October 6-9, Nashville, TN

Developing Resilient Communities through Campus-Community Collaboration

Field Information
Delivery Model Conference Concurrent Sessions: Collaboration and Partnerships
Session Type Poster
Building Music City Center
Floor / Room Hall D
Capacity 3000
Time Oct. 7, 2013, 4 p.m. Oct. 7, 2013, 6 p.m.

One of the key strategies for dealing with global climate change is campus–community collaboration (M’Gonigle & Starke) to develop resilient, sustainable communities (Ausubel); as demonstrated at two small liberal arts colleges. The frequent assumption—and the practice—that campuses can isolate themselves behind walls, is giving way to a more interdependent model involving cooperative community development efforts. Campuses and their surrounding communities are being transformed into collaborative living/learning laboratories (Senge) where student internships, student-faculty action research, and service learning projects are helping to develop more sustainable resilient communities while providing rich learning experiences for students. This work challenges us to redesign the campus, curriculum, and graduation requirements to include cooperative (work-study) education models, internships and service learning (Curley) as some schools have done. In this way students can develop creative solutions to community problems and find hope for moving on into the 21st century. Leadership models such as theory U and synchronicity (Jaworski) can be used to advance student learning and resilient sustainable community development. Drawing upon the considerable literature on college-community collaboration (Holland) this workshop will present a model for collaborative town–gown activities, identify potential barriers and five key elements of successful programs (Mosher), and discuss the efforts of two schools that are actively collaborating with their communities to strengthen their downtown businesses and reduce their towns’ carbon footprint. Learning organization models (Senge) and principles of self-organization derived from chaos theory (Wheatley) and biomimicry (Benyus) are being used to guide the development of innovative campus-community collaborations. These cooperative ventures are complex and must overcome barriers of communication, conflict, power relations, and differing cultures (Cherry & Shefner). With this background, two case studies will be presented involving small liberal arts colleges in the Midwest. One college is working with it’s community to rebuild the downtown based on a holistic vision that will significantly reduce the community’s carbon footprint. The other college is creating a center that is working with businesses, governments, schools, and churches in its region to help develop more sustainable/resilient communities—beginning with initiatives focused on local food and renewable energy development and energy efficiency. Participants will be invited to share their own campus-community collaborative efforts that are helping to build resilient/sustainable communities.


Name Role
Prof. Craig Mosher Presenter