The integration of a four-year developmental civic engagement pathway through the Bonner Program enables colleges and universities to build and strengthen their culture and infrastructure for community engagement in many ways, seen and felt. The Bonner Program can catalyze deep changes in the fabric of the institution, not only for students but also for faculty and staff, reinforcing a culture of teaching and learning, collaboration, and innovation.
We have found that engaging a cohort of students, as small as 30 or as large as 160, in working with community partners over multiple years shifts community service from a placement to project model. Students engage much more intensively than in a single course and for much longer than one term. With deep partnerships, the possibilities for projects expands, in ways that can engage teams of students and faculty working towards a strategic vision. All of this makes our goals for campus-wide culture and integration possible.
Our campus-wide goals are:
Position the Bonner Program as a model and catalyst for campus-wide engagement – with student leadership as a core component
Support the creation and development of campus-wide centers, which play an important brokering and educational role off campus and as experts in community engagement on campus
Integrate community engagement across the institution, including with mission and across academic and administrative departments
Support the development of integrative educational and experiential pathways that culminate in Community Engaged Signature Work or capstones
Support the development of professional staff and faculty who design, teach, lead, and manage this work
Help to reimagine teaching, learning, and scholarship – including by providing support for faculty development, engagement, and rewards.
Bonners have brought campus organizations and departments together to collaborate on social justice and advocacy-based projects, and promoted greater integration of service with academic coursework.
The Bonner Program supports the development of sustained infrastructure for campus-community partnerships and community engagement, such as dedicated staffing and coordinating centers.
The Bonner Program can foster integration of community engagement across the institution – including with admissions, financial aid, student success, and academic departments.
The Bonner Program consists of several high-impact practices, and the Foundation has supported work to scale the opportunity for students to participate in high-impact practices tied with community engagement.
The Bonner network is working to transform programs and curriculum to ensure that all students have opportunities to tie college learning to real-world experience through integrated capstones.
Just as the program is developmental for students, so too we provide a range of opportunities for professional staff and faculty to be equipped as leaders within their campuses, communities, and the field.
Every campus in the Bonner Network has a the campus-wide center or office to lead their community engagement efforts. Twenty-one of these campus centers receive support from their Bonner Program Endowments.
Carnegie Community Engagement Classification
More than half of campuses in the Bonner Network have earned the prestigious Carnegie Community Engagement Classification.