Engaging Staff and Faculty

Strategy  •  Background  •  Next Steps  •  Available Resources


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.


James Shields '00, the Director of the Bonner Center for Community Service & Learning, shares his joy for working with Guilford College students as well as Greensboro's immigrant refugee community. He also reflects on Guilford's Underground Railroad tree and his passion for using entertainment to keep history alive.

The Bonner Foundation recognizes that the civic engagement field must nurture the talent and commitment of professionals on and off campus who – year in and year out – provide coordination, management, education, reflection, mentoring, and other supports. Our developmental approach doesn’t stop at students and partnerships. Our network is a pipeline for the sector. Over 40 percent Bonner alumni go on to graduate school, many of them focusing on the issues that were sparked by their undergraduate experiences. More than a third work long-term in the nonprofit sector or as educators in K-12 and higher education. Another third work in government roles, focusing on addressing systems and policies. All of our alumni stay civically engaged. They make the news as inspiring change agents, and the stories we collect attest to that.

Even more directly, Bonner graduates move into positions of leadership on campus. More than a third of Bonner Program coordinators, employees of individual campuses, are in fact alumni. Our network of veteran staff and faculty often move into roles as deans, and engaged faculty and administrators become senior leaders. Recognizing the need for more rewards, recognition, and professional development for campus civic engagement professionals, the Foundation invests in staff and faculty development. We understand the relationship of personal change to system change.

Next Steps

With this in mind, we have launched the Bonner Pipeline Project, a new professional development strategy for emerging civic and community engagement leaders in higher education. Over the next decade, we hope to contribute to the field and to support our network’s success through:

  • A comprehensive framework for professional development that starts with students and moves to the level of higher education or community leader
  • A professional development training program that is tied with our national meetings and enables professionals to track their own learning and accomplishments
  • Exploring possible connections with graduate study or innovative strategies for working professionals to enhance their credentials
  • Mentoring programs that engage alumni and professionals
  • New publications and stories related to this initiative

Available Resources

You can find guides, campus examples, and links to other resources related to Faculty Development on the Bonner wiki.

In addition, the annual Bonner meetings provide direct staff and faculty development opportunities: