Year 1: Exploration
Every year in the Bonner Program is important, but the first year is special. It’s special because you get to explore what the Bonner Program can offer to you, explore the people and places that make CC what it is, explore community based organizations, and get to know the city you will call home for four years: Colorado Springs.
Please review this document for a full explanation of how your first year of exploration is structured.
Orientation is the first experience you will have as a Community Engaged Fellow in the Bonner Program at CC. The key learning objective here is getting to know other Bonners, both in your class as well as older students, and beginning to build relationships with the people you will work with over the next four years. You will also learn about the Bonner developmental model, the national Bonner network, why we have the Bonner program at CC, learn about the CCE, and receive an introduction to the community standards we all uphold as part of the Bonner program.
The first academic year of the Fellowship is structured a lot more heavily than subsequent years - and there are a few reasons for this. First, we want to help you build relationships with the other students in your cohort - a group that you will stick with over the course of your four years. Secondly, we want to help you integrate into the wider program by building relationships with older Bonners. Thirdly, because you will dedicate yourself to one primary site beginning in your second year by completing a Community Learning Agreement (CLA), we want you to have the experience and sensibilities needed to make a good choice - and then to have the skills to be successful and thrive once you begin work at your primary site. Finally, your cohort will undertake planning and implementing a shared project in the second semester of the first year - the First Year Trip. This takes a lot of shared work, and some of this work will take place in our Bonner meetings. For this reason, the first year is defined as an Academic Fellowship. For an understanding of what this means, including a detailed breakdown of first year requirements and your pay schedule, please review this document.
First Year Primary Experiential Learning Goals:
- Develop active and healthy relationships with other Bonners in your cohort
- Develop active and healthy relationships with older students in the Bonner Program
- Actively and intentionally explore community sites in Colorado Springs
- Begin to think about your capstone project
- Plan and participate in a First Year Trip with your cohort
- Complete a Community Learning Agreement before the end of your first academic year
Throughout the first year, Fellows explore community engagement sites. The purpose is to find a place that is enjoyable and meaningful to begin working consistently at the beginning of your second year. You will complete a Community Learning Agreement before the end of Block 7 that will govern your work at your primary site. Completing the CLA takes time - it’s not something that can be done in a Block or two. Your programming will be structured to help you discern what you care about, what you are good at, and how these align with opportunities in the Colorado Springs community. You will also receive advising and mentoring from our Community Partnerships Coordinator (CPC), a full time staff members in the CCE who is dedicated to connecting students, staff and faculty with community partners in Colorado Springs. We have structured your exploration throughout the Fall to introduce you to a number of HIPs, and you will interview with three sites in Block 5. By the end of Block 6, you will have identified a site where you will work throughout the second year, and by the end of Block 7 you will complete your CLA.
First year students will be enrolled in the Community Engaged Fellowship adjunct, where you meet on Wednesday afternoons for 1.5 hours weeks one through three, every block. You will receive .25 credit hours for taking this class, and the class will appear on your transcript.
Finally, first year students will elect a Class Representative and Bonner Leadership Team Representative during Block 1. The Class Representative will attend the annual Bonner Congress meeting, along with the sophomore year Class Rep, and be responsible for trip and event planning for their year. The BLT Rep will attend monthly BLT meetings and work closely with the Class Rep for year-specific planning. The Bonner Leadership Team is the governing body for the Bonner Program at CC, and makes decisions about upholding community standards, programming, and determinations for summer funding among other tasks. Both the Class and BLT Rep positions will last for one year, with a new election happening at the beginning of every year. You can review the full explanation of the BLT here.
Key themes: exploration, interests, issues, collaboration, community formation, community based learning