Calvin College

CALVIN - Minds in the Making

Strengthening Liberal Arts Education by Embracing Place and Particularity

Case Study

Transforming a nursing department by emphasizing place and partnership

Involving Community Leaders

It was very important for the nursing department to have community leaders involved prior to establishing neighborhood partnerships.  Every effort was made to link with key city / county service providers to inform them of the college’s intentions along with looking for ways to meet gaps in care rather than duplicate care.  Time was also spent connecting with neighborhood leaders, both formal and informal.  These leaders helped identify the neighborhoods strengths, needs, and brought ideas how to meet the neighborhood needs. 

Even more important, however, was involving residents themselves.  This commitment to resident voice and involvement is very challenging but absolutely crucial to success.  Residents need to not only be involved in identifying the strengths and health concerns for their neighborhood but also the solutions.  They then need to have an ongoing formal voice as the community partnership grows and evolves over time so that place can accurately inform what you do as a department. 


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