The goal of Community Learning at Trinity College is to work with Hartford-area partner  organizations to help them fulfill their short- and long-term missions, while encouraging deep student learning about the kind of work they do. Toward that end, we believe in:

  1. Building relationships with partners where power and resources are shared
  2. Relying on community partners’ knowledge and understanding of local issues to determine the best methods for addressing community needs
  3. Creating projects that reciprocally benefit community partners and Trinity students and faculty*

Most of these partnerships begin with a Trinity course, where students work with community organizations either as individuals, in small groups, or as an entire class. These partnerships generally fall into one of three categories:

Service: Students assist in the day-to-day operations of an organization or with implementing a special program or project. They often serve as an extra pair of hands in getting your work done. Examples include:

  • In EDUC 200: Analyzing Schools, Trinity students work with a classroom teacher, helping their students to learn for three hours every week.
  • In PSYC 246: Community Psychology, students work in youth support programs every week, participating in mentoring, tutoring, and other daily tasks.

Products: Students create a text (pamphlet, op-ed, white paper, research brief) or other product (video, infographic, map) based on an organization’s need and with their guidance.

  • In CACT 101: Envisioning Social Change, teams of students film and edit short promotional videos for their partners.
  • In FORG 201: Data Visualization Internship Seminar, students partner with local organizations to create interactive charts and maps for their websites.

Research: Students work with community partners to design and implement research projects, ranging from data collection and analysis to program development and evaluation.

  • In PBPL 351: Diversity in the City, students act as short-term research consultants to answer partners’ questions through scholarly research, interviewing, and policy recommendations. Read more in this post.
  • In CLIC 400: Community Learning Research Fellows, students design and conduct a semester- or year-long research project a community partner, often as part of an independent study or senior thesis. Read more at the CLI Research Fellows page.

Interested in learning more about partnering with Trinity faculty and students? Contact Megan Hartline via email or at 860-297-2583. Other contact information for Trinity-Hartford engagement can be found here.

*For more specifics, see the “Principles of Good Community Campus Partnerships” developed by Community-Campus Partnerships for Health, which we draw on in our approach to building and sustaining partnerships.