Working in Partnership with the Community
There are many reasons for community organizations to consider partnering with St. Olaf College through the Piper Center for Vocation and Career. At a basic level, it is an opportunity to tap into the enthusiasm, energy and intellect of St. Olaf students who are interested in contributing to the community through civic engagement activity. Students and faculty benefit through their partnership with you, your practical expertise and knowledge of the community, and the opportunities for applied learning that you provide.
Our role is to support and encourage reciprocal relationships between faculty members, students and leaders of community organizations — knowing that everyone involved functions as both a teacher and a learner.
Listed below are common pathways for student engagement with local community organizations. The Piper Center uses the broad term "civic engagement" to represent many different ways that our students engage in and contribute to the community.
Organizations that are interested in connecting with students are encouraged to add information to the Local Internship and Civic Engagement Opportunities web resource. If you would like to add to this resource or discuss a project idea, please contact Nate Jacobi, Associate Director, Civic Engagement, firstname.lastname@example.org or (507) 786-3268.
Common Pathways for Student Engagement with Local Community Organizations
Internships: An internship is a structured work experience that generally requires a commitment of at least 60 hours over at least eight weeks. Students have the option to complete internships for academic credit.
Internship positions will be posted our job and internship database (Ole Career Central) and when appropriate, emailed to students with specific majors or interests. If you would like post a specific internship position please create a position description that includes information about the organization, responsibilities, qualifications, expectations for hours/length of commitment, etc., and process for applying. Email the description to Nate Jacobi.
Community-based Work Study: Some students are eligible to earn their work-study award off-campus through employment with nonprofit organizations. Many of these positions are also cross-promoted as internships.
Nonprofit organizations contribute approximately $3.00/hour and students earn $9.28/hour. Please contact Julie Bubser, Community-based Work Study Coordinator (Student Activities Office), email@example.com or 507-786-3999, for more information.
Academic Civic Engagement (Service-learning) Course Projects: Over 25 courses each year encourage or require students to partner with local organizations and apply academic knowledge to address community needs. Students conduct research, develop resources, complete projects, teach others, and perform direct service, as well as other activities. Please see link for descriptions or recent ACE courses and projects.
Please contact Nate Jacobi to brainstorm potential course collaborations.
- Student-initiated: Some students seek out their own volunteer opportunities (often similar to a "mini-internship"). Students may utilize the Local Internship and Civic Engagement Web Resource to identify opportunities.
- Through Volunteer Network: Some students also volunteer through a student-run organization affiliated with the Student Activities office. Please contact the VN Student Coordinator, Patricia Garcia <firstname.lastname@example.org>, to inquire about possibilities of partnering with VN.