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Community Collaboration Guidelines

The Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement (CLCE) works to build and maintain meaningful connections between the RIT campus and the greater Rochester community. We focus on cultivating sustainable, effective, and mutually beneficial relationships.

The CLCE seeks to improve the quality and depth of the RIT’s impact on the greater-Rochester area by partnering with community non-profits and service providers to offer our students opportunities to engage the broader community.

Table of Contents

Guiding Principles

The Center for Leadership & Civic Engagement primarily collaborates with community agencies that:

  • Are 501(c)3 Nonprofit Agencies;
  • Share and support the mission of the University to provide students with experiential offerings that cultivate global citizens and leaders;
  • Have well defined mission statements and a commitment to local impact; ;
  • Foster an environment of mutual respect, diversity, and inclusion for local and global cultures;
  • Offer meaningful, positive experiences – both educational and social – that will enhance the education of our students and promote our mission;
  • Dedicate the majority of their efforts to direct service and programing; and,
  • Can provide a contact person to serve as the liaison between the CLCE and the agency.  

Defining Key Terms

Volunteer: An RIT student looking for ways to get involved with the Rochester community by offering their time and skills through one-time, short-term, or long-term service.

Community Service: Opportunities for volunteers to perform a task(s) that benefits the local or global community. These foundational experiences build connections between outside experience and individual academic interests.

Asset-Based Collaboration: Whether working to clean the city’s parks, support youth development, or sort through donated food items, the most powerful collaborations build relationships grounded in the strengths of every individual, association, and institution involved. RIT’s collaboration with community organizations will identify these internal strengths and utilize them to produce mutually beneficial outcomes. 

Entering a Collaboration with the CLCE

Outcomes of collaboration are twofold:

  • To aid in addressing needs of the Rochester Community; and,
  • To create experiential learning opportunities or RIT students.  

The CLCE supports these objectives by treating each collaboration with diligence and maintaining regular communication. Agency’s interested in collaborating with the CLCE are encouraged to contact the office directly to set up an initial meeting before completing any paperwork.

Initial meetings involve:

  • Identifying the goals and measurable outcomes for the collaboration;
  • Identifying the strengths and needs of each organization; and,
  • Outlining the roles, norms, and processes for the relationship.

Sustaining a Collaboration with the CLCE

Collaborating with the CLCE means working towards reciprocated benefits and greater community impact. The department will help agencies recruit volunteers for short-term and one-time events or programs as well as longer-term opportunities.

In a long-term community collaboration the CLCE will:

  • Continue to shape asset-based collaborations by building on talents and highlighting past success;
  • Revisit goals while creatively addressing challenges or barriers as a group; and,
  • Engage in open, honest, and frequent communication.

Outcomes from a Collaboration with the CLCE

  • Provide agencies with a large group of 20 volunteers through our Into the ROC program;
  • Invite agencies to campus to educate RIT students on organizational missions or efforts at the Bi-Annual Community Service Fair; and,
  • Support the recruitment of student volunteers for service opportunities.

Getting Started

1. Contact Kathryn Cilano to schedule an initial 20-30 minute conversation. This preliminary meeting gives both parties an opportunity to learn about each other and to begin a dialogue about mutually beneficial outcomes from a collaboration.

2. Following this initial conversation, complete the Request for Collaboration form being certain to indicate if you're seeking a short-term (one-year) or long-term (greater than one-year) collaboration.