Community Partner Site Application for the 2021-22 Student Leaders for Service Program

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Community Organizations: We are excited to invite you to participate in our co-created service learning community as a community partner site for our Student Leaders for Service program for the 2021-22 school year. We welcome your application and hope to connect a Portland State University Student Leaders for Service Member with your organization.

Student Leaders for Service (SLS) is a dynamic and multi-faceted program that strives to cultivate a body of engaged student service ambassadors who foster meaningful connections between the university community and the Portland metropolitan region. One essential component through which this relationship is created is through year-long student placements at local community organizations. Each year 15-20 Student Leaders for Service members each serve 4-6 hours per week from October through May/early June at a community organization with a focus area or mission relevant to the academic, career, and personal goals of the student. SLS members are eligible to receive a $500/term service leadership award as part of their involvement in the program.

The role of an SLS member is comprised of a couple essential components.

  • First, the SLS member will be involved with an area of identified work at the community partner site, much like an intern or ongoing volunteer, in order to assist the community partner in mission-driven work and to develop their own learning and skill-building. SLS roles can involve direct service, administrative support, and/or relate to advocacy efforts and should ideally give SLS members the opportunity to take ownership over an area of their work to promote deeper engagement and leadership development.

  • Second - combining the knowledge gained about community partner needs with their participation in weekly service leadership classes at PSU, the SLS member can serve as a liaison back to the PSU community, helping to involve others at PSU in episodic volunteer opportunities, advocacy efforts, and/or education about your organization to further support your mission.

  • In addition - As part of their service leadership class, SLS members are grouped in cohorts of 3-5 students by their host sites' primary issue area (e.g. food insecurity, education, community development, health & wellness, etc.) to work together one at least two collaborative service projects (one in winter and one in spring); some SLS host sites may also benefit from having the support of a full cohort helping to plan and lead a one-time service project to engage additional students in your organization.

The most successful partner sites are those which have both a need for a regular student to serve 4-6 hours per week within the organization for an academic year and the need to raise awareness and/or involve additional one-time volunteers for identified special projects or events. If your organization has need of both of these resources, SLS may be a great fit. Successful partner sites are also those which can provide a designated supervisor for their SLS member(s) who is able to support the student’s learning and engagement around the organization’s work, mission, and examples of leadership.

APPLICATIONS ARE DUE BY TUESDAY, MARCH 23, 2021. Early Applications are encouraged!

In order to propose an SLS partnership for the upcoming 2021-22 academic year, please complete the application by clicking on the "Register" button in the upper right-hand corner of this page.

To complete the application process, you will need to answer a number of questions about your organization and the specific role(s) you would be interested in having an SLS member support that would align well with an SLS member’s 4-6 hour/week commitment. Note that you are welcome (and encouraged) to apply to host more than one SLS member if your capacity allows for it! 

Community Partner sites will be notified by April 1-10 if they have been selected to move forward as a potential SLS site and by June 30th if we have identified a potential student match (or matches) so we can schedule a meeting/interview to determine if the student/placement is a good fit. Note that, even if selected to move forward as a potential SLS host site, we cannot promise that you will be matched with an SLS student, as we base match recommendations on students' interest, experience, and location, and always have more community partner interest than SLS spots in our program. To see a more in-depth timeline of how SLS member selection and placement typically works, so you can best anticipate the application process and what the flow of the SLS program year looks like, see this document:

Portland State University is committed to engaging with local communities for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. We are excited at the prospect of engaging with you in partnership with our Student Leaders for Service program to yield powerful outcomes and genuine solidarity for our Portland metro community. Feel free to reach out with any questions, concerns or for clarification.


Melia Tichenor


Student Community Engagement Center

Portland State University

P: 503.725.8132 (office)


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