Did you know that the University of Windsor offers a course that supports the work of ProsperUs?
Community Engagement and Evaluation (GART/SOSC 2050) is an innovative community-based partnership between the University of Windsor and ProsperUs designed to teach post-secondary students practical skills to support future career aspirations across various sectors through a two-semester program. The course is co-taught by University of Windsor faculty, staff from the Backbone organization United Way/Centraide Windsor-Essex County, and features guest speakers from across the ProsperUs collective. It was launched in 2021 and will be offered again in the upcoming 2022-2023 academic calendar.
Semester one, offered in Fall 2022, sets the theoretical and contextual foundation for service learning, community engagement, and evaluation. It helps students develop critical skills utilized in a community setting using experiential activities, including:
- Reflecting on diversity and equity issues in our community and learning about the socio-economic context in Windsor-Essex
- Directly engaging community members to collect first-hand experiences of neighbourhood circumstances
- Leveraging Human-Centered Design principles to develop solutions to the identified challenges
- Gaining experience with principles of evaluation and data collection by developing an evaluation plan, analyzing data, and creating a story with the data
- Receiving resume and career support and participating in a formal interview process before placement
Community leaders, practitioners, and residents involved in the ProsperUs project will join the class through a guest speaker series.
After successfully completing the first semester and an interview process, students will be eligible for a paid internship in the Winter semester. These positions will support children, youth, and families in a program setting within three target neighbourhoods in Windsor-Essex County. Students will apply their learnings to help program outcomes and evaluate the success of the programs with the support of the Backbone team.
“I really appreciated the variety of topics we discussed in this course. I felt as though everything was relevant to our surrounding community and could be applied to my Sociology & Criminology degree as well as my everyday life. We worked individually as well as with partners and connected with local organizations all working to make a collective impact in Windsor-Essex. The course and the internship were great experiences that challenged my perspectives and helped me develop skills in community engagement.” – University of Windsor Student
“The GART 2050/2060 internship experience that the United Way team alongside Dr. Salinitri and Frazier designed encouraged our small group to think big, use alternative methods to problem-solving and create awareness for Windsor-Essex neighbourhood challenges. Being able to learn theories, methods and experiences from a range of experts and then having the opportunity to actually apply our learnings in our community was refreshing as a student! The entire United Way staff made it a priority to make each student feel valued during this placement and find work that was personalized to our interests and needs. This internship was extremely flexible and eye-opening – especially for anyone interested in pursuing a career in community engagement, education, social work and/or many other FAHSS-related careers. I truly cannot recommend this internship experience enough to University of Windsor students.” – Natalie Green, University of Windsor Student
Have questions? Please contact the instructors:
Dr. Geri Salinitri – Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Education
Hillary Peladeau – Evaluation Team Lead, United Way/Centraide Windsor Essex County
Amy Kwan – Community Capacity Building Manager, United Way/Centraide Windsor Essex County
Register for Community Engagement and Evaluation (GART/SOSC 2050) at UWinSite Student.