Year 2: Experience
In Block 1 of the second year, you will work at least five hours per week at a site in what will be classified as an academic internship that will appear on your transcript. This is your CLA site, and you will have selected this site before the end of Block 6 in your first year. You will receive academic credit for your Bonner internships up to .75 credit hours. You are still required to complete 24 hours per block, but this requirement is designed to allow you to maintain another commitment in addition to your CLA if you choose to do so. Otherwise, you can work all 24 hours per block (8 hours per week, weeks 1 - 3) at your CLA site. The goal is for you to develop experience working with one particular nonprofit or government agency (or social impact business in some rare cases) for a full academic year. Your first year of exploration should have led you to identify a population, issue, or skill - which we define as types of engagement - upon which you will focus. Your second year is about working with an organization to focus on that issue, work with that population, or cultivate and develop your skills.
Equally important is the development of a set of professional skills, habits, and sensibilities that prepare you to be effective in the world of work. You will have a site supervisor in the community to whom you will report throughout the second year, and learning how to communicate with your supervisor and other staff is a critical learning goal. You also learn how community agencies function from the inside - how budgets are made, how priorities emerge as action items, how projects develop and are managed, and where your particular organization sits within the larger ecosystem of nonprofit and government agencies in Colorado Springs.
Your on-campus role in the Bonner Program also shifts in the second year. Meetings will be held less frequently, shifting from once a week to once a block, and you will be seen by younger Bonners as an example. Beyond just showing up, active participation in all-Bonner meetings and Bonner retreats becomes critical, as these are the spaces where you can interact with and become a co-educator for Bonners in the first year class.
In general, the second year is about going deeper: spending more time with one site; developing deeper knowledge about a particular issue or population; cultivating deeper relationships with both older and younger Bonners. In the second year, you want to prepare yourself to do ‘signature work’ in your third year. Specifically, you want to begin developing a capstone project, often a capacity building project, that you will implement in your third year. The goal is to meaningfully integrate your academic work and your community engagement into a project that will expand the capacity of a community site.
We encourage you to study abroad in your third year, and to begin exploring this in your second year. By this time, you will have built a community with your Bonner cohort and other students at CC. You will have narrowed in on your academic major and course of study, and you will have developed some skills and sensibilities through community engagement that will be very helpful in a study abroad experience. We encourage you to build on all of these experiences in creating a plan to study abroad in your third year that includes community engagement. We ask that you develop this plan in conversation with CCE staff before you commit to a study abroad experience.
Second Year Primary Experiential Learning Goals
- Develop knowledge of an issue and gain experience working on that issue
- Develop professional communication skills
- Become a resource for baby Bonners
- Network with other students at CC who may be interested in working on your issue in an effort to begin thinking about Collective Impact
- Start to plan your capstone project with a focus on capacity building, signature work
- If interested in study abroad, develop a plan for your junior year
Finally, just as you did in the first year, you will craft a Community Learning Agreement to govern your work and relationship with your community partner. You will create an updated CLA with your partner before the end of Block 4, and create a new CLA to govern your third year before the end of Block 7.
Key themes: going deeper, commitment, mentoring younger students, professional development, professional communication, project development, project management, team based work