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Role of the Community Assistant/Liaison


Community Assistants are students in the Public and Community Service Studies major, who are placed in one community-based organization or school over the course of two semesters as a part of the Practicum in Public and Community Service.  The CA’s job is to become knowledgeable about the site – its mission, organization, and purpose – in order to serve as a resource to both the organization and the students serving at the organization. Assignments for the Practicum are structured in a way that require that CA to work with the organization as well as the constituents which the organization serves. 

Community Liaisons assume many of the same roles as CAs at sites and in working with community partners and volunteers, the only difference is they electively take on the role either voluntarily, for off-campus work study, or as an independent study. 

Among other things, CA/Ls will be responsible for the following:

  • Supervising and managing student volunteers at that organization.
  • Negotiating with the Community Partner the type of work the students do.
  • Handling logistical details and scheduling for students.
  • Planning and running a site orientation with the community partner 
  • Troubleshooting on an on-going basis.
  • Developing a neighborhood walk for their students.
  • Writing for and administering a Feinstein Institute grant with the site
  • Addressing closure at the site with the students.

Relationship Between the CA/L and the Community Partner

The primary contact person for the CA/L at the organization is the Community Partner Supervisor.  It is our hope that each Supervisor will be responsible for the following, in relation to working with their CA/L:

  • Providing an overview of the organization and  staff members.
  • Providing access to information about the organization to the CA/L 
  • Working with the CA/L to determine what the students will do at the organization that will be useful to the site as well as educational for the students.
  • Assisting in organizing and running an orientation for the students.
  • Providing on going feedback to the CA/L.
  • Assessing the usefulness of the work that students perform with the CA/L.
  • Providing an evaluation of the CA/Ls performance at the end of  semester 

We recognize the fact that working with a CA/L is a significant responsibility for the Community Partner, particularly at the beginning of the year. It is our hope that the CA/L will quickly become an asset to your organization and will assist you in orienting, supervising, and training other volunteers.