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In This Report, You’ll Learn
A brief history of Drake University and Trinity College in the context of surrounding communities.
Key issues and lessons Trinity College learned from their Smart Neighborhood Initiative.
How Drake University can learn from the success of Trinity College’s community investment initiatives.
Participant reflections and commitments for moving forward.
Based on a Making Connections peer technical assistance match, this report describes the learnings from a gathering between Iowa’s Drake University and Connecticut’s Trinity College on how to improve university-community partnerships. Through peer exchanges, both schools identified key issues and lessons that could be addressed moving forward. Drake and Des Moines team members were also able to draft next steps toward strengthening their surrounding communities.
Table of Contents
Community-University partnerships can be strengthened by peer technical assistance.
When schools of higher education team up, it strengthens the discourse on community improvement. By working with Trinity instead of alone, Drake University gained insight into what types of initiatives are most effective and appropriate to implement locally.
Findings & Stats
Six years after the launch of Trinity’s Community Learning Initiative (CLI), approximately 800 students are serving 60 organizations through CLI courses.
Town vs. Gown
The regional focus brought diverse youth together while neighboring parents wanted more access for local kids.
Gown vs. Town
Drake’s team acknowledged the University was still shifting its perception of the community as a liability to that of an asset.
Working with Trinity team members, Drake identified ways in which they could do more to connect with surrounding neighborhoods.
Statements & Quotations
Because Trinity put its money where its mouth is and chose to invest in less tangible capacity building among residents, the community takes the College very seriously.
– Alta Lash
As long as universities administrators build gates and send memos instructing people not to cross certain boundaries, they’re going to be part of the problem—not the solution.
– Don Adams
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