Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Community-Engaged Learning

Community Organizations

Community-Engaged Learning aims to serve as a bridge between the SU campus and Georgetown’s organizations. Our goal is to support Southwestern students, staff and faculty in developing meaningful and sustainable partnerships with community organizations that are working to address Georgetown’s pressing issues.


How does the OCEL work with community organizations? 

To better match the needs of the community and SU students, Southwestern has instituted a tiered partnership model. The level of partnership would determine the benefits and responsibilities of community learning partners, as shown below:




  • Provided a newsletter
  • Ability to share volunteer requests on civic engagement listserv
  • Inclusion in searchable community partner database
  • All benefits of an “Exchange” partnership
  • Invitation to Community Partner Round Tables
  • Access to partnering with faculty for Community-Engaged Learning (CEL) classes
  • All benefits of a “Exchange” and “Collaborative” partnerships
  • Priority invitation to community-engaged learning requests from faculty
  • Must be an official 501(c)3 non-profit or government organization
  • Participate in a yearly survey
  • Maintain information for our database including the current volunteer contacts
  • All “Exchange” partnership requirements
  • Participate in CEL training
  • Participate in formal site visit if requested
  • All “Exchange” and “Engaged” partnership requirements
  • Execution of a CEL Partner Agreement
  • Willingness to present if asked at a civic engagement workshop
  • Assume co-educator role in CEL
  • Provide proof of $1 million of occurrence based general liability insurance. COI should name SU as an additional insured and include sexual abuse coverage. Participate in CEL training


 Community Partnership Process

  1. Complete Online Training
  2. Submit Online Application
  3. If applicable, the OCE will schedule a site visit.
  4. Once steps 1-4 are completed the OCE will review and send an e-mail to the organization notifying them that they are an approved partner
  5. SU’s OCE will share volunteer requests via campus notices and newsletters

For all community learning partners, SU will: 

  • Attempt to fill your volunteer needs by promoting your organization, publicizing your volunteer requests, and recruiting and referring student volunteers to your agency. 
  • Provide training opportunities to help develop mutually beneficial community-engaged learning partnerships. 

Community partners will be required to: 

  • Maintain communications with SU by:
  • Responding to requests from the OCE
  • Notifying the OCE of any contact changes 
  • Ensure that the volunteer assignment(s) will not displace any employed worker or impair existing contract for services. 
  • Ensure that student volunteers are kept in line of sight of a supervisor at all times unless they have been satisfactorily background checked the community partner’s standards
  • Provide student volunteers with a safe learning environment and an orientation which informs student volunteers of potential risks. 
  • Investigate and report any concerns to the OCE involving student volunteers.  Provide any background checks required for student volunteers.