Frequently Asked Questions

With what kinds of groups or organizations does the OCEL partner?
The OCEL partners with a variety of non-profit and community-based organizations, such as schools, churches, and community groups, along with local government and small businesses Essentially the OCEL wants to work with groups that serve their community.

We tend to work with groups in the Joliet and Chicagoland area because they are closest to our campuses; however, we are open to working with community members beyond these areas, as well. Please contact Laura Wilmarth Tyna, Director of Community Engaged Learning, if you have a project which you think may be a fit for Lewis University.

What are the expectations for community partners?
Community partners will be asked to communicate in a timely fashion, sign an agreement with Lewis which states both parties’ responsibilities, provide orientation and site supervision for appropriate Lewis constituents, and let the OCEL know if there are any problems or ways we may be of further assistance. (Of course, we also love hearing about insights and positive experiences, too)

How long will it take to for students to arrive at our organization? 
Academic community engaged learning is tied to a course, so project planning can take 6 months to a year to coordinate; however, in some cases project can be been arranged in a matter of weeks.

What if community engaged learning is not a good fit for my organization, but I still want to partner?
The OCEL is part of a broader partnership on campus called the Community Engagement Cooperative (CEC). The CEC is made up of several Lewis offices which engage students in the community. From student life (volunteerism and philanthropy) to ministry (faith-based community engagement) to career services (internships), if you are interested in exploring partnership, we will refer your project to the appropriate office.