Already a well-established partner with the Shaw Center, the School of Education’s involvement continues to evolve, from faculty serving as consultants for Shaw Center literacy initiatives, to combining efforts to provide transportation for students to off-campus placements and practica. Students in Elementary Social Studies Methods and Curriculum learn about community organizations, and ways they can implement service learning pedagogy into their future classrooms. Practicum students from the Higher Education master’s program interested in learning more about the logistics and frameworks of community-based service learning are often hosted by the Shaw Center.
The Shaw Center connects faculty in the Writing Program, the Renee Crown University Honors Program, Creative Writing, and Linguistics with the Syracuse City School District and community based organizations to help develop ongoing service learning program placements and projects.
The Shaw Center works closely with Community Geography. By providing support through a leadership intern and membership on the Community Geography advisory committee, the center connects campus and community to this unique Syracuse University-Geography department endeavor. Community Geography provides pro bono spatial analysis within the context of community-proposed and community-led collaborative projects aimed at understanding and addressing significant social, economic, environmental, and cultural problems facing the city of Syracuse, the Central New York Region, and beyond.
The Shaw Center, with generous support from the Department of Public Health, Food Studies, and Nutrition and the Dean’s Office in the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, employs undergraduate student leadership interns who focus on developing community engagement opportunities specifically for students within that college.
In 2009, one intern created a process for referring students to nonprofits in the Syracuse area and developed a system to track student volunteer hours. In 2010, two interns assisted with gathering information from nonprofits and providing individual and group referrals to students interested in opportunities beyond those embedded within their curriculum. Interns are now able to provide students with a cumulative report of volunteer hours, particularly helpful to students applying for scholarships and/or post-graduate internships.
In an effort to acclimate first-year students to engagement opportunities available in the Syracuse area, the interns visit classes, offer general information sessions and organize cooking and healthy snack assembly demonstrations. They create ongoing volunteer opportunities in partnership with specific nonprofits and publics that give our students’ hands-on experience, as well as provide community members basic information and guidance on ways to promote and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
The Shaw Center has many points of connection with Syracuse University’s Division of Student Affairs. In 2009, the center and the Office of Residence Life, with generous support from the David B. Falk College of Sport and Human Dynamics, partnered to create a shared graduate assistantship. The graduate assistant for civic engagement is a liaison between campus and community, enhancing the referral process for students wishing to participate in co-curricular engagement opportunities either as an individual or as part of a student group or organization. In 2010- 2012, based on the established partnership with student affairs and with support from the School of Education, we were able to expand the partnership to include the Office of First Year and Transfer Programs. The vision of the position remained the same with an increased emphasis placed on meeting the needs of first-year and transfer students.
While foundationally our work differs, Hendricks Chapel’s Office of Engagement Programs and the Shaw Center share many of the same community partners and collaborate on numerous initiatives. We are grateful for the support and resources we have been able to share that have helped make our students’ and community partners’ experiences successful.
Business, Finance, and Administrative Services
The Shaw Center works closely with the Departments of Risk Management, Environmental Health & Safety Services Office, Department of Public Safety, and Parking and Transit Services to assure that practices and protocols are in place as students make their way into the community. These departments assist with: presentations in the classroom and at community partner meetings; management of SU’s bus transportation system for community service; and as consultants to and with community partners.