Overall Rating Gold
Overall Score 78.07
Liaison Cary Gaunt
Submission Date March 4, 2021

STARS v2.2

Keene State College
EN-10: Community Partnerships

Status Score Responsible Party
Complete 3.00 / 3.00 Caitlin Holden
Sustainability Engagement Coordinator
Sustainability
"---" indicates that no data was submitted for this field

Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability :
Partnership with the Harris Center for Conservation Education

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? :
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe?:
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership?:
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? :
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability:

Keene State College and the Harris Center for Conservation Education have a long-standing partnership, from which both organizations benefit. The Harris Center supports undergraduate field research in environmental studies, geography, and related programs through their summer conservation internship program. Each year, four undergraduate KSC students are provided with training and field experience in many facets of the Harris Center’s work, including conservation, education, and stewardship. Student interns work under a joint supervision structure and are supported by both a KSC faculty member and a Harris Center staff member. Additionally, Harris Center staff works on a case-by-case basis with groups of students on capstone projects. KSC and the Harris Center have an in-kind partnership in which KSC provides a Harris Center Staff member with on-campus office space, a phone line, email address, and campus room reservation permissions. In exchange, the Harris Center staff member provides direct student support, and brings nature-focused events to campus. Additionally, the summer internship program expenses are shared between KSC and the Harris Center. The Harris Center pays the interns’ wages and reimburse their staff for time spent on training and supervising. KSC pays a faculty member to serve as the additional internship supervisor, as well as covering the costs for a rental car, gas and field supplies, and also provides a lab space to be used throughout the duration of the field season.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):
Community Partner Advisory Board

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (2nd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (2nd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership’s sustainability focus? (2nd partnership):
Sustainability-related

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (2nd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (2nd partnership):

The Community Partner Advisory Board is a campus/community group made up of 15-20 members representing a wide range of service areas, including youth, healthcare, environment, animal welfare, etc. Members primarily represent non-profit organizations, but in the past the group has also included members from local schools, small businesses, and city staff over the years. The group is a sounding board for all things service/community engagement, providing ideas, advice, and information about community resources and needs. They’ve enabled countless community service and service-learning partnerships over the years, informed KSC community engagement best practices, and been advocates for KSC. They also help KSC get information to the larger community of non-profits, etc. KSC provides snacks at each meeting, and pays the salary of the Director of Student Involvement who organizes the meetings. This group has been active since Spring of 2013, and meets quarterly.
A complete list of Community Partners is listed at: https://www.keene.edu/life/si/programs/community-service/partner-list/. The Community Advisory Board is comprised of representatives from these organizations.


Name of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):
The Architectural Communicorps Program

Does the institution provide financial or material support for the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Yes

Which of the following best describes the partnership timeframe? (3rd partnership):
Multi-year or ongoing

Which of the following best describes the partnership? (3rd partnership):
Sustainability-focused

Are underrepresented groups and/or vulnerable populations engaged as equal partners? (3rd partnership):
Yes

A brief description of the institution’s formal community partnership to advance sustainability (3rd partnership):

Created in 1995, the Architectural Communicorps Program is a popular and successful component of all architecture student’s experience at KSC. The Communicorps program is a based on a problem-based service learning model, and is a required sophomore level course for Architecture Majors. Each Spring semester, the Communicorps class is broken into groups, and each group is assigned a real client, frequently from the local Keene community. The Communicorps program has a strong history of working with underserved populations, and have completed a myriad of projects for groups ranging from Monadnock Family Services, The Keene Housing Authority, The City of Keene, The Keene Prison, and many other local town governments and public service organizations. Client organizations will present the students with a goal or prompt (say, a new low-income housing community), and the students will spend the semester working closely with the clients to ensure that their visions are realized. At the completion of the semester, all community clients, as well as college administrators, city administrators, and state representatives are invited to attend a community luncheon, where the student groups present on their work and describe their process and learning experience. Students present their clients with a full portfolio of their work, including visioning ideas, space ideas, multiple design solutions, etc. This allows clients to think outside of the box, play around with possible spaces and designs, and gives them an bevy of initial ideas and concepts, which can then be presented to professional architecture firms when the clients are ready to move forward with building construction. Within the last several years, program organizers have been able to expand the scope of their work, and have begun to partner with international clients, including clients in Haiti, Rwanda, Uganda, Malawi, and Iran. Several examples of buildings that have been built as a result of this partnership are a Keene Housing Authority housing development, as well as a school in Haiti. All student work is completed pro bono, and this is a hugely rewarding experience for the students, the instructors, and the client organizations. Description of theCommunicorps program can be found in the KSC Course Catalog or though direct inquiry with the Architecture Program.


A brief description of the institution’s other community partnerships to advance sustainability:

As the public liberal arts college of New Hampshire, Keene State College’s leadership begins at home in the town of Keene and the greater Monadnock Region of New Hampshire. Among the College’s many engagements in the community, the College's work with Keene Housing Kids Collaborative stands out. In partnership with the Keene Housing Authority, Keene State marshals many of its strengths as a college toward programs to promote the social mobility of the region’s children and break the cycle of intergenerational poverty. Faculty and staff at Keene State are also conducting a longitudinal study based on the Brookings Institute Social Genome Model to serve as a baseline for measuring the impacts of these efforts.
The Keene Housing Kids Collaborative's "mission is building the foundation for successful adulthood. The community benefits when all children have an equal chance to be an active part of that community." They achieve this mission by "partner(ing) with community organizations that are already providing excellent programming for kids." This is where Keene State College comes in as a lead partner, offering opportunities through the College's on-campus Child Development Center and various summer camps and other programs (see Kids On Campus: https://www.keene.edu/academics/conted/kids/). One College staff person also serves on the Board of Directors, currently Kim Schmidl-Gagne (Program Manager for Academic Affairs).

OTHERS EXAMPLES OF COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS INCLUDE:
The Keene Racial Justice and Community Safety Committee
https://ci.keene.nh.us/racial-justice-and-community-safety-adhoc-committee and the related Human Rights Commission: https://ci.keene.nh.us/human-rights-committee

City-College Commission: https://ci.keene.nh.us/college-city-commission


Website URL where information about the institution’s community partnerships to advance sustainability is available:
Additional documentation to support the submission:

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