Strengthening Campus-Wide Centers
Creating a Bonner Program often facilitates the development of sustained infrastructure for campus-community partnerships and community engagement, such as dedicated staffing and coordinating centers.
While the Bonner Program is often best known for its focus on students, in fact a key goal and rationale for campuses is to support a campus-wide culture and infrastructure for community engagement. Many colleges and universities seek out a relationship with the Bonner Foundation and network because it can help them to build the internal capacity for broader and deeper engagement. For most institutions, this work involves building a center or office with dedicated staffing. Centers play important roles including:
Building and managing student programs and student leadership
Building and sustaining relationships with community partners
Providing funding and resources for projects
Engaging faculty through course connections, research, and projects
Providing training and reflection for students, faculty, and volunteers
Managing transportation, liability, and other project concerns
- Tracking campus engagement and its impact
The Foundation provides a number of important supports for campuses in its network with center development and management. These include:
- Identify development: Participation in the Bonner network provides campus staff with access to examples and models for center organization, staffing structures, mission statements, and program models.
- Strategic planning: Foundation staff work with campus staff to facilitate the creation of 3-5 year written strategic plans for centers and their roles on campus and within the community.
- Program planning: Foundation staff can make visits to assist with Bonner Program start-up, growth, and management. Many campuses often take elements of the Bonner model to shape other new programs across departments.
- Professional development: The Bonner network convenes staff, student leaders, and faculty at least three times each year, as well as for special initiatives. See more under Meetings and also about Faculty Development [link to next one].
See the Bonner Wiki for additional resources on a range of related topics.