Internships, service learning collaborations to be brainstormed.

    Non-profit agencies, local businesses, and faculty are invited to attend a Community Dialogue to be held on Tuesday, March 26 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. The community dialogue, to be held in Bede Ballroom in Sargeant Student Center, will focus on internships, service learning opportunities, and potential collaborations.

    The Community Dialogue is free, lunch will be provided, and participants should RSVP by contacting Lisa Loegering, assistant director of community engagement at 281-8526 (

Representatives of non-profit agencies, business owners or managers, and faculty are encouraged to attend and engage in discussions on community needs and collaborative opportunities available through service-learning and internships. The purpose of the dialogue is to identify community needs and university resources. The event is hosted by the Office of Community Engagement and the Liberal Arts and Education Department at the University of Minnesota, Crookston.

"There are many collaborative opportunities through both academic service-learning and internships,” Loegering said. “Service-learning is done in all four of our departments, and every UMC student is required to do an internship. These experiences give students a unique opportunity and local businesses and non-profits a chance to co-educate and perhaps a first chance at hiring a new graduate."

    The U of M, Crookston has a history of community engagement that began long before the office by that name was established.  Faculty realized early on that many of the courses taught on the Crookston campus were best taught beyond the doors of the classrooms. In 1996, the Office of Service-Learning was established and housed under student activities. In addition to coordinating the service-learning program, this office also coordinated community service projects and America Reads. In 2011, the name was changed to the Office of Community Engagement to better describe the goals and more accurately define the activities. They work directly with local agencies, organizations, and individuals to address community needs.

    The mission of the Office of Community Engagement is to serve as a resource for faculty for the integration of service-learning, support students in their development as engaged citizens and scholars, and foster mutually beneficial campus-community partnerships to address community needs.

    Service Learning is about service, but students are served as much as the community. Students who take part in service-learning projects learn about themselves, their peers, their community and their potential career choice, all in a real-world situation involving real people and real-life situations.