At the NDDC’s May Downtown Forum, members of both Carleton and St. Olaf Colleges shared their organizational resource opportunities with the attendees. The panelists made clear that there are an impressive number of options available to local businesses and non-profits.
Laura Riehle-Merrill, Director of Carleton’s Acting in the Community Together program, said that their work has evolved from their 1985 creation and now includes one-time service “plunges” for first-year students, intensive project focus on specific issues, and on-going volunteer programs. Adrienne Falcon, Coordinator of Academic Civic Engagement at Carleton College, connects class work with community needs, including the local economy, the arts sector, and critical housing issues.
Nate Jacobi, Assistant Director of Civic Engagement at St. Olaf College, fosters curricular engagement with the community and typically connects 12 to 14 classes to local projects. Sandy Malecha, St. Olaf’s Assistant Director of Internships Program, said that over 70 organizations hosted college students over the past year.
Finally, Diana Dargen, who works for both colleges, places students in actual jobs, where college work-study programs cover 70% of their wages.
In summary, the colleges offer volunteers for community service, individual internships, project-based class assignments, and college-sponsored work study programs. For more information, contact either the Carleton College Acting in the Community Together program or the St. Olaf Center for Experiental Learning.
Or contact Diana Dargen, at 786-3829 or 222-7023, for a referral to the best-matched program.