Cleveland Engagement Project Promotes Partnerships


Cleveland State University has announced the release of the Cleveland Engagement Project, a website that promotes partnerships between students, faculty, staff and the community.

The website is managed by CSU's Office of Civic Engagement, which offers users an interactive experience allowing them to form partnerships both on campus and within the community. Users can find partners, share information and even make their accomplishments public, writes Karen Farkas for

"We intersect with the community in many ways, which is integral to our identity as an urban university committed to Engaged Learning," Byron White, vice president for university engagement, wrote in a statement. "With the Cleveland Engagement Project, our hope is to create an ever-expanding portfolio of civic-engagement partnerships, including everything from one-time volunteer experiences to service-learning projects to long-term collaborations that tackle the region's toughest challenges. These opportunities allow campus and community alike to maximize the benefits of our interdependence."

Each partnership is associated with one of five categories within a framework referred to as the Five C's: Connect, Cooperate, Collaborate, Consult and Career.

Those within the category of Connect engage in a one-time volunteer or service experience that will benefit a community partner. Within the Cooperate category are short-term partnerships that are focused on the results of a single project. Many times the university will be in the lead role of this partnership. Collaborate partnerships involve long-term relationships that hold a systematic impact. In this case, the partners share responsibilities and authority. The Consult partnerships is an agreement between experts within the university and a community client, provided as a consultation, sometimes for a fee. The final category, Career, pertains to internships, co-ops, field placements, practicums and professional experiences that typically have pre-defined tasks.

Some of the best-known partnerships include Trading Knowledge with China, America Reads, Central Neighborhood Alliance, and Campus Village.

Trading Knowledge with China sends business students majoring in Supply Chain Management on a ten day tour of China and Hong Kong in order to gain a better understanding of how to be a global supply chain manager and compete in a global economy. The efforts have seen many of the participants hired by well-known NEO companies upon graduation.

America Reads places tutors in libraries and elementary schools across the Greater Cleveland area, offering experience to college students while at the same time helping to boost the reading skills of elementary students through one-on-one learning time and small group tutoring.

The Central Neighborhood Alliance are a group of resident leaders who advocate for the Central neighborhood, promoting peaceful interactions between students, faculty and the residents.

Campus Village responds to the requests for on campus housing, created through a partnership that allowed the university to lease the land from private developers.

There are 50 partnerships highlighted on the website in honor of the university's 50th anniversary.

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