We believe it's important to connect with teaching institutions, both to contribute to the academic and professional development of students, and to keep current about governance, urban planning, and political science discourses.
We're currently partnered with a number of academic institutions in Ontario and the United States.
We work in partnership with the York University School of Urban Studies Department with an annual internship placement. Through this placement, which consists of a 200 hour working term, a York student becomes a key part of a consultation project and is able to support a project from start to finish, including the development of a consultation approach, stakeholder mapping, meeting materials, supporting several public meetings, and delivering summary reports from the public process.
University of Toronto
We work in partnership with the University of Toronto to provide multiple placements for students in the Political Science Department. This service learning program enables students to spend twenty hours working with Swerhun on a dedicated project. The approach for this placement hinges on a student attending a public meeting, and spending some time working on materials to prepare for the meeting and the remainder of the time supporting the write-up of a meeting. By focusing on the delivery of the public event, students are able to see how both the preparation and summary of the consultation piece are connected to how a public meeting is run.
University of Pittsburgh
As part of our work with the Allegheny County Library Association and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh on the community consultation for “Libraries in the 21st Century”, Swerhun has been working with students at the University of Pittsburgh in the School of Social Work. Students of the program have taken part in the 2013/2014 consultation process as facilitators at public meetings and as attendees of some of the internal planning sessions for the process. This project has given these students insight into the development of consultation materials and consultation approaches for public and internal processes, the challenges faced by the library systems in a time of funding pressure, the role that libraries play in the broader social ecosystem of Pittsburgh, and an opportunity to support the conversation regarding the future of the libraries in Pittsburgh.