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


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Upcoming Events

August 2021

Engaged Learning Forum | "Back to Normal" and Continuing to Grow
Thursday, August 19, 2021 - 11:00am to 12:15pm
Information Session | Social Concerns Seminars
Monday, August 23, 2021 - 4:00pm
Meet Me at the CSC!
Monday, August 23, 2021 - 4:00pm to 6:00pm
Information Session | Social Concerns Seminars
Tuesday, August 24, 2021 - 4:00pm
Information Session | Social Concerns Seminars
Wednesday, August 25, 2021 - 4:00pm

September 2021

Application Close | Community Impact Grants
Monday, September 13, 2021 - 12:00am to 11:45pm