As a leader both locally and nationally, the Center for Public Service (CPS) has identified the following requirements for growth and continued excellence in our mission of sustained engagement and superior education – opportunities we strive to achieve through the generous support of our committed donors and friends. Tulane University is currently seeking a visionary donor whose generous support would enable the Center for Public Service to achieve its mission beyond our highest aspirations. The endowment would ensure unparalleled innovation and excellence as Tulane paves the way for continued, high-quality community engagement in higher education. In addition to the above request, we have identified below some specific and crucial areas of opportunity within development and training, programming, outreach and research.
Student Leadership Programming
The Center for Public Service has established several leadership opportunities for students with demonstrated community engagement experience. Funds will cover training and leadership development activities for students and expansion of the various programs
Public Service Fellows Program
The Public Service Fellows program recruits, trains, and supervises advanced student leaders who assist faculty members with the coordination of service learning projects. Students participate in platform courses exploring theories around leadership and civic engagement which they then apply as they coordinate and lead projects.
Service Learning Assistant Program
The Service Learning Assistant program provides students with firsthand experience of course coordination and provides faculty members with logistical support and community partners with reliable student leaders. Through the program, students are given opportunities to play active roles within and outside of the Tulane community.
The Community Service Scholars Program
The Community Service Scholars (CSS) program recognizes incoming students who demonstrated exceptional community service and leadership in their community with a renewable scholarship. This program combines practical experience and ongoing training so that students gain a greater understanding of the challenges facing the New Orleans region. In addition, the CSS provides mentorship support and opportunities to create and lead student organizations and service projects.
Faculty Pedagogy Seminars
Faculty members participate in an intensive seminar program to incorporate public service engagement initiatives into their teaching and research. The CPS faculty pedagogy seminars are focused on civically engaged teaching and academic inquiry that will enable faculty members to focus on developing syllabi that incorporate public service and tie their research into community-identified needs. Funds to support this program would support faculty members by providing a stipend for their participation and assistance in developing their syllabi and community partnerships.
CPS provides various workshops for agency representatives and resident leaders. Workshops focus on public service partnership development and nonprofit management. With an endowed fund to support these workshops, the CPS will conduct extensive outreach as well as establish and nurture collaborative community workshops.
Professional Development Support
Tulane’s commitment to civic engagement demands that we provide professional support to our constituents to further develop their interest in and support of service. To that end, the CPS seeks to establish a fund to provide stipends and travel support for students, faculty and community members seeking opportunities to further their own engagement interest. Funded projects may also include conference travel and international study scholarships.
Public Service Faculty Scholar Program
The Public Service Faculty Scholar Program recognizes one Tulane faculty member each year for exemplary public service and community involvement expertise. The program seeks to both recognize the faculty member’s achievements and to help disseminate this knowledge to the broader Tulane community. The faculty member selected for this award leads the Center’s faculty pedagogy seminars and facilitates workshops for the year. Funds will be used for the faculty honorarium as well as costs associated with producing the seminar and workshops.
Public Service Speakers Series
The CPS speaker series will bring prominent leaders from the service realm to Tulane to share their experiences, challenges, insights, thoughts, and recommendations to the university community and our constituents. The goal of the series is to generate new thinking, productive discussions, and provide the Tulane community an opportunity to engage with some of the most remarkable and inspiring people working to make a difference in our world today. Funding would allow CPS to engage nationally recognized, innovative speakers by covering speaker fees and related travel expenses.
Public Service Faculty-in-Residence Program
CPS seeks to bring renowned academics and practitioners in the field of campus community collaboration to Tulane for an extended period of time. Awardees will be asked to spend a week on Tulane’s campus, providing lectures, workshops and/ or seminars to faculty, students, and community partners, in addition to a specific workshop for faculty members in his or her discipline. The program aims to educate Tulane community members about the rich opportunities for public service within institutions of higher learning. The awardees will share best practices, inform faculty and students about successful initiatives at other universities, and motivate and reinforce public service initiatives here at Tulane. Funds would allow CPS to invite nationally recognized scholars to participate in the program by offering them a stipend, covering their expenses, and organizing related events.
Service Learning Symposium
This project aims to create an annual symposium with three invited schools currently offering established service-learning programs. These schools will share ideas with other institutions looking to establish service-learning programs, or those with newer programs, and create a dialogue to address challenges and offer solutions found by those schools with well-established programs. With available funds, the Center will invite and pay the scholars’ expenses as well as cover costs of programming and logistics for this undertaking.
For the Children
For the Children is a literacy program that pairs elementary and middle school students in two public schools with Tulane undergraduates and community members. Volunteers serve as reading buddies, joining the elementary school students at school-based reading rooms to read together each week. The program has been shown to raise reading levels, increase academic performance, and improve the self-esteem of the children who participate. Operating costs include the provision of books for reading rooms and staff time in pairing volunteers with reading buddies as well as serving as liaisons to the participating schools.
Upward Bound is a college preparatory program that aims to increase the rates at which participants enroll in and complete postsecondary education. Participants in the Tulane-based program come from areas of New Orleans with high concentrations of poverty. Students are exposed to a wide variety of academic, cultural, and social opportunities simulating a college experience. The program is designed to assist in the development of the essential skills, study habits, and discipline necessary for success in high school and college. Operating costs include faculty and staff salaries, programming expenses, on campus housing in the summer, and transportation costs.
AmeriCorps VISTA Program
VISTA members increase CPS partners’ capacity for working with Tulane public service students. VISTA members help to create job descriptions, prepare trainings and organize activities designed to increase civic engagement and reduce poverty. Funds for this program could cover the cost our community partners (many of which are struggling nonprofits) would otherwise pay to host Americorps VISTA members as well as materials and programming for VISTA members.
Outreach Tulane is the Tulane community’s largest annual community service event. The program builds a stronger Tulane community, working together to provide needed assistance to local non-profit and government organizations. Outreach Tulane hosts over 1,000 participants during the opening weekend of the fall semester, and provides an important link between community service and the academic public service requirement endeavors of the Center. Funding for this project would be used to financially support community partners in developing projects for the Tulane community to complete and expand the programs current capacity.
Alternative Break Program
The Alternative Break program is a student-led and initiated program that has created nontraditional volunteer opportunities all over the United States and Central America. Funding would allow the Center to expand its support of the alternative break program, to provide additional funds to increase the capacity of these programs through student grants, and create new opportunities for students to complete the graduation requirement by creating alternative break programs in conjunction with traditional service-learning courses.
Public Service Recognition Awards
The Center would like to award outstanding faculty, partners and students who contribute to university community engagement initiatives in New Orleans. Recipients will be awarded for their exemplary contributions to serving community needs, the production of knowledge, inspiring their peers and fellow community members to continued excellence in service. Funds would be used for monetary awards as well as an official event presenting the honorees to the public.Research
Public Service Research Initiatives
As an academically driven unit, CPS would like to support research initiatives on campus that address public service needs. Selected proposals will address community- based questions and will provide student research assistance. An endowed fund would allow the Center for Public Service to select and award several research “fellowships” or “grants” each academic year that could be awarded to students and faculty members.
Community Based Research
CPS seeks to encourage collaborative, change-oriented research that engages faculty members, students, and community members in projects that address community needs. Community based research develops the civic capacity of students and empowers community members to effect needed change, while also contributing to the research interests of Tulane faculty members. The Center would like to expand its capacity to support this type of multifaceted research through an expansion of our current grant initiative.
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