Community Partners

We value community partners.

Community leaders, organizations and programs are integral to the learning process. We see value in academic service-learning and volunteering that takes place on and off campus and see members of the community as co-educators.

Through this, we hope to establish mutually beneficial partnerships that benefit PLU students, staff and faculty and the communities and organizations around us.

Students packing food

How can the CCES support the work of community partners?

  • Help connect you with faculty and courses for academic-service learning opportunities and community-based research
  • Promote volunteering opportunities for your organization on our online opportunities board
  • Post community-based events online and promote them across the campus
  • Invite you to participate in the CCES volunteer fair, community breakfasts, partnership meetings, and our annual Celebration of Service

Are you interested in hosting student volunteers? Approximately 70% of PLU’s 3,100 students volunteer while they are at PLU. 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. More details to come soon. For now, please email if you have information to be shared. 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.

Are you interested in connecting concerns and opportunities of your organization or program with courses taught by engaged faculty throughout the university? Please contact Kristin Menson at or 253-535-7652 to consider how your organization or program may align with courses through PLU’s 86 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.

Are you interested in hosting a student to participate in an academic internship? Please visit PLU’s Academic Internships website at: or contact Career Connections to 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.

Academic Service-Learning:

Through academic service-learning, the community becomes an integral “text” of a course where students connect theoretical concepts with practical strategies and implementation. Academic service-learning courses reside at the intersection of three areas: 1) Rigorous student learning in a specific discipline that includes critical reflection; 2) Active community engagement that promotes positive social change; and 3) Meaningful preparation for a lifetime of citizenship.

Are you looking for part-time student employees. Many PLU students are eligible for the Washington State Work Study Program. Through this program, employers are partially reimbursed (Non-profit 70% reimbursement; Government 60% reimbursement; For-Profit 40% reimbursement) toward compensating PLU student employees that are eligible for the program. The position and worksite must represent opportunities for student learning and growth and align with PLU’s mission.

To learn more about the State Work Study program, visit or contact Karen McMahon,  PLU’s coordinator for Student Employment at: or 253-535-8786.