Colleges are (mostly) not islands. Rather, they reside in communities with people who call the surrounding neighborhoods home. The relationship between an institution and its neighboring communities should be one of mutual support, reciprocity and understanding. This morning’s Lineup highlights MSIs that are making the extra effort to use their resources to provide services and engage in meaningful relationships with their surrounding communities.
College of DuPage, Glen Ellyn, Ill., participates in Service Learning. DUPAC is one of the partner sites where students can be placed. Its mission is to provide a process that empowers local residents, organized as Community Committees, to take action aimed at encouraging youth to make positive choices. It develops and sponsors efforts aimed at keeping the community strong and promoting an environment in which children can live and grow successfully. Students placed at DUPAC facilitate life skill and recreational programs and events for at-risk youth, families and the community; participate in the planning of fundraisers and other sponsored events; and provide security, trust and mentoring for the program’s participants.
VBOC makes a positive difference in the lives of veterans through effective professional small business development, as well as via support, creation and retention of veteran-owned and -controlled business activities on Guam and in Region IX. The program is a community-based project funded in part by the U.S. Small Business Administration through a grant to serve as a clearinghouse of business and technical assistance for those veterans interested in starting or expanding a business, and through collaborative efforts and partnerships with the University of Guam Small Business Development Center and the Guam Procurement Technical Assistance Center. The program is hosted by the University of Guam, School of Business and Public Administration, and is partnered with the Guam Economic Development Authority.
The WETCC Extension Office is the bridge between this Mahnomen, Minn., college and its community. The office’s goal is to promote local self reliance built on tribal traditions. The extension program offers classes in food preservation and salve-making. It also offers youth programming, an annual Wild Food Summit, information about community farms and farmer’s markets, and resources for the community.
Little Big Horn College, Crow Agency, Mont., has several sponsored programs that provide outreach and connection with its surrounding community. The Water Quality Project, one of the college’s noted programs, helps to protect the Crow Reservation community by offering homeowners well water testing. The project provides free, confidential water testing, which checks levels of iron, sulfate, bacteria, manganese, lead, arsenic, mercury and more.
Since 1989, Project C.O.P.E. (Community Outreach Prevention and Education) has provided HIV/AIDS education sessions, outreach, short-term counseling, presentations and free testing throughout Davidson County, particularly the North Nashville community. The goal and mission is to decrease the number of positive-diagnosed HIV/AIDS individuals primarily through education, outreach and testing. Services of Project C.O.P.E include short-term counseling services to individuals and/or families, educational activities to groups, oral rapid HIV testing to individuals, pre- and post-test counseling, and ongoing training activities to increase the knowledge of HIV and AIDS for alcohol and drug abuse treatment agencies.
A subsidiary of Edward Waters College, SSCRC offers several services and resources for members of the surrounding communities, particularly North Jacksonville in Florida. For example, it provides health education and screening services, computer training, veteran services, community service seminars/workshops, social services, employment referrals, food distribution, and communication activities. Edward Waters College, through SSCRC, is committed to providing senior wellness, prevention services, and a community collaboration network with a direct focus on health, social and educational services. The center is able to do this through wellness programs, social services and virtual learning courses.
7.) University of Houston-Downtown (HSI), Homeless Youth Count Project
University of Houston-Downtown is participating in the Homeless Youth Count Project 2.0 and Survey in Houston/Harris County. The project aims to help discern the number of youths younger than 25 years old currently experiencing homelessness or housing instability in Houston/Harris County and to examine factors that help with program planning in the community, including the composition of homeless youth (e.g., LGBT, teen parents or pregnant, minority, undocumented), perceived causes of homelessness, service utilizations, family relationship and social network, and prevalence of risk behaviors.
Serving the greater-Tucson area, Pima Community College’s (PCC) Health Clinics, operated by Marana Health Center Healthcare, are open to the public as well as PCC students, staff and faculty. It accepts most major health plans and welcomes new patients. For those without health insurance, sliding fees are available. There are two clinics at the community’s use, the Eastside Medical Clinic and the Westside Medical Clinic. Pima’s Dental Hygiene Clinic provides preventive dental services by dedicated students as a learning experience in a clinical setting. The low-cost services are provided under the supervision of licensed dental hygienists and dentists.
Curriculum Enhancement and Mentoring for High School Teachers is a program at the University of Memphis that is funded by a CAREER Grant awarded by the National Science Foundation. The program focuses on interactions with teachers and communicating research results to students in Memphis City Schools (MCS) and Shelby County Schools (SCS). Through the duration of this grant, professional- and curriculum-development workshops, which will have long-lasting effects, are held for chemistry teachers. This project will annually affect over 6,000 minority and/or economically disadvantaged high school students in MCS and SCS, also bringing research findings to the classroom and attracting more high school students to STEM careers.
In 2005, Chicago State University’s HIV/AIDS Research and Policy Institute purchased a mobile van that is being used to disseminate HIV/AIDS prevention and educational materials, and provides a venue for HIV testing. (The van is also equipped for testing for other sexually transmitted diseases.) The testing has been made possible through collaboration with the Chicago Department of Public Health, the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, and many other community-based organizations.