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CommUniverCity San Jose: A Partnership for Service and Learning
Unformatted Document Text:  Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, which CommUniverCity readily adopted, but which is a very different way of operating for a university. In most cases, faculty interests define projects, albeit sometimes in consultation with community leaders. In this case, residents set the broad priorities for projects through the Neighborhood Advisory Committee. CommUniverCity leaders then seek faculty members whose classes and interests fit for the priorities. Initially, as the community developed its priorities, some projects were directly proposed by CommUniverCity to the NAC and readily approved. Even after the neighborhood priorities were set during CommUniverCity’s first year, a process has been developed for proposing projects that aren’t an obvious fit with the priorities. In fact, the residents would most likely approve almost anything the university proposes—happily welcoming any kind of attention and service for their neighborhoods. But as a matter of principle, CommUniverCity, like the city through its SNI program, is committed to following and facilitating neighborhood project priorities rather than setting its own. Building Social Capital CommUniverCity San José did agree on one broad goal of its own which was subsequently approved by the NAC: building social capital. The diagram below illustrates the broad goals of the community and CommUniverCity. 13

Authors: Christensen, Terry., Jackson, Melinda. and Agredano, Ricardo.
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Strong Neighborhoods Initiative, which CommUniverCity readily adopted, but which is a
very different way of operating for a university. In most cases, faculty interests define
projects, albeit sometimes in consultation with community leaders. In this case, residents
set the broad priorities for projects through the Neighborhood Advisory Committee.
CommUniverCity leaders then seek faculty members whose classes and interests fit for
the priorities.
Initially, as the community developed its priorities, some projects were directly
proposed by CommUniverCity to the NAC and readily approved. Even after the
neighborhood priorities were set during CommUniverCity’s first year, a process has been
developed for proposing projects that aren’t an obvious fit with the priorities. In fact, the
residents would most likely approve almost anything the university proposes—happily
welcoming any kind of attention and service for their neighborhoods. But as a matter of
principle, CommUniverCity, like the city through its SNI program, is committed to
following and facilitating neighborhood project priorities rather than setting its own.
Building Social Capital
CommUniverCity San José did agree on one broad goal of its own which was
subsequently approved by the NAC: building social capital. The diagram below
illustrates the broad goals of the community and CommUniverCity.
13


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