Community Partners

We recognize the value in community partnerships.

Community leaders, organizations and programs are integral to the learning process. We see value in academic service-learning and volunteering that takes place both on and off campus. Members of the community are recognized as co-educators who have knowledge and practice in tackling the complex community challenges people face today.

Alumni & Student Connections is a gateway of access for community organizations to connect with the PLU campus community on service projects and place-based volunteer opportunities. We also serve as a link for students, faculty, and staff to identify partnerships which align with the passions and values that drive them. Our hope is to establish mutually beneficial partnerships that support PLU students, staff and faculty and the communities and organizations around us.

How can PLU support the work of community partners?

  • Help connect you with faculty and courses for academic-service learning opportunities, projects, and community-based research
  • Promote volunteering opportunities for your organization on our online Opportunities Board
  • Post community-based events online and promote them across campus

Green Tacoma Day-Tree Planting
Hosting Volunteers

Are you interested in hosting student volunteers? PLU enrollment for 2019-2020 is 2,771 students, many of whom participate in service and volunteer experiences during their time outside the classroom. Campus-wide programs, student clubs and campus partners promote volunteering across the campus. We are piloting a new process, to help make opportunities accessible to more students, staff, faculty or PLU Alumni. To post a volunteer opportunity created an employer account on the Opportunities Board to post an opportunity there.

***Do note that all volunteer sites must be a registered employer in the State of Washington and are required to provide proof of insurance upon request.

Academic Service-Learning

Are you interested in connecting concerns and opportunities of your organization or program with courses taught by engaged faculty throughout the university? Please contact Tamara Williams at 253-535-7678 or to consider how your organization or program may align with courses through PLU’s academic programs.

Academic Service-Learning criteria:

  • In-class student learning enhances service experience and service experience enhances in-class learning
  • Careful planning between faculty and community partners
  • Prepare students to engage community partners; prepare community partners to engage students
  • Includes a structured reflection component that ties service to learning experience
  • Students are assessed on learning that takes place in service site

Note: Academic Service-Learning is not simply adding volunteering to the course syllabus.

Academic Internships

Are you interested in hosting a student to participate in an academic internship? Please visit PLU’s Academic Internships website at: or contact Alumni & Student Connections at or 253-535-7415.

What is the difference between academic service-learning and academic internships?

Academic Internships:

An Academic Internship is a professionally related work experience that links a student’s academic program with their desired professional field. It is sponsored and overseen by a faculty member and is supervised and mentored at the workplace by a career professional. Students establish goals for the internship that are approved by faculty and are accepted and registered for academic credit. Students establish specific methods that track and report the achievement of their goals. Students are expected to learn about professional expectations among other goals of the internship experience.