Welcome to my new blog series all about university-community partnerships and relationships at Towson University!

Back in October, I wrote a post about the Community Partnerships and Relationships 2015 Status Report. That report gave a snapshot of the current status of university-community partnerships and relationships at Towson University, including how many there are, where they’re happening, their outcomes, and their impacts.

I wanted to build upon this report and take some time to highlight some of our biggest impact areas, as well as a few individual partnerships within each area. This month, I’m focusing on how our university-community partnerships and relationships are supporting education in Maryland and improving college readiness and completion. This was the largest impact area and with TU’s history as a teachers’ college, that comes as no surprise!

Our educational outreach ranges from arts-based programs to STEM and everything in between. Below is a small sampling of these partnerships:

Mentoring at Higher Achievement Baltimore

Dr. Frances Luther, of the TU Department of Educational Technology and Literacy, leads a partnership through a service-learning course, with Higher Achievement Baltimore. The course, Teaching and Learning in a Diverse Society, examines the multicultural influences on education while engaging the students in a process of self-awareness and appreciation of others. TU students travel to Higher Achievement sites throughout Baltimore, where they provide mentoring and academic assistance to the Higher Achievement Scholars.

The Arts Integration Institute

The Arts Integration Institute, a part of the TU College of Fine Arts and Communication, assists Maryland pre K-12 educators in facilitating student growth and development through the arts. The Institute, working in cooperation with the Maryland State Department of Education, provides timely, progressive educational courses and workshops in response to the needs of practicing educators. The Arts Integration Institute has partners from across the state including other universities, public school systems, and arts non-profits.

Bridges to the Baccalaureate

This program, from the Fisher College of Science and Mathematics, seeks to increase the number of underrepresented minorities who successfully complete the transition from Baltimore City Community College or the Community College of Baltimore County to completion of a bachelor’s degree at Towson University. Students from the community colleges participate in a TU course as a cohort and conduct research with TU faculty for eight weeks in the summer. The program produces graduates who are competitive in pursuing graduate education or a career in biomedical research.

University-community partnerships and relationships at Towson University provide a peek into the great work that our faculty, staff, students, and community partners are doing in the area of improving education in Maryland. I’ll be exploring more impact areas in the coming months, so keep an eye out for those posts!