Come work with us at Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. We’re searching for an Associate Director of the Community Learning Initiative, a full-time position with an initial three-year contract. While other colleges call this “service learning,” at Trinity we emphasize creating knowledge in collaboration with Hartford community members. The right person will bring teaching, administrative, and urban partnership experience to help us support and expand community learning between our campus and the capital city. Also, the candidate will teach one course in our new Community Action Gateway for entering students, either CACT 101 Envisioning Social Change or CACT 102 Building Knowledge for Social Change. These courses emphasize interviewing and hands-on research with community stakeholders, designing collaborative social action projects, and sharing work though public speaking and digital storytelling.
Candidates need the right combination of skills to build academic and interpersonal connections between Trinity students, faculty, and Hartford community organizations. Ideally, the candidate will start in March 2017, though our search committee will consider applicants who wish to begin at the end of the spring semester. See the official job posting and application link, 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 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 three years, with a flexible start date, to ideally begin no later than March 1, 2017. 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.
Qualifications: 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.
Additional background about the program and position:
At Trinity, we define the Community Learning Initiative (CLI) as a form of experiential education, which matches our liberal arts courses with local organizations 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 independent studies and senior thesis projects more meaningful and useful to their community partners. (See Dec 2016 news story on the fellows’ community research poster presentation.) 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.
In our newest initiative, CLI is launching the Community Action First-Year Gateway program, to help build stronger campus-city learning among cohorts of entering students. The CLI Associate Director will help lead this program, with its first cohort of students in Fall 2017, and teach one of these two new seminars:
CACT 101: Envisioning Social Change (Fall)
How do different community organizations (neighborhood groups, non-profit advocates, unions, government agencies, social entrepreneurs, philanthropies, etc.) envision social change? What strategies for change do we find across the City of Hartford? How can Trinity students cultivate and engage in meaningful partnerships to promote social change? Students will investigate these and related questions through readings on community action and social impact, hands-on research and interviews with community stakeholders in Hartford, and the design of collaborative social action projects around a core theme (to be implemented in the spring semester). Students will think critically and reflexively about the root causes of social problems, the ways that power and privilege shape social change work, and how their biographies shape their understanding of and engagement with Hartford.
Enrollment limited to 15
CACT 102: Building Knowledge for Social Change (Spring)
How can students and community groups effectively collaborate to develop goals and outcomes for social action projects? How can knowledge be defined and constructed collaboratively with community partners for purposes of social change? In this course, students work in collaboration with community groups to implement a project in the City of Hartford. Students learn strategies for effectively engaging with community partners and explore and reflect upon the process of producing and disseminating knowledge for social impact. Students will expand their skills through workshops on non-fiction narrative, public speaking, digital storytelling, and data visualization, facilitated by leading experts in these fields. Student groups and their community partners will share their stories about their social change projects at the end of the semester.
Enrollment limited to 15
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. Last 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. I look forward to working with the right candidate, who will bring new ideas and energy to expand the academic relationships between our campus and the city.