Examples of Engagement in the University District Past and Present

PA 3481 Cedar Riverside: Where The World Meets Minnesota (January term)

The Cedar Riverside Neighborhood: Where the World Meets Minnesota is an immersion course in our Cedar Riverside neighborhood that parallels the immersion experience of study abroad. The course encourages civic engagement and will provide an opportunity to learn and work in the Cedar Riverside community while examining questions of leadership, power, cultural diversity, and social change. Students will participate in class-based discussion seminars, neighborhood excursions, and community work. Throughout the immersion experience, students are challenged to question and respond thoughtfully to current issues facing the Cedar Riverside community and cultivate leadership skills. Students can expect to gain new frameworks for understanding leadership and civic engagement in a domestic cultural context, deepened skill in identifying complex problems, strategic questioning, reflection, and meaning making, as well as consciousness of relationship between self, world, and text/theory.

West Bank Business Association

The West Bank Business Association works in partnership with the University in several capacities, formerly through the Humphrey School's CHANCE program and more recently on projects with student fellows in the leadership minor program and leadership minor fieldwork and capstone projects.

West Bank Community Coalition

In the summer of 2016, the UMN President's Emerging Scholars Program (PES) and College of Liberal Arts (CLA) worked in partnership with the West Bank Community Coalition to teach West Bank youth how to create digital stories.

Here is some info on the broader concept and the work done at UROC in North Minneapolis which sparked the conversation and event in the UD.

Partnerships via the Center for Community-Engaged Learning (service-learning and volunteering for students)

Pratt School (Prospect Park neighborhood)

The Pratt School currently has 50-60 University student volunteers. A handful (less than 10) serve as tutors and the rest are students who are taking a course that includes a service-learning component. Student volunteers help before- and after-school programs, at recess and lunch, and in gym with phy-ed assessments. The Pratt children have a strong connection with college-aged students. The light rail has further strengthened the student volunteerism at Pratt.

The Pratt teachers get very excited when the student volunteers come, and find it to be a tremendous resource. Pratt reports that they have a great relationship and system with the Center for Community-Engaged Learning, and the student volunteers come prepared for the experience. Some continue beyond the semester in which they were doing the service-learning for a course.

Southeast Como Improvement Association (SECIA)

The SECIA engages with the University in various capacities.

Approximately six interns per year, many recruited through the CLA Urban Studies program, help with community building and neighborhood revitalization and communication. The current executive director of SECIA, Cody Olson, is a former UMN student and intern from the Urban Studies program.

The SECIA partnered with CURA in 2014 on a project to research industrial pollution, with a focus on Trichloroethylene vapor intrusion, and implemented an educational program for those affected by TCE vapor. The award-winning work serves as a model for other neighborhoods. Learn more about Como

Cedar Riverside Adult Education Collaborative

This organization, located in Riverside Plaza, provides English Language learning, a computer lab, and office services (faxing, scanning) for the residents of Riverside Plaza and their ESL students. Most students are East African immigrants and refugees. The collaborative provides English classes, math tutoring, and tutoring for citizenship and other literacy-related activities.

They mainly engaged with the University through the Center for Community-Engaged Learning through student volunteers, roughly a dozen per semester. Some take a service-learning course, some just want to get to know the community, and some are in the community-engaged scholars program. Volunteers provide one-on-one tutoring or serve as a classroom assistant.

The Center for Community-Engaged Learning continues to meet and discuss how the collaborative could be a place for international students to connect with the community.

Cedar Riverside Opportunity Center

This is an employment and higher education opportunity center, located in the Cedar Riverside neighborhood (adjacent to our West Bank campus). Primarily intended for youth and young adults in Cedar Riverside, the Opportunity Center will be a resource for anyone seeking skills and access to employment and higher education.

Lead partners are Hennepin County Workforce Development, Hennepin County Libraries, Minneapolis Community and Technical College, and EMERGE (a Minneapolis-based nonprofit organization). The Cedar Riverside Partnership, a multi-sector collaborative including the University of Minnesota, is supporting the idea and has provided some staff support for fund-raising. See links to media items from March of 2016:

Center Aims to Address Unemployment

Backers of Cedar-Riverside Jobs Training Center Seeks Financial Help

Minneapolis 4-H and University of Minnesota Extension

4-H Program Links Cedar-Riverside and Stem Programs