Tips for working with UCR students:
Don’t overwhelm your student volunteers. Inspire them. Share stories and share your passion for your program.
- Connect student volunteers to the larger context of their work. Make them care about “Why” your organization exists.
- When providing feedback, consider using the Feedback Sandwich model: start with something positive; sandwich with any constructive feedback and end with an observation of what the student is doing well and something you hope they’ll continue doing.
- Assume good intentions! Especially if it’s the first time you’ve brought up a performance issue, be sensitive to your volunteer and check in about what might be going on, followed by a reiteration of the guidelines the student should be following to meet expectations.
Why partner with UCR to find volunteers?
UCR is committed to developing and deepening sustainable partnerships with community members. The Office of Student and Engagement and Student Life’s Community Service Partnership seeks to work in collaboration with both on and off campus partners, faculty, and students to achieve results that have a lasting, positive impact on the community. We recognize that our community partners have skills and knowledge that allow them to serve as on-site co-educators and provide significant academic and civic engagement experiences for our students.
By accessing our Community Service Portal, community partners gain access to:
- A group of quality and diverse volunteers who are energized by our partnerships and looking for ways to contribute to the community in meaningful ways.
- UCR resources, faculty and other staff at UCR.
- An increase in public awareness of key issues.
- A greater way for your organization to educate the UCR community and beyond about your organization and the needs that it addresses.
- New energy and assistance to broaden delivery of existing service or to create new services.
Questions to think about in setting up your volunteer needs or any larger service projects:
- What is the community issue being addressed in this opportunity?
- Is there any key take-a way we would like the volunteers to leave this opportunity with?
- Is there anything I want the students to learn about themselves after they complete this opportunity?
- Is there anything about my organization that I want the students to learn after they complete this opportunity?
- How many students can I use on this opportunity or project?
- Do I need only students from a particular discipline or with specialized knowledge?
- Are there any things that the student will need to do to prepare for this experience before they are at my location? Am I in charge of this prior knowledge or will someone else be in charge?
- How many total hours will my project entail?
- Will my project be completed by the end of the quarter or is this an ongoing long-term project? Will I be able to take students who are unable to see the project out through the end of the project or can I only take on students to finish the project despite the length of time involved?
- What sort of time commitment will I be putting into the project myself? On training? On supervision of student workers and evaluation?
- Is there an orientation that I have for these students (one that is easily adaptable from an existing staff manual?)
- Do I have the physical space for volunteers to do their work? Do I have enough technology for the volunteers to do their work? If not, will I allow some work to be done at a different location?
- Are there any considerable risk factors that may be involved with this project? How will I manage these risks?
- (Adapted from California State University Center for Community Engagement)