Become a Community Partner

Who We Serve 

The Roger Williams University (RWU) Community Partnerships Center (CPC) provides project-based assistance to nonprofit organizations, municipalities, government agencies and low and moderate income communities in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. Our mission is to undertake and complete projects that will benefit the local community, while providing RWU students with experience in real-world projects that deepen their academic experiences.

Participating RWU Programs

RWU offers a variety of valuable academic programs that can enhance CPC projects and have a meaningful impact on the project and the students in those programs. These programs bring a wide range of skilled faculty and students together where they can work collaboratively for the benefit of the community partner and to enhance their own learning and academic goals. CPC projects draw upon the skills and experience of students, faculty and staff from all RWU programs.

The primary method for meeting the goals of community partners, students and faculty is through the integration into a course(s) at RWU. These projects create a collaborative, interactive working environment where experts, citizens, faculty and students from diverse backgrounds can routinely work together. Many CPC projects are trans-disciplinary and include the involvement of academic programs/courses, paid student workers, interns, volunteer organizations, and any other appropriate groups or individuals that can contribute their expertise and talent to the predetermined scope of work for the community partner. To see a list of projects click here.

Methods typically used to deliver work to community partners may include:

Large trans-disciplinary teams of RWU faculty and students, including;

  • Students enrolled in a semester-long course or workshop
  • Graduate assistants in Architecture and Historic Preservation
  • Work Study students from any RWU discipline
  • Student interns from any RWU discipline

Small teams of RWU students working under the direction of a staff or faculty mentor. These students can be working as:

  • Thesis candidates
  • Independent study students from any RWU discipline
  • Graduate Assistants
  • Work Study students from any RWU discipline
  • Student interns from any RWU discipline

Students and faculty from a single course focusing on a particular community issue as a class project.
Intensive one-day design charrettes, workshops, or focus groups staffed by integrated teams from various RWU programs.

All CPC projects are defined by a Memorandum of Agreement with the Community Partner. This agreement: defines the project scope and the process to be followed; identifies the participating RWU faculty, staff and students and the community representatives; identifies primary and secondary goals; establishes the project timeline; outlines the final work products that will be delivered and presented. All potential Community Partners should review the sample Memorandum of Agreement for a typical CPC project.

How Can Your Organization Collaborate with the RWU CPC?

The CPC looks for projects that can benefit communities in Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts while providing students and faculty teams with opportunities to apply their learning, engage the community, and create a final product that will benefit the Community Partner.

Projects that the CPC undertakes with Community Partners are chosen in a competitive selection process. Potential partners must complete and submit the CPC Project Assistance Application along with all required support materials. In order to assist organizations as they prepare their applications, the CPC is happy to answer specific questions by e-mail or by phone. We look forward to working with you in the future and encourage you to contact us should you have any questions, comments, or concerns.

Due to the increase in the number of applications received, and academic calendar and registration schedules at the University, the CPC has decided to make changes to its call for projects, effective November 1, 2014.

Applications will be accepted on an ongoing basis and held for consideration until scheduled CPC Review Committee meetings - generally held in early May and early October. Projects may be considered for upcoming spring, summer and fall academic semesters.

Every effort will be made to process applications that are received in a timely manner prior to the next CPC Review Committee Meeting. Please note it may take between 90-120 days to decide on applications following the initial CPC Review Committee meeting. This time allows us to find the best fit for project requests within courses, programs, and leadership organizations at the University.

Resources for Community Partners