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Berea Year at A Glance

Page history last edited by Ashley Cochrane 9 years, 2 months ago


Berea College


Please complete responses to the following prompts by July 11, 2011.  To upload files or documents:  Click edit.  Click Images and files in the right sidebar. Find and upload your file from your computer or server.  You can also cut and paste it in.


Community Partnerships:


  • In a few paragraphs, describe 1-2 outstanding examples or highlights of community partnerships and projects that were accomplished with them through the regular school year.  For example, you may choose to profile the work of a particular site team, research project, or other innovative initiative.


The Berea College Bonner Scholars Program chose to emphasize the Appalachian context of our service during this academic year; this focus is highlighted in multiple places within our report. Our partnership with Step by Step, Inc., based in Kanawha and Lincoln Counties of West Virginia and the host of our First Year Service Trip, was one important aspect of our Appalachian focus.


This year CELTS hosted a presentation series titled Community Connections, designed to highlight the work of community-based organizations in the Appalachian region. The goal of this series was to inform faculty, staff, and students about exciting community change work occurring in Appalachia, and to encourage collaborations between Berea College and these organizations. In November 2010, staff of Step by Step, Inc., traveled to Berea to share a presentation about the work of their organization. First Year Bonners were required to attend this presentation as a part of the orientation to their First Year Service Trip. During their time on campus, the staff of Step by Step, Inc. was also able to meet with a student who was later awarded a Compton Fellowship to pursue sustainability initiatives in Lincoln County. The staff was also able to meet with other Berea College faculty and staff who partner with Step by Step, Inc. in various ways.  


The First Year Service Trip with Step by Step provided First Year Bonners with opportunities to learn about the diversity of the people, communities, and needs of the Appalachian region, through both rural and urban service experiences. The trip also demonstrated the innovation, dedication, and creativity of community leaders in Appalachia, as well as demonstrating some of the significant challenges. The collaboration with Step by Step made much of the training and enrichment programming of the year come to life for our First Year Bonners and provided them with a solid introduction to serving in an Appalachian context.



Student Development:


  • Please briefly describe your Bonner Program meeting structure here.


The Berea College Bonner experience begins with Bonner Preview and Interview Weekend, which is attended by applicants to the Bonner Program in the spring prior to their First Year. Prior to the Fall Term, the selected fifteen First Year Bonner Scholars arrive early to campus to participate in the Bonner Scholars Orientation Retreat. The Common Commitments and the Five E’s are introduced to First Year Bonners in this retreat.  The training for the First Years continues with 2-hour trainings each weekday afternoon for the first three weeks of the Fall Term. These trainings are focused on teambuilding, mentoring, self-awareness, and program planning skills. First Year Bonners continue meeting weekly for an hour throughout the academic year; these meetings focus on Bonner business and training topics designed to provide information and skills training related to assets and needs of the Berea community, effective teamwork, social issues, and various approaches to addressing community needs.


Upper-level Bonners attend weekly labor meetings, which provide skills-based and issue-based trainings designed to  help student develop service and leadership skills and knowlege. Upper-level Bonners also receive specialized training at their labor sites.  Students are strongly encouraged to take advantage of the many opportunities for training, in CELTS and around campus. 


In addition, all Bonners are required to attend All-Bonner Meetings.  In these meetings, usually accompanied by family style dinner, we work on important Bonner business, including CLAs, BWBRS, Community Fund grants, and others. We also provide time at All-Bonner Meetings for each class to meet for planning class events, holding elections, and addressing other class-related issues.  In between these meetings, Bonners are encouraged to attend service events, CELTS events, and other enrichment activities.



  • Please briefly describe your student leadership structure (i.e., BLT, interns, etc.) and any key projects or initiatives they accomplished here.


Student development and cascading leadership are core operating principles of the Center for Excellence in Learning through Service (CELTS), which houses the Bonner Scholars Program, the academic service-learning program, and the student-led community service programs.  As Bonner Scholars move through their four years, they take on greater responsibility for their own work as well as for mentoring and helping newer Bonners to develop.


As a work college, Berea requires all students to work 10-15 hours/week. There are four upper-level Bonner leadership labor positions, the three First Year Coordinators and the Senior Intern.  The First Year Coordinators are selected to serve as team leaders for the incoming class of Bonner Scholars. They oversee the service programs of the First Year Bonners, including daily oversight of First Year Bonners in their labor positions, supporting, advising, and guiding First Years both as a team and as individuals, and assisting with training and facilitation of First Year Service Trips.


The Bonner Senior Intern’s main goal is to assist the Bonner Program staff in developing the Bonner Scholars Program. Specifically, the Bonner Senior Intern helps to plan and facilitate Bonner meetings, retreats, and trainings. The Senior Intern also helps to manage and delegate important tasks among Bonner students, including campus-wide or Bonner service events, Bonner Preview and Interview Weekend, First Year Orientation, First Year Service Trip, Second Year Service Exchange, Junior Recommitment, and Senior Presentation of Learning.


