Community organizations share the concerns of the CSU and SJSU in the safety and success of students, staff and clientele in community learning within the community. Therefore it is important to address risk management issues. Risk management provides tools to identify areas of potential difficulty and to reduce risk by educating and preparing stakeholders (the university, students, and community partners). Identifying risk in advance reduces concerns about liability that may undermine a program or project.
Best practices for risk management
- A Community Learning Agreement is established between the SJSU Center for Community Learning & Leadership and community organization/placement site regarding student service activities and liability.
- The community partner conducts an orientation to service at its site. An Orientation Checklist is provided to guide orientation the orientation of students.
- Students assess and understand any risk such that they can provide informed consent prior to engaging in service activities, that is, by completing a Student Community Learning Plan. This form contains contact information of for all stakeholders.
- Students understand their roles and have the training, knowledge, skills and tools to perform their service duties safely and effectively.
- While there is a Student Tracking Sheet for service hours, of greater validity is the Volunteer Log or Sign-in procedure of your organization. A Community Organization Community Learning Sign-In Sheet is offered for your use.
- All stakeholders (students, faculty, community site supervisors) are encouraged to report problems, potential hazards or feelings of being physically or emotionally at risk.
- Community partners monitor students' service experiences and addresses risk issues quickly if they arise.
Community partner organizations should be familiar with risk management forms and support their use. Partners may also have forms of their own to employ. Partners who have the benefit of our AmeriCorps PLUS Teams may involve these liaisons in processing forms and managing risks.