Community Engagement

Community is one of UMR’s grounding values.

Students participate in meaningful experiences throughout their experience at UMR, including community-engaged coursework, internships, volunteering, and engaged scholarship.

Dr. Angie Mejia, Assistant Professor & Civic Engagement Scholar at UMR, describes her role, including how she utilizes her expertise in community-based participation and action research to help UMR foster sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships and initiatives. Dr. Mejia also provides oversight for the Community Collaboratory - CLI 3522 course at UMR, which is taken by nearly all BSHS students. She partners with several faculty colleagues on community-engaged learning attribute courses along with Jenny Casper, UMR’s Director of Community Engagement and Career Development.

Jenny Casper works to develop structures for community-focused learning opportunities for UMR students including connecting industry professionals to campus to expose students to various career pathways. She encourages students to talk with their student success coach about how they are engaging and making meaning out of their community experiences. If you are a UMR student who has already talked with their student success coach and has additional questions, you can schedule an appointment with Jenny Casper.

Community-Engaged Learning (CEL) Attribute Courses

Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences students are required to take CEL courses to meet their degree requirements. The catalog requires students take:

  • CLI 3522 - Community Collaboratory (3.0 cr) *has a CEL attribute or
  • Six credits of UMR coursework with the Community Engaged Learning (CEL) attribute

Community-Engaged Learning (CEL) is an instructional strategy that refers to activities integrated with or related to the course content that are conducted in settings external to the university (e.g., community or field settings, non-profits, businesses, governmental agencies, international settings, etc.). Students, talk with your Student Success Coach to learn more.

In addition to CEL courses, UMR faculty offer directed study and directed research experiences, some of which contain community-engagement learning outcomes and experiences.

 

Many students engage in volunteer experiences during their time at UMR. Below are some resources to connect you with the Rochester community.

  • Attend the UMR Involvement Fair during the first week of classes in the fall.
  • The United Way of Olmsted County offers a volunteer search feature that can help connect you to local needs. 
  • You can also search using Volunteer Match.
  • Watch for opportunities in the Raptor Report student e-newsletter.
  • Consider joining a Club. UMR student clubs often participate in volunteer and service opportunities in Rochester.
  • Take Community Collaboratory - CLI 3522, This course extends the student learning experience into the Rochester community, partnering with local organizations to analyze and approach community needs.
  • There is a club centered on volunteering efforts: UMR Community Engagement Club. Visit RaptorLink to learn more.

Activate your Handshake Account. Handshake is the University of Minnesota's professional job, internship, and volunteer database connecting students and alumni with employment opportunities throughout the world.

UMR students engage in community and UMR encourages students to contribute to the public good and participate in elections. UMR faculty and staff strive to build civic knowledge, skills and attitudes by integrating civic education into campus life and academic coursework.

Rochester Based Locations
Catholic Charities
The Sheridan Story
Lutheran Social Services
United Way of Olmsted County
Channel One

Non-Rochester Based Location
Interfaith Outreach - Plymouth, MN
The Open Door - Eagan, Apple Valley
PRISM - Golden Valley
House of Charity - Minneapolis
Open Arms - Minneapolis

Organization

Role

Seasons Hospice

Direct, Indirect, and Bereavement Care

Family Service Rochester

Family Access Center Volunteer

Minnesota Teen Challenge

Administrative Support Volunteer

Boys and Girls Club

Mentor

Women's Shelter

Childcare Volunteer and Advocate Role

Paws and Claws Humane Society

Volunteer Animal Caregiver

Camp Companion

Volunteer Animal Caregiver 

   

Mayo Clinic*

Pediatric Volunteer, Hospice Center, Gift Shop

Office for Diversity in Mayo Medical School*

Observer

Brighter Tomorrows

BLAST Staff

Gift of Life Transplant House*

Volunteer to Connect with Families

Ronald McDonald House*

Housewarmer

Hawthorne Education Center

Volunteer Tutor

National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI)

Mental Health Volunteer

Good Samaritan Dental Clinic and Pharmacy*

Volunteer Dental Assistance

Rochester Center for Autism

Activity Planner

The Homestead at Rochester

Volunteer with an Occupational Therapist

Diversity Council

Volunteer (roles vary)

American Cancer Society Hope Lodge of Rochester*

Volunteer Family Assistance

Channel One Food Bank

Food Shelf Stocker

Greater Twin Cities United Way

Volunteer (many roles)

The Village Agricultural Cooperative
 
Volunteer (roles vary)

* Indicates it is within walking distance of UMR

 

In addition to on-campus student employment opportunities, UMR’s HR team fosters several community-based student employment opportunities. Finding work that is related to your career interests can be beneficial. Community Service/Work-Study Program (CSP) is an opportunity for students with work-study to work at federal and state agencies and nonprofit organizations that provide a service to the community. CSP jobs might include working with at-risk youth, literacy and math tutoring, and neighborhood or rural development. To explore available CSP jobs, log into your MyU portal.  Under "Campus Info", choose "Job Openings - Students". This will take you to a webpage with steps on how to get a student job. To access the student job portal, click the “Online Postings” link underneath the first step.

UMR works to connect undergraduate students to the Rochester and broader Minnesota community through meaningful experiences. The format of these engagements can range from on-time volunteer needs to ongoing educational partnerships.

Let us know about community needs for volunteers, program possibilities, and ways to connect local organizations with UMR students.

For general questions and ideas contact Jenny Casper, UMR’s Director of Community Engagement & Career Development:  

Email: jjcasper@r.umn.edu 
Phone: (507) 258-8242