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Creating a Win-Win: Designing and implementing mutually beneficial collaborations between community organizations and academic programs

Bethany Wrye (Department of Health and Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University , Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA)
Cynthia Chafin (Center for Health and Human Services, Middle Tennessee State University , Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA)
Casie Higginbotham (Department of Health and Human Performance, Middle Tennessee State University , Murfreesboro, Tennessee, USA)

Education + Training

ISSN: 0040-0912

Article publication date: 3 May 2019

Issue publication date: 12 July 2019

Downloads
349

Abstract

Purpose

It is well established that partnerships between universities and community organizations can serve to enhance student learning and employability (Anderson et al., 2011; Arantes do Amaral and Matsusaki, 2017; Jones and Sherr, 2014; Voss et al., 2015). Within this context, the purpose of this paper is to explore how one such partnership has resulted in the successful implementation of three pedagogical methodologies, which individually and collectively promote student-centered learning and employability skills through an experiential learning framework.

Design/methodology/approach

Using this methodological case study approach where the pedagogies of internships, service-learning opportunities, and project-based learning are critically evaluated, the research reveals only positive benefits for students, faculty, and the community organization(s). These benefits center on improved employability skills, the development of social skills and societal contribution for students.

Findings

Participating students also noted the development of their confidence and the importance of feedback from both peers and assigned staff. Members of faculty considered the opportunity for students to put theory into practice, enhanced employability skills and the collective nature of the methodologies as the main benefits with The center echoing the sentiments of other stakeholders. The center considered the workplace preparedness, the development of soft skills and confidence and the collective nature of the methodologies as the main benefits of the partnership.

Originality/value

The insight provided by the research contributes to existing literature through examining the relationship between an academic institution and its community, providing a practical framework and guidelines for the implementation of student-centered pedagogical methods.

Keywords

Citation

Wrye, B., Chafin, C. and Higginbotham, C. (2019), "Creating a Win-Win: Designing and implementing mutually beneficial collaborations between community organizations and academic programs", Education + Training, Vol. 61 No. 5, pp. 605-621. https://doi.org/10.1108/ET-01-2018-0011

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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