Methodist University has been actively involved in supporting the local community since its founding in 1956. This initiative is more intentional through the creation of the Center for Community Engagement in 2012. The Center offers students opportunities to participate in measurable, time-limited, problem-solving, and community-based experiences.
Community-based internships involve individual students gaining real world experience in the job market. For example, students apply their classroom knowledge and engage in experiences that prepare them for life-long careers. Community-based internships involve teams of students solving real world problems. For example, Methodist University students coordinated a feeding project for a local nonprofit organization in the Fayetteville community. The students used their marketing skills to raise funds to support homeless assistance in the Fayetteville area. The impact beyond Methodist has been observed by our community partners.
Benefits of Community Engagement for Students
Students who are involved in community-based projects are more marketable than the average job seeker. At Methodist, we are preparing students to become life-long learners and solid professionals.
Service and internship opportunities abound for MU students. These experiences help and improve the community, but the students also benefit by learning the value and beauty of service to others. Applying their classroom knowledge in these internships prepares them for a life of satisfying careers and civic involvement.
How a Student Can Get Started
Thinking about getting involved in a Community Engagement Project? Here are a few questions to ask yourself first:
- What is the purpose?
- Who is the target audience? What is the intended impact on that audience?
- Who will manage/lead?
- Who can help design, support, analyze, report?
- Is there a budget?
- Are there any constraints or limitations?
- In what form and time frame is this to occur?
- What is the ongoing plan?