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Community Engagement Internships

The Hagen Center links students to the local community to explore hands-on experiences in their major field of study, their future career path, or an area of personal interest. Having students engaged in these experiences enhances the economic, social, cultural, and educational capacity of the community while preparing students for a lifetime of active citizenship by helping them learn the challenges and rewards involved in trying to create positive change in their community. Participating community partners gain student power to complete projects critical to their mission. The Hagen Center offers a Community Internship Program every summer, and since 2014, every spring semester as well.

Internship Goals for Students

  • Participation in the program will increase student interns’ awareness and understanding of the challenges and rewards of making positive change in urban communities in America today. 
  • Through interaction with community partners, faculty members and members of the Greater Springfield community, students will have the opportunity to exercise and further develop their leadership, communication and problem-solving skills.
  • Students will complete projects that meet goals and expectations established by community partners working in collaboration with the Hagen Center. 
  • After building personal connections within the Greater Springfield community, student perceptions about Springfield and Clark County will improve. 

Internship Requirements

  • An intensive community orientation prior to beginning project work 
  • A comprehensive tour of the Greater Springfield community 
  • Reflection and leadership discussions held weekly throughout the program
  • Share project results at a final presentation event open to community and campus partners held at the close of the program

Past projects include:

  • Tutoring elementary and middle-school students
  • Writing curricula for reading, math, and science clubs
  • Researching and documenting Buck Creek water quality, working with at-risk teens
  • Developing a snapshot of inmates at the Clark County Jail
  • Surveying local residents regarding housing/neighborhood satisfaction
  • Mapping foreclosed/vacant properties throughout the city

Hagen Center Internships Make a Difference

  • 100% of interns strongly agreed that their internship experience was relevant to their future career 
  • 80% of interns indicated they strongly agree they would seek out an opportunity to participate in community service or community-based research project in the next year 
  • 60% increase in interns who strongly agree that they can make a difference in the community
  • 20% increase in students who indicate that volunteer work in partnership with community agencies helps solve problems
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