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Our diverse range of partnerships allows students to serve in such areas of interest as:

  • Elementary Schools
  • Middle Schools
  • High Schools
  • Populations in Crisis: Homelessness, Hunger, and Domestic Violence
  • Individuals with Disabilities
  • Youth Programming
  • Detention Facilities
  • Employment Readiness
  • Older Adults
  • Health and Wellness
  • Refugee Populations
  • Other

CSSA’s many partnerships allow students to interact with a diverse range of populations in ways that encourage them to challenge their own assumptions about the lives of others while engaging in work that promotes justice and social action.

There are numerous benefits for organizations that partner with university-based service and community-based learning programs:

  • Engagement with students provides communities with an opportunity to shape students’ values and to prepare them for civic participation and engagement after graduation.
  • Organizations have the opportunity to mentor and develop potential leaders of nonprofit organizations.
  • University cooperation can support a community’s efforts to address social issues and problems by helping to build capacity and provide resources.
  • Student volunteers are able to meet specific or on-going needs of organizations and help complete projects for community benefit.
  • Involvement in the life of a university can raise awareness about a community partners’ work and services among students, faculty and staff, and the larger university community.
  • Experiential education programs help partners establish access to other resources available at the university and can foster relationships with other partner organizations.

By partnering with the Center for Service-Learning and Social Action at John Carroll University, community organizations can also benefit our JCU students through enhancing students’ academic learning with “real world” experiences, deepening their sense of civic engagement and community identity, expanding their cultural awareness and appreciation, and cultivating important critical-thinking skills.

CSSA has provided below a listing of resources to help community partners stay informed and connected:

What is Service-Learning?

Orientation Checklist

Community Partner and CSSA Expectations

Community Partner List

CSSA currently partners with more than 75 nonprofit organizations, including schools, hospitals, assisted living facilities, faith-based institutions, social service programs, and neighborhood outreach centers. Our diverse range of partnerships allows students to serve in such areas of interest as the following. We’ve also mapped our partners to demonstrate visually our commitment to the city. Current partners are listed by volunteer type.

Volunteer Type: Elementary Schools

Volunteer Type: Middle Schools

Volunteer Type: High Schools

Volunteer Type: Populations in Crisis: Homelessness, Hunger, and Domestic Violence

Volunteer Type: Individuals with Disabilities

Volunteer Type: Youth Programming

Volunteer Type: Detention Facilities

Volunteer Type: Employment Readiness

Volunteer Type: Older Adults

Volunteer Type: Health and Wellness

Volunteer Type: Refugee Population

Volunteer Type: Other

The Center for Service and Social Action partners with nonprofit organizations whose mission correlates with that of CSSA and John Carroll University.

The Center for Service-Learning and Social Action seeks to educate for justice by offering opportunities for learning through service. Growing from a rich Catholic intellectual tradition, we promote service that inspires a deeper commitment to those most in need. The Center connects the campus with the local, national, and international communities through sustained partnerships that enable John Carroll community members to become ‘men and women for and with others.

Although CSSA will strive to work with an organization in ways that are most beneficial and effective for that organization, CSSA most typically collaborates with community partners in one of three ways:

  • Sustained Direct-Service Model – JCU students visit the partner site on a weekly basis throughout the semester and engage in service activities in which they directly work with a partner’s clients or constituents.
  • Community-Based Research Model – JCU students offer their time and skills through a service-learning course by providing qualitative research, statistical analyses, or quantitative data collection on a topic chosen by the partner, or by completing a project, i.e. website development, online volunteer management system, community garden creation, marketing strategies.
  • One Time Project-Based Model – Groups of JCU students dedicate between two and four hours of support to a community partner in a one-time service activity, i.e. fall clean-up day, holiday dance, hot meal distribution, playground build, or any other service project in which students are able to interact and work alongside partner staff and constituents.

Community organizations seeking to partner with CSSA are encouraged to give thought to the following considerations:

  • Would a partnership with CSSA fit well with the mission of our organization?
  • How might this partnership build on our strengths and help fill our needs?
  • What are the potential benefits for our community? What would we hope to “get out” of this?
  • Which service model(s) would work best for my organization? What projects or programs might best use support?
  • What might JCU students learn from this experience?
  • What staff person would be able to handle the logistical details of this partnership, such as supervision, conducting trainings/orientation, serving as the “point person”, completing times sheets/online service records, etc.?
  • What types of support would our organization need from CSSA, such as running background checks/TB tests, managing reference forms, etc.?

If interested in partnering with CSSA, please contact

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The Community Partner Annual Meeting

Learn about and register for the 2021 Community Partner Annual Meeting on Wednesday, August 11, 2021, from 8:30 - 11:30 am. Registration required for this in-person meeting.

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75 Community Partners

Including schools, hospitals, assisted living facilities, faith-based institutions, social service programs, and neighborhood outreach centers.

elderly woman playing bingo with student

What is Service-Learning?

A high impact pedagogy that integrates service and academic learning to promote increased understanding of course content while helping students develop knowledge, skills and cognitive capacities to deal effectively with complex real-world realities while