For Parents

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

As a new or returning Eastern student, we are delighted to welcome you as part of the Eastern community! Your work at the Center for Community Engagement (CCE) is an integral part of their Eastern experience. The Center is housed in a renovated Victorian house in the historic “Hill Section” of Willimantic, providing a safe and home-like atmosphere. During the semester, students are provided with continued intellectual, practical, and collaborative experiences to enhance their knowledge and understanding of their own leadership styles and personal growth. Students also interface with faculty advisors for guidance that accommodates a wide variety of learning styles.

While each community program is unique, students are mentored toward developing:

  • Critical thinking skills
  • Ethics
  • Leadership
  • Collaboration & meaningful Communication
  • Ability to “think outside the box”

During the semester or breaks, if you have any questions or concerns regarding our programs, please contact us at cce@easternct.edu

ABOUT WILLIMANTIC: The City of Willimantic (pop. 17,339) has a long history of textile manufacturing, creativity, and has been home to a diverse population of immigrants from the early 19th century through today. Willimantic has worked diligently to reinvent itself in the face of changing economies. A home to many non-profits and supports for individuals, the community contributes a great spirit of volunteerism, that blends well with the mission of the CCE. A growing Arts & Eats District includes music venues, theatre, and yearly events and celebrations, making this a unique learning environment for students of all ages bent on discovery. For more information, please see our link: Know Your Community

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

How are programs managed?
All students are trained and supervised by a professional staff that maintains a close relationship with our community partners. Staff maintain contact with the Student Leaders and community partners throughout the programs and address any concerns that arise. 

In what types of programs do students typically volunteer?
In the Greater Windham Community, students work in schools K-12 in mentoring, recreational, and afterschool programs. Adult programs can range from senior centers, elder rehabilitation in convalescent settings, and programs that provide support for hunger and homelessness as well as substance abuse recovery. Special events provide short-term programming that includes blood drives, seasonal festivals, childrens’ events, and events to help area non-profits.

What is the frequency of the programs that students can participate?
Community Programs occur on a weekly basis and are based upon the needs of the organization and its clients. Volunteers engage consistently throughout the semester. Special Events are one-time events with a duration of one to four hours. Student Leaders and volunteers are required to commit to specific times and days 

What is a Student Leader?
Student Leaders are students who have completed previous work as volunteers at the CCE and have exhibited a range of commitment, leadership, and critical thinking skills toward a career focus (ie: teaching, social work, public health). These students will train and supervise students in the field at programs and provide reflection sessions for problem-solving and debriefing.

Who supervises students?
Student Leaders receive close supervision from the directors of the CCE program. They also attend weekly meetings to discuss programming. Student volunteers are encouraged to problem-solve with their student leaders and their faculty advisor through their service learning course work.

How do students get to programs?
The CCE provides transportation to all programs in the outlying areas. Student volunteers are picked up at the CCE and are driven by their program leaders in University vehicles. Students may also choose to provide their own transportation, including walking to and from short destinations in Willimantic.