 In addition to these positions, CELTS offers a number of leadership positions for upper-level students in the community service program.   In the spirit of cascading leadership, programs are run by student teams, led by a student Program Manager.  Although these positions are usually held by Juniors and Seniors, they may be offered to Sophomores who demonstrate readiness for leadership. In these positions, they are responsible for program implementation, including recruiting, scheduling, and training volunteers. Bonner Scholars hold many of the Program Manager positions.


Beginning in the Sophomore year, Bonners may also apply for community-based service positions that offer varying levels of leadership and independence.  Service placements for upper-level students are never assigned, but are acquired through individual initiative and by demonstrating appropriate skills and knowledge.



  • Please upload a copy of your training and enrichment calendar.  Also, feel free to upload and briefly annotate any particularly useful training, education, or reflection sessions you can share with the network. 


Bonner First Year Fall 2010 Orientation Retreat:

Retreat FacilitatorsCopy.docx


Bonner First Year Fall 2010 Training Calendar:

BonnerTraining Fall 2011 calendar.doc


Bonner First Year Spring 2011 Training Calendar:

FYB Schedule Spr 11-1.docx


CELTS Fall 2010 Labor Meeting Training Calendar:

Detailed Fall 2010 Labor Meetings for Bonner Wiki.docx


CELTS Spring 2011 Labor Meeting Training Calendar:

Detailed Spring 2011 Labor Meetings for Bonner Wiki.docx



Cornerstone Activities:


  • In a few sentences, describe your First Year Trip.  Include the dates, location, type of service and key partners involved (name, address, website link so that we can build a google map of trip partners).


The First Year Bonner Scholars traveled to Lincoln County, West Virginia for their First Year Service Trip, from Sunday, March 13 through Thursday, March 17, 2011. The purpose of this year’s Service Trip was to learn and serve in an economically challenged rural community in the West Virginia coal fields. Our partner organization, Step by Step, Inc., also sponsors projects and programs in Charleston, WV, and arranged for us to spend one entire day in Charleston. Thus, the week provided us the opportunity to experience challenges that face rural and urban communities in Appalachia.


Leading up to the trip, the First Year Bonners participated in multiple training sessions focused on Appalachian history, geography, culture, diversity, and current issues. Our week in West Virginia included the following:

  • Under the direction of AmeriCorps*VISTA Jenny Totten and Step-by-Step Director Michael Tierney, learned about the programs and activities of the Big Ugly Community Center (BUCC)
  • Met and interacted with community members
  • Helped with afterschool tutoring and activity program at BUCC and Hart’s Elementary School
  • Visited and worked on renovation projects at community centers in Chapmanville and Charleston
  • Helped with afterschool tutoring and activity program in low-income housing project in the South Park section of Charleston
  • Assisted with a Parent Forum at the South Park community center, information to be used in writing a grant
  • Worked with Middle School students at Hart’s Middle School on a writing project and talked with 8th graders about college
  • Heard from a panel of local activists in Charleston; talked with community elders in Big Ugly
  • Hiked to a “restored” MTR coal mine area near Big Ugly
  • Had group reflections led by our upper-class First Year Coordinators
  • Experienced life without cell phones and internet (for the most part)


Community Partner:

Step by Step, Inc.


Executive Director, Michael Tierney


Administrative Offices

Step by Step, Inc.

Schoenbaum Family Enrichment Center

1701 5th Avenue #8

Charleston, WV 25387-1900

Phone: (304) 414-4452

Fax: (304) 414-4410


Program Center

Big Ugly Community Center

587 Rosewood Rd.

Hart, WV 25524

Phone: (304) 855-5402

Fax: (304) 855-5205


  • In a few sentences, describe your Second Year Exchange.  Include the partner campuses, dates, location, main activities (i.e., service, conference), and key partners involved (name, address, website link).


The Kentucky Sophomore Service Exchange took place on Saturday, February 26, and built off the strength of last year’s Sophomore Service Exchange. The Bonner staff members of the Kentucky schools with Bonner Programs began planning for the Sophomore Service Exchange at the Fall 2010 Directors and Coordinators meeting. We decided to return to Louisville, Kentucky, because the city could provide enough service opportunities for the number of students who would be in attendance. The day began with lunch at the Mohammed Ali Center in downtown Louisville, followed by icebreakers and a tour of the Center. After a reflection based on the tour, students were assigned to smaller groups in order to participate in community service projects around the city.  We were also lucky to have Kelly Behrend from the Bonner Foundation as a special guest speaker. The students enjoyed hearing Kelly’s Bonner story, especially her work with immigration issues.  Inspired by the discussion and planning around staff development at the Fall 2010 Director’s Meeting, the Bonner staff incorporated a professional development component into the day’s programming.   While the students were at their service sites, the staff shared best practices from their respective campuses and discussed ways that our schools might collaborate around professional development in the future.  This event has the potential to become a best practice among the Bonner Network, and it is something that the Kentucky schools plan to continue.


