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Communiversity 3: Growing "Grow Clarion"

 

The Center for Leadership and Involvement and the Department of Communication created a wonderful program in fall 2013. Communiversity Relations: Student Leadership, Media, and Civic Partnerships united college students and community members to build dialog, partnerships, and action plans for community development in our area. Juniors and seniors in fall 2014 have a chance to be a part of the third phase of the program.

How Communiversity 3 Work?

Community leadership teams were built in three focus areas: agriculture, arts, and economic growth and development. Over time, as those areas were developed, the project morphed into a local economic generator. What we discovered was the need for a platform that promoted local economy, and gave us new ways to celebrate around agriculture and arts while allowing college students to gain experience in their selected areas of study. What does all that mean? Opportunities for everyone!

The internship team will be working to develop a plan that includes: bringing a shared kitchen to the Clarion area; a central distribution point for local growers and producers to distribute their goods; a market or store that would allow for the Farmer's Market to extend their hours and possibly their season, and give local artists and artisans a venue for their wares; and a space or outlet for community arts classes.

The team will investigate issues, meet with community experts and organizations, and draw from personal and academic experiences at Clarion to come up with creative ways to address problems. The team will also travel to towns that have faced and successfully addressed similar issues, where they will meet and work with consultants to find out what ideas and processes worked in those areas.

The team will have the action plans built by the first Communiversity phases to work from. Those plans include short term and long term goals, budget and financial support information, staffing and volunteer ideas, and project maintenance goals. They will also have access to the list of interested community supporters, and all resources the phase one interns collected along the way.

What are the students learning?

This internship program is sponsored by a High Impact Practice Innovation Grant, and is closely tied to learning outcomes in each of the four essential categories. As a result of participating in this internship program, students can expect to gain experience in:

  • Knowledge of human cultures and the physical and natural world

  • Teamwork, problem solving, and leadership

  • Civic knowledge and engagement – local and global

  • Synthesis and advanced accomplishment across general and specialized studies.

In addition to the learning outcomes established for the Communiversity program, students will design outcomes of their own that tie their academic major to the program. This can be done in conjunction with their academic or faculty advisor.

What is the workload expected to be for the interns?

Participants in Communiversity 3 should expect to work an average of 9-10 hours per week throughout the fall2014 semester. At least two of those hours will be spent in group meetings. Interns will meet as a large group once a week to discuss topics related to community problem solving. Students should also anticipate at least one business meeting for their leadership team during the week, this should include their community partner.

Students should also expect to do a community research trip during the course of the semester as a part of their internship experience. The trip will be within a 2 hour radius of the Clarion campus, and can more than likely be scheduled on a weekend.

Who can apply for the Communiversity Relations internship?

Communiversity 3 welcomes students from all majors, and will be more successful with a diverse spectrum of participants. Interns may participate in a for-credit or not-for-credit capacity. Students taking the internship for credit should apply for 3 credits, and should make arrangements for a faculty advisor through their academic major or department. Candidates must have achieved junior or senior level academic status, and preference will be given to students who have earned a 3.0 or higher GPA. Interested students will need to submit a short application and submit their resume to the Center for Leadership and Involvement. 

There are specific needs in the program this semester for students in the area of business plan development and community education/curriculum development, but all majors are welcome. This program is very dynamic and works best with students from varied disciplines.

For more information about the internship program, or discuss your potential involvement, email Kelly Ryan in the Center for Leadership and Involvement.