Community Partnerships (CP) is a curriculum supported by the Draper Center for Community Partnerships, in conjunction with academic departments. Courses are designed to nurture student learning through active community engagement. Through purposeful and reflective preparation and community interaction, students enhance their understanding of real-world applications of academic content, as well as develop their sense of ethical action, self-awareness and collaboration. The community involvement facets of CP courses are designed, planned and executed to be mutually-beneficial—fostering both a stronger community and a student prepared for meaningful engagement with the world around them.
All CP designated courses at Pomona College prepare students to achieve the following learning goals:
- Students will apply their knowledge of an academic field in partnership with the greater community.
- Engage literature relating to the ethics, practice and evaluation of community-based research and learning.
- Work collaboratively with community partners to address community-identified interests and needs; and
- Develop an understanding of the community in which the student works.
- Students analyze how to support and promote ethical and equitable engagement with the community.
- Identify the relationship of the community engagement to the student’s overall learning goals; and
- Assess the role of academic understandings in addressing community needs.
- Students will reflect on their interactions with community partners.
- Evaluate the impact of the student’s community engagement on both the community’s needs and the student’s development; and
- Identify changes in the student’s understanding of community issues.
The Draper Center for Community Partnerships fosters mutually beneficial exchanges among community members, students, faculty and staff in support of educational outreach initiatives, community-based research and learning and other community engagement activities.
On campus, the experiences, ideas and new perspectives that emerge from college community connections expand the classroom; enhance critical thinking; encourage students to view themselves as change agents; develop student leadership; support the recruitment and retention of diverse students, faculty and staff; establish mentoring networks among diverse individuals; and help students refine the values and skills that will support lifelong practices of social responsibility.
Off campus, these activities support the College’s responsibility and commitment to contribute to the surrounding communities in which we live and from which we receive intellectual, academic and staffing resources. The Draper Center reinforces existing ties and forges new ones between the College and other community organizations ensuring dynamic, mutually educational and constructive partnerships. Current educational outreach programs include Learning in Collaboration (LInC), Next Level, K-12 campus programs, the Pomona College Academy for Youth Success (PAYS), Leadership Engagement in Gender & Sexuality (LEGS), and Pomona Partners. Community engagement programming includes alternative spring break trips (Alternabreak), Coronado Garden Project, Sontag Rooftop Garden Project, English as a Second Language (ESL), Hunger & Homelessness Initiative (HHI) including Food Recovery Network (FRN) and Sagehens Engage. Through these programs, the Draper Center offers episodic, weekly volunteer opportunities as well as long term opportunities for students, faculty and staff to engage with surrounding community based organizations. With the Draper Center’s support faculty offer community partnership courses including, for example, Theatre for Young Audiences, a partnership between the Draper Center, the Department of Theatre and Dance and Fremont Academy in the Pomona Unified School District.
The Draper Center for Community Partnerships was founded with a generous gift from Ranney E. Draper ‘60 and Priscilla Draper and the Draper Family Foundation.