At Trinity College, we’re launching a search for a full-time Associate Director of the Community Learning Initiative (CLI). We define community learning as a form of experiential education, which partners our liberal arts courses with the needs and interests of local organizations, most often in the City of Hartford. Since 1994, CLI courses have been offered in almost all of our academic departments and programs, connecting with more than 250 community organizations, and enrolling about half of our undergraduate students. See the online course schedule and select “community learning” in the drop-down menu to view the range of participating courses for next academic year.
CLI highlights some of Trinity’s most creative teaching and learning, sometimes in unexpected places. Chemistry students have analyzed toxic metals in soil samples from abandoned city lots to help housing organizations plan where to build. Members of the Hispanic Hartford course write bilingual web essays that feature the city’s rich Latino cultural resources and agencies for newcomers. Theater and Dance students have partnered with nearby elementary school students, and women who were released from prison, to help choreograph and tell their stories in public performances. Advanced undergraduates apply to become CLI Research Fellows, where they receive additional training and support to make their senior thesis projects to be more meaningful and useful to their community partners. While other colleges may label this “service learning,” Trinity philosophy professor Dan Lloyd explains in this essay how “community learning” better defines the two-way collaborative relationship that brings together the campus and the city.
The intellectual energy of CLI attracted me to come to Trinity years ago, and the continued dedication of faculty, students, and community partners still inspires me today. The CLI brainstorming lunches offer one of the few opportunities on campus to discuss teaching and learning across departments. My faculty colleagues have integrated community learning into several of our courses in the Ed Studies Program. This year I discovered new ways to connect students and city non-profit organizations through the data visualization internship seminar at Trinfo Cafe, Trinity’s neighborhood internet and community center. Looking ahead, our CLI Advisory Group has proposed a new “Community Action” gateway program, to help build stronger campus-city learning among cohorts of entering students.
Come work with us. We’re looking for the right person—with academic, administrative, and urban partnership experience—to help us support and expand community learning at Trinity. It requires someone with the right combination of skills—particularly the ability to plan with Trinity faculty and Hartford community partners—and to co-design and teach a course in the proposed Community Action first-year gateway program. See the official job posting and application link, which is summarized below:
Title: Associate Director of the Community Learning Initiative (full-time position with benefits)
Trinity College is a nationally recognized liberal arts college located in Connecticut’s capital city of Hartford, with approximately 2,200 students and 200 faculty members. The College’s urban and global focus is highlighted in the Center for Urban and Global Studies and the longstanding Community Learning Initiative for academic partnerships. Learn more at http://www.trincoll.edu
Trinity College invites applications for the position of Associate Director of the Community Learning Initiative. The Associate Director will coordinate academic engagement between liberal arts courses and Hartford organizations through the Community Learning Initiative and the proposed Community Action gateway for entering students. Among other responsibilities the Director will:
• In collaboration with the faculty director, guide the Community Learning Initiative to promote academic engagement with Hartford, by matching new/existing faculty with community organizations, and strengthening and publicizing these partnerships.
• Build relationships with Hartford organizations.
• With support of the faculty director, oversee the proposed Community Action gateway for entering students, including teaching one course per year, planning with participating faculty, and recruiting through Admissions.
• Support the CLI Research Fellows Program.
• Coordinate with the Office of Community Service and Civic Engagement.
The Associate Director of the Community Learning Initiative is a 12 month full-time administrative position with competitive salary and benefits that reports to the Faculty Director of CLI. The initial contract is for one year, with a flexible start date, to begin no later than September 1, 2016. Review of applications will begin immediately, and will continue until the position is filled.
The successful candidate will contribute to Trinity’s urban academic programs and will show clear evidence of leadership skills and experience with urban community partnerships,, excellent oral and written communication skills, ability to collaborate with faculty colleagues, experience directing and mentoring students, and evidence of innovative teaching.
A complete application consists of a letter of application, curriculum vita, and names and contact information for three references. Please submit all application material at https://trincoll.peopleadmin.com/.
Trinity College is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer with a commitment to diversity in hiring. Women and members of minority groups are especially encouraged to apply. Applicants with disabilities should request in writing any needed accommodations in order to participate more fully in the application process.
A master’s degree is required and a doctoral degree is preferred. Significant community engagement and college-level teaching experience is expected.
Salary is commensurate with education and work experience.