How to Work with a Community Partner

Certain roles and responsibilities are expected of you while being involved with Service Learning. Both your instructor and your community partner will have expectations that you should be aware of. The faculty member will prepare you with some general guidelines about working with community partners, but they also expect you to tell them your expectations.

Working in the community can be one of the best skill-building experiences of your college career.

Approach your project as you would a job:

  • Complete a Service Learning Partnership Agreement that includes your schedule and service objectives.
  • Respect the policies and expectations of your organization, especially regarding confidentiality and participation in required training.
  • Be professional:
    • Show up on time
    • Reliably fulfill service to your organization
    • Give at least 24-hour advance notice if you plan to be absent
    • Observe the established dress code


Conceptual model created by the OSL describing the life cycle of a sustainable community-university partnership of Service Learning.

Example of Key Partnership Organization

REA Resource-Recovery Systems

REA Resource-Recovery Systems is a key partner in the Fats, Oils, and Grease (FOG) education program with Service Learning. Please see above for a link to their company website.


Service Learning Community Partner Testimonials

“The students come to our Senior Center and educate our seniors on several different subjects. We've had PT students, nutrition students, nursing students and more. The seniors love learning from them but love interacting with them even more. They are young, smart and a breath of fresh air! Thank you.”

- Service Learning community partner


“I enjoy the partnership that I have created with UCONN. They consistently provide excellence in the presentations and programs they deliver.”

- Service Learning community partner


“Julia has done an exceptional job of understanding community needs, and coordinating resources for win-win situations for both UConn and the community. She's taken on the challenging task of supporting our local sustainability efforts, and helped ensure that there was a single point person across many departments and groups. This has been incredibly useful to us as we progress in our efforts to implement complex projects related to Hartford's Climate Action Plan. Julia has a talent for understanding the realities of work in both academia and the community and how to develop projects that both further faculty/student learning and city efforts. She has facilitated a number of conversations successfully, and we're grateful for her dedication.”

- Service Learning community partner


“I was able to partner with Service learning on an innovative pilot program. This is allowing my organization to explore new paths of providing social services that we otherwise may not have tried. Julia Yakovich has been a strong advocate for creating and maintaining our partnership and we are so grateful for her extreme creativity and organization in connecting the dots in order to see a project through.”

- Service Learning community partner