Partner Campuses:

Centre College

Lindsey Wilson College

Union College

University of Louisville


Community Partner:

Muhammad Ali Center

144 North Sixth Street

Louisville, KY  40202



  • In a few sentences, describe any Junior or Senior Enrichment projects or leadership roles that upper-class students in your program played this year.


As described earlier, Junior and Senior Bonners play significant roles in the leadership and management of CELTS and Bonner service programs and activities. For example, this past year six of our eight community service Program Managers were Bonner Scholars, as were two of our three top student leadership position in CELTS (Bonner Senior Intern, Service-Learning Program Associate, and Student Director of Community Service Programs).


  • If relevant, please describe the structure for Senior Capstone projects.  Select one that you'd like to share with the network.  


The members of this year’s senior class, led by their SAC representatives, designed and implemented an evening of programming to reflect on and share their four years of Bonner experiences with Bonner staff, students, and campus friends. A highlight of the event was each senior Bonner sharing thoughts about her or his Bonner journey, including reflections on lessons learned, skills developed, achievements accomplished, and connections made between academic and service pursuits. The event also included a slide show of photos and brief comments from Bonner staff and faculty mentors of the Senior Bonners. Bonners from the junior, sophomore, and first- year classes were also in attendance; they were inspired by the presentations of the graduating Bonners and have already begun discussing ideas and plans for their own Senior Presentations of Learning.


Campus-wide Collaboration:


  • In a few paragraphs, describe an initiative or project that involved cross-campus collaboration this year.  For example, you may want to highlight an initiative (service day, awareness week, issue forum) involving faculty, career services, multicultural life, student affairs, and/or other clubs and organizations.  Or you may want to describe collaboration that contributed to improvements or success with core Bonner Program functions (i.e., recruitment, staffing, PR).


CELTS and the Bonner Scholars Program have enjoyed the benefits of increased collaborations with the Loyal Jones Appalachian Center (LJAC) during the past year. With Dr. Chad Berry as the Director of both centers, we have been able to identify additional opportunities to focus our efforts on serving in an Appalachian context.


This past academic year began with an exciting opportunity for Bonner Scholars and other students to travel to Washington, DC, to participate in Appalachia Rising. This event, held in late September 2010, brought together people from across the country to share information about and protest the destructive practice of mountain-top removal mining. Participation in this event provided many of our Bonners with an opportunity to learn more about a current issue facing Appalachia, as well as an opportunity to learn about ways that people can work together to advocate for a cause and to share a message of social change with the public and with our government.


We were also able to infuse a focus on Appalachia into the training and enrichment sessions for our First Year Bonner Scholars. Training sessions included lectures, discussions, and movies, many focused on preparing the First Year Bonners for their Service Trip to Lincoln County, West Virginia. Topics included the geography, history, culture, service and social change work, and diversity, all in the context of Appalachia. These sessions were led by members of the LJAC staff.


Additional training sessions for all students who work in CELTS allowed the First Year Bonners to share ideas and questions about the region with more experienced students. For example, author Silas House joined a CELTS labor meeting to discuss Appalachian identity and culture and to facilitate an open discuss about issues facing the region.


In March 2011, four Bonner Scholars attended the Appalachian Studies Association Conference in Richmond, Kentucky, and participated in a panel presentation about the work of CELTS and the Bonner Scholars Program. The session was titled, “Service Learning and Student Learning in Appalachia.” Following a presentation by CELTS and Bonner staff, the Bonner Scholars each spoke about the ways that their participation in service has impacted their academic success at Berea College. Each highlighted work with the Bonners Scholars Program, including their First Year training experiences, their upper-level labor positions, and their Summer of Service opportunities.


 In addition to programming and training focused on the region, the Bonner staff chose to increase our efforts to recruit Bonner Scholars from Distressed Appalachian Counties (as defined by the Appalachian Regional Commission). With the help of the Admissions Office staff, we sent a targeted invitation to incoming students from Appalachian Counties. Our efforts resulted in offering two students from distressed counties spots in the incoming class of Bonner Scholars.


We anticipate continuing to provide Bonner Scholars with multi-faceted opportunities to learn about and serve in the Appalachian region.


Serve 2.0:



  • In addition, in a few paragraphs, describe what web-based tools your program has found most useful.  We are particularly interested in knowing which you continue to use and manage regularly and why.


We are continuing to explore the ways that social networking tools can enhance the service work of our Bonner Scholars. As we engage in a concerted effort to strengthen communication with external audiences about our Bonner Scholars Program and CELTS, this question will continue to be part of our focus. We are drawing on the expertise of colleagues and recent Bonner graduates who are experienced and/or professionals in the field of social networking communication.








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