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Key Elements of Effective Service-Learning Partnerships from the Perspective of Community Partners

Alan Tinkler, Barri Tinkler, Ethan Hausman, Gabe Tufo-Strouse


To more fully appreciate the nature of reciprocal service-learning relationships, the authors (two community partners and two faculty members at the University of XXX) explore six things community partners want you to know about what makes effective service-learning partnerships. While the six are not intended to be a comprehensive tally, they offer insights into the structure necessary to ensure that relationships are beneficial from the community partner’s perspective. In order, the six are 1) Be attentive to the community partner’s mission and vision, 2) Understand the human dimension of the community partner’s work, 3) Be mindful of the community partner’s resources, 4) Accept and share the responsibility for inefficiencies, 5) Consider the legacy of the partnership, and 6) Regard process as important. In addition to defining the elements, illustrations of practice from our ongoing service-learning partnerships are provided in order to more fully understand the nature of reciprocity and respect.


service-learning; community partnerships; community engagement

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Partnerships is sponsored by North Carolina Campus Compact, and hosted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. ISSN: 1944-1061
Creative Commons License