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Community Partner Resources

The Grand Valley State University Office for Community Engagement believes in cultivating and sustaining mutually-beneficial and impactful relationships with community partners. Mutual responsibility and empowerment are key qualities of successful engagement partnerships. The information included in this section is designed to help community partners get the most out of teaching, research, and service partnerships with Grand Valley.

There are many things to consider when collaborating on projects. We hope that the information below provides you with a foundation to get started with your partnership. If you have any questions about building mutually beneficial partnerships, contact Ruth Stegeman at

Recruit Students

If you are interested in recruiting students for volunteer work, please visit the web page for the Grand Valley State University Community Service Learning Center (CSLC). The CSLC seeks to prepare students to become active, global citizens and challenge them to be committed to a life of community engagement and democratic participation.

You may use their online form to submit opportunities for students to join you for long-term or event-specific service projects.


Partner with GVSU

There are different options to consider when choosing to work with Grand Valley State University students, faculty, and staff. There are opportunities for students to help your organization with short-term or long-term projects. 

  • Short-term projects: Students collaborating with your organization for a one-day-only event, or working on a project that wouldn't necessarily require any previous meetings or communication. Some examples are:
    • Park clean up
    • Food service
    • Working a booth at a fair
  • Long-term projects: Students working with your organization and a faculty member on a semester or year-long project that often requires consistent communication with individuals involved, and multiple meetings to plan and develop projects. Some examples are: 
    • Students helping your organization with various projects regularly as part of a GVSU course 
    • Projects that would require a semester or year-long commitment from individuals involved
    • Projects that put learning outcomes into practice

All other inquiries related to ongoing community based-learning and research or civic engagement and development can be sent directly to GVSU faculty/staff or to Ruth Stegeman, the Director of the Office for Community Engagement. Our office is particularly interested in opportunities that have the potential to engage faculty and staff from multiple disciplines.


Consider Reciprocity

One of the most important pieces of any partnership is reciprocity. In a reciprocal relationship, all involved parties benefit from the relationship. When it comes to community engagement, this is no different. Both your organization and our students should each benefit from working together. 

Click here for more information on roles within a partnership.