Get to know what we do at the Center for Academic Community Engagement.
Saints who participate in ACE programs have the opportunity to enhance their academic experiences by getting out of the classroom and into the world.
Through any of our programs, current students and postgraduates have the opportunity to build meaningful long-term relationships with nonprofit partners in the Capital Region.
Bonner Service Leaders
Bonner Service Leaders are undergraduate students who use their academic talents to lead community change through partnership with local nonprofit organizations and community members. Siena College’s partner organizations work with youth, people living with differing abilities or addiction, immigrants and refugees, formerly incarcerated people, and other underserved populations. The program is a four-year commitment where students can combine service and community engagement with academic and career goals. Placements are developmental, moving students through increasing levels of responsibility across four years. Our program is unique due to our developmental model, cohort-based learning, and the opportunity to focus on social justice issues locally, nationally, and internationally.
NExT Services cultivates and supports interdisciplinary student-led teams to engage in extensive capacity building research and problem or project based consulting with local community organizations. NExT Fellows practice what they learn in the classroom through their work with the community—bringing theory to practice.
SPIn is an intensive summer program that connects faculty, students, and community organizations in multi-year participatory action research projects. SPIn starts with the assumption that our region’s most entrenched problems should be addressed through interdisciplinary and collective impact processes and that meaningful change requires a long-term approach. SPIn’s three-year model allows for projects to grow over time. In year one we explore issues, develop relationships, and celebrate small wins; in year two, we develop and support student and community leadership in implementing a targeted intervention; and in year three, we work collaboratively to ensure sustainable action.
AmeriCorps VISTA is a federally funded poverty fighting initiative. Siena College AmeriCorps VISTA Fellows make a year-long, full-time commitment to serve with nonprofits who are working to address socio-economic challenges in the region; the poverty reduction areas that VISTA is centered around include gaps in education, healthcare, housing, criminal justice, and economic development. AmeriCorps VISTAs fight poverty by working alongside community members to build capacity and create sustainable, local solutions. And this is what makes AmeriCorps VISTA unique among other service-oriented programs.
The Community Engaged Faculty Academy is a three-tiered model for faculty community engagement. CEFA’s multiple access points offer faculty a number of ways to get involved with the community, students, and the ACE team. Faculty typically start this work with concrete teaching, research and/or mentoring; develop as campus community engagement leaders; and finally move toward advocacy and strategic change work.
The ACE Associates at the Center for Academic Community Engagement are more than just students participating in a work study program. Students who qualify for Federal Work Study funds are able to apply for our ACE Associate positions. All of our ACE Associates take an active role in various tasks and projects. Some examples are research, data analysis, marketing, social media as well as general office tasks like filing and inventory. Our ACE Associates might have individual tasks to complete but often do work in teams. Scheduling is worked around the students academic schedule. ACE Associates are included in all aspects of the ACE office such as inclusion to trainings and social events. The work that our ACE Associates complete is meant to be a sustainable staple for the success of our Center and the skills that are learned will be with our ACE Associates for years to come.
Community Engaged Courses
Community engaged classes match nonprofit agencies with disciplinary expertise.
SUMMER SERVICE FELLOWS PROGRAM
The United Way of the Greater Capital Region and the Center for Academic Community Engagement (ACE) at Siena College partnered to launch the Summer Service Program during summer 2022. The project is going to place 15 VISTA Summer Associates at 10 sites in the Capital Region.
Not sure which program is for you?
If you know you want to get involved, but aren't sure which of our programs is best for you — get in touch and we'll help you find the perfect program for you!