by Ash Coutu, CFICE Communications Research Assistant, edited by Alexandra Hine, CFICE Administrative Research Assistant 

A chalkboard with a light bulb on it and several chalk lines to empty bubbles.Have an idea for a community-campus partnership but don’t know where to start to make it happen? Then this post is for you! In CFICE’s 7-step guide, you will be directed to resources that will equip you with the tools to develop meaningful community-campus engagement (CCE) partnerships, and help you make a positive changes in your community.

Step 1: Ask the hard questions

Conduct a needs and resource assessment 

The March of Dimes Foundation’s step-by-step guide asks the question, “Are we ready for community-based participatory research?” Their extensive manual provides ‘Readiness Assessments,’ great definitions, and case studies.

You can also check out this simple worksheet which can help your community-based organization (CBO) brainstorm how resources can result in future partnerships.

Step 2: Consider the Context

Be practical

Beacons for Public Engagement’s, “Guide to Working with Universities on Research Projects,” lays out practical things to consider in a succinct brochure with links to other useful toolkits.

Step 3: Make the Connections

Reach out to universities

This short informative guide by the UK Community Partner Network includes practical suggestions and recommendations for how get your organization involved with universities.

In addition to the guide above, here are twelve tips for how to make contact with potential university partners.

Storm Troopers on a Bike

Ready to set the project course together?

Step 4: Set a Direction

Plan your CCE Research Project

This easy-to-use guide by ULCA offers great examples of community-campus engagement (CCE) research, and a glossary of terms to help you effectively plan your CCE research project. It also provides links to additional resources to assist your CBO in defining a specific research problem.

Shasta College has put together a great manual with practical tips on what to expect when working on a CCE research project. This guide also describes how to design a service-learning experience, includes checklists for orientation between students and CBOs, and great examples of Risk and Liability release forms.

The Pace Society’s guide on research ethics will help ensure that everyone involved in your CCE research project is treated ethically. It includes a guide to ethics in community-campus partnerships, and provides links to additional resources.

Step 5: Build your Relationships

Cultivate meaningful partnerships   

In this resource, you will learn how to forge strong community-campus partnerships by strategically planning for both the day-to-day and future management of your community-campus engagement (CCE) research project. This guide also includes information on how to cultivate leadership and introduces practical ways to effectively communicate between research teams.

This short document defines what it means to have a meaningful research partnership. It explains what an equitable relationships between post-secondary institutions and community-based organizations looks like.

Step 6: Evaluate the Project

Make sure your work is making an impact

You’ve done the work, now it is time to evaluate. Here is a comprehensive step-by-step guide for evaluating the effectiveness of your community-campus engagement (CCE) research partnership.

Step 7: Go above and beyond

Maintain Quality Assurance

Now that you have successfully created a community-campus engagement (CCE) partnership what do you do? Check out this link for tips on how to maintain quality performance, so your project stands the test of time.

What other resources do you use for setting up and maintaining your CCE partnerships? Let us know in the comments!