SUSS values the five key elements of Community Engagement. Reciprocal partnership among all stakeholders is the key factor for any successful Community Engagement endeavor. All parties involved should be able to contribute and benefit from the collaboration. Professor Timothy K. Stanton’s Principle of Reciprocity aims to level power relations, ensuring humility and respect in the act of service: “I serve you in order that I may learn from you. You accept my service in order that you may teach me.”
To enable meaningful contribution to society, students are expected to research, discuss and propose a Community Engagement collaboration in consultation with community partners. All students undergo a pre-engagement Foundations of Community Engagement online course with the following learning objectives:
- Clarify personal values;
- Develop a working knowledge of the basic principles and theories of community engagement;
- Apply Kolb's Experiential Learning Cycle in reflecting on community engagement;
- Identify good practices and case studies in collaborating with community; and
- Framework for managing community engagement programmes.
Subsequently, students could research and understand more deeply about a social issue of their interest. Leveraging on individuals' strengths, skills and/or professional major, students will propose a sustainable Community Engagement endeavour that meets the needs identified by their local community partner over a period required by the community partner. In return, the community partner collaborates with SUSS Office of Service-Learning and Community Engagement (OSLCE) to mentor students in both project and personal development.