity to transform both students and communities alike! In so many ways, it is a win-win scenario because students are able to apply their newly honed skills they learned in class to a community identified need, making our communities stronger, healthier, and more just places.

Examples of Community Partnerships

New Rochelle Public Library – Mass Communication course “Introduction to Public Relations” partnered with the New Rochelle Library as a part of “The Big Read” grant the library received from the National Foundation for the Arts. The grant project sought to promote community literacy and health through a shared literary text. Throughout the year, the library offered innovative programming and activities while Iona College students served as a “public relations firm,” providing needed PR work in order to assist the library in achieving their goal of a better New Rochelle through reading.

Big Viv’s Toy Drive – English Course “Communication Skills: Writing I” partnered with Big Viv’s Toy Drive in their annual holiday gift collection for New Rochelle residents in need. Many of the students’ academic assignments utilized the students writing skills in order to promote, reflect and understand the community issues that are facing New Rochelle, specifically its financially vulnerable citizens. Overall, the students in the class collected over 300 gifts that were distributed in December 2015.

Camp Viva – In collaboration with the Iona College Office of Mission and Ministry, students in this Social work class “Camp Viva Intensive Experience” served as camp counselors working with families impacted by HIV/AIDS. The students explored the impact of HIV/AIDS on families and individuals and helped to lead all daily activities of the residential campers.

Would you like to be a community partner?

We are always looking for more community partners to match up with a service-learning course. If you believe your organization has a project that can accommodate a large group of students (20-30) for a one-semester project that has the potential to be embedded into a course, we would love to hear from you! Please email Coordinator Genevieve Harding at gharding@iona.edu to discuss your ideas. Please note that we might not be able to accommodate all service projects due to our academic schedule, liability concerns or other issues.