Community Organizations

The Office of Community Engagement and Service (OCES) believes that partnerships between the community and university should start with Miamians “passing the mic” to the community. We value the knowledge and expertise of community members whose own research and experiences provide us with information to act on in a collaborative way. And while student learning and faculty research are critically important to us, so are community outcomes.

To achieve mutually-beneficial outcomes for students, faculty, staff and community members, we must partner together in an honest and authentic way that respects the knowledge and expertise of the community and acknowledges the unequal power of the university. Please let us know if you feel this ethic is not being practiced well.

Ways to Partner

There are numerous ways to partner with Miami University to further your organization’s mission and increase your capacity to improve the community, some of which are listed below. Want to partner with us, but aren’t sure how? Email the Office of Community Engagement and Service at CommunityEngagement@MiamiOH.edu

Service-Learning

Service-Learning involves integrating community service or other forms of engagement into course content. As a result, Miami students are able to gain real world skills and enhance their learning while contributing to the community. Service-Learning projects are perfect for organizations that have specific needs. For example, some Service-Learning partnerships have resulted in marketing plans for non-profits, research and data gathering, translated documents, and computer databases. Service-Learning projects are also great for organizations that can benefit from long-term volunteers. Many Service-Learning courses that study a specific social issue (for example, poverty) require that students serve weekly in agencies that work to address that issue. To learn more, contact Sara Williams, Associate Director of Community-Engaged Learning, willi668@miamioh.edu

One-Time Service Projects

One-Time Service Projects are opportunities to serve that do not require an ongoing commitment and typically require little to no training. One-Time Service Projects are often great for large groups but can be for individuals as well. Examples of One-Time Service Projects are: painting a room or building, trash and litter control, preparing holiday baskets, sorting and organizing donations, helping with a special event, etc. To recruit volunteers for a one-time service project, visit our ComMUnity Connect site.

Ongoing Service Projects

Ongoing Service Projects require an ongoing commitment from volunteers. This could be weekly, bi-weekly, monthly, or any other time span that would be most helpful for your organization. Ongoing Service Projects usually require training and, depending on the population you serve, may require a background check. Examples of Ongoing Service Projects are: serving as shopping assistants in a choice pantry, assisting with client intake, providing childcare, tutoring adults in GED classes, etc. To recruit volunteers for a one-time service project, visit our ComMUnity Connect site.

Research

Community organizations may partner with faculty, staff, or students to conduct research that can help address a community challenge. Projects should be designed to further both community and scholarly objectives. For example, students in a public relations course surveyed students and community members about the Oxford Community Choice Pantry and then used this research to create and publish a publicity campaign. To learn more, contact Sara Williams, Associate Director of Community-Engaged Learning, willi668@miamioh.edu.