HIGHER EDUCATION, EMERGING TECHNOLOGIES, AND COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS: CONCEPTS, MODELS, AND PRACTICES
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The University of Richmond, a mid-size liberal arts institution, had a longstanding institutional commitment to civic engagement. Campus location and curricular issues once made the popular model of service-learning, direct service to fellow citizens in need, too restrictive, and not a good fit for many of the university’s courses. Campus leaders wanted to create community partnerships that would accommodate the wide range of pedagogical needs on campus, connect to every discipline, and still maintain healthy and sustainable partnerships in the community. This case study describes their collaboration with community leaders to launch ConnectRichmond, a network hub with many Web 2.0 features. This innovation has created a large online community that facilitates a variety of course models and has helped to support the development of a major program for community-based learning. ConnectRichmond allows UR to move beyond talking about meeting community needs to working in true reciprocity with fellow Richmonders.