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“The Community is Our Classroom” Our Commitment to Community Engagement
Through the community-engaged projects of Humanics@FresnoState, we align campus resources
available to CBOs, including academic programs and seminars that prepare students
and community members (including staff and board members of CBOs in the region) in
the areas of administration and leadership. California State University, Fresno is
proud to be on the forefront of a national movement preparing individuals to meet
the growing societal need for professionals who can help strengthen and lead community
Humanics Sustainable Partnerships Project. On September 1, 2009, the Humanics Program at California State University, Fresno
was awarded a Learn and Serve America Higher Education grant from the Corporation
for National and Community Service through California Campus Compact for a three-year
program to implement aspects of the Sustainable Partnerships Project. As part of
the Social Innovation Generation: California Recovery and Renewal (SIG: CARE) initiative
and with additional funding from the Central Valley Community Foundation, Humanics@FresnoState
developed a two-semester course offering of “Governance, Administrative Principles,
& Financial Literacy for Leaders of Community Benefit Organizations” (SOC 186S) and
“Entrepreneurial Approaches to Sustainable Community Benefit Organizations” (SOC 187S).
This project fosters collaboration, civic engagement, entrepreneurship, and leadership
by applying a team-centered, case-management approach to provide students with experience
in nonprofit management consulting while working to enhance the capacity, governance
and sustainability of San Joaquin Valley Community Benefit Organizations.
The Capacity Building & Technical Assistance: component involves three phases of assisting 3-6 CBOs each year through Humanics
Consulting Teams, comprising 3-4 Fresno State students, 1 university alumnus, and
a professional coach. The teams conduct organizational assessments and submit feedback
in a comprehensive report to the CBO, work with CBO staff and board members to identify
priority areas and implement recommendations, and evaluate impact annually. The Capacity
Building and Technical Assistance component is intended as a culminating community-engagement
experience for Humanics students and is designed to enhance the capacity and long-term
sustainability of CBOs to better fulfill their missions and meet the needs of the
San Joaquin Valley.
Social Justice Advocacy Project: More than 280 students have worked with over a dozen CBOs since 2003, ultimately—through
ongoing work by other community individuals and organizations—resulting in the establishment
of organizations, like Faith In the Valley-Fresno (PICO) (formerly Faith In Community),
and various campus policy changes and city ordinances regarding divestment from fossil
fuel companies, anti-human trafficking, vacant blighted properties, and the Office
of Independent Review (Police Auditor).