Community Engagement Preparation Modules

Each semester, many Notre Dame students spend time off-campus to support the work of community organizations in the South Bend area. Through community-engaged learning courses, volunteer programs, and other engagement opportunities, these individuals exhibit a commitment to positively impact their community. Effectively collaborating with community organizations, however, often requires a distinct set of knowledge, perspectives, and expectations that can differ from those required to be a successful student. Many community partners are small, nonprofit organizations with substantial missions yet limited staff and resources. If you are interested in connecting with a community partner, it is essential to understand how to effectively engage with a local organization before reaching out as a potential partner.

This page provides a set of brief, interactive modules that review many of the topics you will need to be an effective volunteer. Each module includes key terms, background information, best practices, and resource lists for an important topic for volunteers. Each module provides a snapshot of practical, applied information and is designed to be completed in about 10 minutes. Individuals interested in working with a community partner are encouraged to review all Core Modules before engaging with an organization. Students are also encouraged to review all Community Modules that are relevant for the work of their community partner.

The modules listed here are available for use by anyone engaging with a community organization. The content is especially designed and recommended for:

  • Instructors teaching community-based learning courses,
  • Community partners creating student orientations, 
  • Student groups organizing activities with a community organization, and
  • Students interested in personally volunteering.

Note that each module includes comprehension questions that can be used to track module completion. Please contact the Community-Engaged Learning Program Director at the Center for Social Concerns (Dave Lassen, with any questions or to recommend additional modules.

Core Modules

  • Introduction to Community Engagement
  • Introduction to Nonprofit Organizations
  • Intercultural Competence
  • Professional Communication

Community Modules


View All Events

Upcoming Events

October 2021

Application Close | ISSLP 2022
Monday, October 25, 2021 - 12:00am to 11:45pm
Information Session | SSLP 2022
Tuesday, October 26, 2021 - 7:00pm
Postgraduate Service Lunch | Alliance for Catholic Education
Friday, October 29, 2021 - 11:30am to 1:30pm

November 2021

Information Session | SSLP 2022
Tuesday, November 2, 2021 - 7:00pm
Mini Postgraduate Service Fair
Friday, November 5, 2021 - 1:00pm to 3:00pm
Labor Café First Friday
Friday, November 5, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm
Taste of PATH
Tuesday, November 9, 2021 - 7:30pm
Dignity and Justice Workshop
Friday, November 12, 2021 - 10:00am to 1:00pm
Catholic Social Tradition (CST) Minor Brunch
Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 11:30am
Higgins Film CLASSics | Blue Collar (1978)
Sunday, November 14, 2021 - 3:00pm
Virtues & Vocations Presents Howard Gardner: What is Good Work?
Monday, November 29, 2021 - 12:00pm to 1:00pm

December 2021

Signs of the Times Brown Bag Lunch Series | Housing
Friday, December 3, 2021 - 12:00pm
Labor Café First Friday
Friday, December 3, 2021 - 5:00pm to 6:00pm