Diversity & Democracy: Civic Learning for Shared Futures
Diversity Innovations Institutional Leadership and Commitment
Diversity Digest Volume 9, Number 2

Diversity Digest
Volume 10,
Number 1
(2006)

Download our print issue (PDF)
Campus-Community Involvement
Student Leadership: Making a Difference in the World
Access to Education, Opportunity to Serve
Berea College: Learning, Labor, and Service
A Developmental and Capacity-Building Model for Community Partnerships
The Power of a Sustained Relationship between Community Partners and Colleges and Universities
Faculty Involvement
Prequel to Civic Engagement: An African American Studies Research Seminar
Service Learning and Policy Change
Facilitating Student Growth as Citizens: A Developmental Model for Community-Engaged Learning
Student Experience
An Intentional and Comprehensive Student Development Model
Bonner: More Than a Model, a Lived Experience
Relationships First
Commitment to a Cause
Institutional Leadership
Preparing to Serve
Checklist from the President’s Chair
Curricular Transformation
LifeWorks and the Commons: A Model for General Education
The Case for Studying Poverty
Research
Engaging with Difference Matters: Longitudinal Outcomes of the Cocurricular Bonner Scholars Program
Resources
Resources for Civic Engagement
Serving, Voting, and Speaking Out: Bonner Students Reflect on Civic Engagement

Preparing to Serve

By James Shields, director of the Bonner Center for Community Learning, Guilford College

Guilford College has an enduring tradition of service to the wider community. Quaker ideals of peace, justice, and community building continue to be the foundation of our efforts to serve and learn ideals compatible with the goals and principles of the bonner scholars program. It is with these principles in mind that we nurture community partnerships to help bring about positive social change.

But lofty ideals and good intentions are not enough. Well-meaning students can do more harm than good if they are not properly trained or do not develop the necessary interpersonal and professional skills. We realize that no good purpose is served if our students bring in preconceived notions and paternalistic attitudes when they volunteer. Our staff design
programs that strengthen civic involvement, improve student motivation for service, and bring excitement and depth to academics, while also creating a cadre of student leaders who are well trained and ready to work effectively with a diverse community to address its problems.

Guilford College’s community service focuses on twelve “committed sites.” Each committed site has a student project coordinator who supports and supervises Guilford volunteers working on issues such as HIV/AIDS and adult literacy. Project coordinators work with the volunteer training coordinator to train volunteers at their particular site and to design programs for the entire campus. The capstone for their training is coordinating one of three community service–oriented programs for first-year students, as well as the volunteer fair and the volunteer retreat.

Guilford aspires to develop a new generation of socially responsive servant-leaders. Leadership skills are consciously taught and practiced with ongoing opportunities for reflection and feedback. Workshops offered range from substantive subjects like anti-racism and conflict resolution to more process-oriented ones such as event planning and time management. Nearly all of the students in the Bonner class of 2006 have gone on to careers in which they use skills acquired as project coordinators. Infused by Guilford College’s Quaker ideals, the Bonner Scholars Program prepares our graduates to be effective leaders who are committed to making the world a better place.

 

Questions, comments, and suggested resources should be directed to campbell@aacu.org.
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