The Office of Metropolitan Impact has identified three major local nonprofits as “strategic partners” because of the depth and breadth in which these organization engage with UM-Dearborn and our metropolitan area. Our strategic partners are ACCESS, Focus:HOPE, Oakwood Heath Care, and Southwest Solutions.
Our strategic partners are broad-based, multi-dimensional, high-impact organizations, with which the University works across disciplines. Our office nurtures these long-term relationships and is aimed toward making measurable, systemic, collaborative and transformational impacts throughout the region.
Benefits of these relationships include:
· Incentives for faculty research that contributes to solving challenges in the community or the development of best practices for integrated learning (community partners may identify challenges requiring UM-Dearborn’s expertise to tackle).
· Promotion of “communities of practice” among faculty and “communities of learning” among students that support community-based research and/or integrated learning;
· Assisting faculty and staff in recruiting and connecting to business and non-profit community partners.
· Support for collaboration on projects or programs that advance the work of our partners, as well as faculty research and/or student learning (e.g., conducting program evaluations, surveys, and related research, providing specific types of benchmarking, etc.).
· Helping increase the number of students participating in engaged and integrative learning experiences (i.e., through engaging in internships, shadow experiences, class projects and related activities with community partners).
· Providing multiple-format opportunities for partner organizations, faculty and students to collaboratively present and disseminate their work (i.e., in Lansing, at Independent Sector annual conferences, etc.).
· Assisting faculty who want to include opportunities for integrated learning in their courses, e.g., by connecting their coursework to problem-solving in community.
· Raising the profile of community partnerships and engaged learning among external constituents, by publicly recognizing the work of engaged faculty and students and their partners.