Community Voices: A California Campus Compact Study on Partnerships (April 2007)
Written by: Marie Sandy, Ph.D. Research Team: Elaine K. Ikeda, Ph.D., Nadinne Cruz, M.A., Barbara Holland, Ph.D. , Kathleen Rice, Ph.D. and Marie Sandy, Ph.D.
Community Voices grew out of a conversation among service-learning practitioners at a retreat hosted by California Campus Compact. “What do our community partners think about service-learning? We think they are benefiting, but how do we know? Why do they choose to partner with us in the first place?” To help our member campuses begin to answer these questions, California Campus Compact collaborated with four individuals who are deeply familiar with service-learning theory and practice and had experience in focus group facilitation. They implemented a process to better understand the diverse perspectives of long-term community partners who are collaborating with institutions of higher education, and to identify recommendations to strengthen well-established community-campus partnerships. The study involved 99 experienced community partners of a diverse mix of colleges and universities in California. As part of this study, community partners participated in 15 focus groups. This report highlights the results of the study — the largest study of community partner perspectives that we are aware of in the literature to date. Funding was provided by the Corporation for National and Community Service, Learn and Serve America Higher Education.