Community Partnership Funds (CPFs)
Community Partnership Funds (CPF) is a funding program that provides the opportunity for faculty, staff, students, or members of the community to implement campus and community partnership projects that address social issues locally and abroad. CPFs support public problem-solving through service-learning, community development or community-based research.
The overall goals/outcomes for the Community Partnership Funds program include the following:
- Stimulate engagement and partnership efforts across or within academic departments as well as with the broader community
- Address wide variety of community issues and priorities
- Expand and improve understanding of partnership
- Link university and community assets
- Facilitate empowering, sustainable solutions for public problems
Statement of Eligibility
Faculty, staff, students, or members of the community can initiate campus and community partnership projects; however, a WKU employee must serve as fiscal agent. Interdisciplinary projects are encouraged. Funds may be used for WKU personnel costs (faculty offload/release time, staff/student stipends, etc.) and project expenses. WKU state discretionary spending policies apply. Ability to demonstrate matching funds and/or in-kind support is encouraged
If you are planning to submit a proposal, contact Lauren Cunningham, WKU ALIVE Center, at 270-782-0082 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Annual Application Deadlines (We are not currently accepting applications)
- November 1
- April 1
- July 1
- Service-Learning Track - Up to $1,000
CPIA service-learning projects should be educational activities in which student learning is the central piece.
Service-learning can be described as "learning by doing while helping others." It is considered a form of experiential learning in which students participate in an organized activity that meets learning objectives and identified community needs at the same time. In service-learning classes, students work in the community on issues that make education relevant and exciting. Course content, such as training, lectures, and readings, improve the quality of student service projects. In turn, the service experience enhances the classroom dialogue, skill development, application of knowledge, and student learning. Campus and community members serve as co-educators.
Community Partnership Incentive Award projects in the Service-Learning Track must include the three Integral Components of Service-Learning:
1. Meaningful Service: Students and faculty work with community organizations or community leaders to identify a project or activity that addresses a real community need and/or contributes to the necessary work of a community organization.
2. Applied Learning: Students apply academic knowledge and critical thinking skills. The project or activity is directly related to course learning goals. The project contributes to the students' understanding and/or practice of academic concepts or skills.
3. Reflection: Students participate in a structured reflection and assessment process which facilitates the integration of the service experience and learning goals, leads to a deeper understanding, and helps transform the experience into meaningful learning.
- Community Development Track - Up to $3,000
The main goal of CPIA community development projects should be to benefit the community by addressing a particular need.
Community development applies to a broad range of improvement to the community. The community needs should be addressed in sustainable ways that empower individuals and groups of people by building on community resources and reflecting a deep understanding of challenges. CPIA Community Development Track projects must involve both campus and community partners in project development, implementation, and evaluation. Projects must draw upon the strengths and assets of the participating community and campus partners, and involve members of the community being served.
- Public Research Track - Up to $5,000
The main goal of CPIA public research projects is the generation of knowledge that can be applied to the benefit of the community. Public research benefits the community in effective and significant ways while furthering the scholarship of a field in ways that have an academic impact.
The community-based research model is the preferred approach for CPIA public research projects. Community-based involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each bring. Participatory or collaborative types of community-based research ideally takes place within the community and in collaboration with community partners who participate in the planning, implementation, and evaluation processes. Ideally, CBR involves all partners in the research process from beginning to end, but the realities of work in the field show that negotiated participation, as part of the collaboration process can produce variation in intensity or participation. Community partners can be established organizations, informal community groups, or individuals from the community. Rather than a one way relationship in which the researcher holds all the knowledge and power and is perceived as superior to community members, Community-Based Research is a two-way relationship in which community knowledge is sought, appreciated, and taken into account.
The WKU ALIVE CCP awards Community Partnership Incentive Awards in the Community-based research track for projects that include efforts to:
(1) build upon community strengths, to identify community assets and to empower community members as a byproduct of the research process,
(2) focus, generally, on meeting information and analytical needs of society's most economically, politically, and socially marginalized groups and communities,
(3) actively involve local residents as co-investigators on an equal basis with university-trained scholars (and students) in each step of the research,
(4) promote social learning processes, and
(5) disseminate results and findings in multiple ways, for example, through academic journals, popular press, community meetings, foundation reports and publications, university and community forums.
1. Community Involvement
The community constituent will:
Bring both needs and assets to the partnership
Be active in developing project idea, planning, setting goals/outcomes, determining use of funds, implementing project, evaluating, and reporting.
2. WKU Ethos
Partnerships will align with WKU mission, vision, and strategic goals
Projects that incorporate community-based learning tools such as service-learning, community-based research or other forms of public scholarship are encouraged
3. Identified Needs Categories
Partnerships will address issues relevant to one or more of the identified needs categories (Click here for information on project areas)
4. Regional Impact
Projects that address issues in the regional communities across WKU’s 27-country service region are encouraged (LINK TO MAP)
- Give attention to long-term benefit or impact
- Show consideration of underlying systemic issues and processes that contribute to the project focus
- Improve a community’s capacity towards self-sufficiency
- Show potential for replicable outcomes (where appropriate)
6. Assessment process
- Have clear, measurable project outcomes
- Include an evaluation mechanism