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Today's Message

Posted: Monday, March 16, 2020

Community-Engaged Learning during the Coronavirus Outbreak

The Civic and Community Engagement Office is working to manage communications and collaborations with community partners during this challenging time. If your students are involved in the community, and your course is not currently on this list (PDF, 153 KB), please contact the Civic and Community Engagement Office this week with your course CRN, community partner names and contact information, and a one-sentence description of what your students are or were doing in the community. Please be flexible to create opportunities for students to create their requirements in creative ways. 

The CCE is reaching out to community partners with a general statement about how this situation will affect the students working with their organizations; however, we also recommend the following:

  • Notify your community partners that SUNY has moved all learning to distance-based learning and that students may not be available to continue their collaboration.
  • Consider that partners likely have their own plans about COVID-19 that may affect students' ability to complete their projects.
  • Communicate with your partners about strategies for community projects to be completed remotely through project-based or indirect activities to meet course requirements and community priorities. Alternatives to discuss with your community partners might include the following:

> Conducting background research or gathering best practices or other information requested the partners.

> Taping, recording, or streaming performances or workshops to benefit community partners.

> Creating digital and other social media content, print program materials, or other methods for information sharing.

> Undertaking assessment, evaluation, or feedback via phone or web-based services;

> Offering (or compiling, researching, or brainstorming) strategies to engage other volunteers remotely as a result of coronavirus.

> Conducting virtual or phone-based educational supports for youth and adults. Zoom,, or other platforms may be helpful.

Of course, alternative academic assignments may also be developed if these recommendations are not feasible for your course or community partners. Please communicate with your partners as appropriate.

Let us know if you want to talk through options for adjusting your community engaged learning class.

Submitted by: Laura H. Rao
Also appeared:
Tuesday, March 17, 2020