It takes time to set up the logistics of a community-based course, project or activity. There are issues of travel, unanticipated challenges of community relationships and concerns about the amount of time needed for planning, but there are ways to minimize the impact. It does get easier each time you conduct a CBTL course, project or activity and the amount of time required lessens as partnerships develop.
The Center for Community-Based Learning has tried to summarize the larger logistical components into two of the largest concerns, those of time and risk management. Helpful tips for preparing to conduct a CBTL experience and how to implement it can be found in the "Planning & Implementation Timeline." The "Risk Management" section contains information about safety at the site, proper forms to sign and the logistics of transportation. Please be sure to visit the links in the diagrams for more detailed information.
In order for the community-based component to link to the faculty or staff member's desired learning outcomes, there are some important steps to consider early on in the planning process of a CBTL course, project or activity. For instance, it's important to realize that the relationship with the community partner should begin at least a semester prior to the course or activity. As this is the building block for the off-campus experience, a good relationship should be built early on. Other issues arise during and after the course. The basic timeline below helps faculty and staff plan for all of the logistics involved in a CBTL, course, project or activity. The timeline is for planning, implementing and assessing CBTL experiences. It's meant as a general guideline and may need tweaks based on course/activity content, level of engagement, personal preferences and whether or not the experience has been conducted before.
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A primary concern for many faculty and staff centers around the potential for risk when students leave campus to work with community organizations. In an effort to aide faculty and staff through the risk management process, a working group has put together several documents. Please click on the image below to view the documents.
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