Community Partners

CILSA seeks to establish and maintain mutually beneficial relationships with local organizations and the communities they serve.

What is CILSA?

  • CILSA is not a volunteer service office.
  • It IS a place where partners can find ways to work with SMC students through academic courses in which they're enrolled. Community partners can work with faculty teaching these courses to plan what type of service students can provide during an academic term. This service can take many forms, including: direct service, indirect service, advocacy, policy and research assistance.
  • CILSA staff can also help community partners connect with other SMC campus resources, such as the Career Development Center which coordinates paid and unpaid internships and jobs. 

How does CILSA work with community partners?

  • CILSA staff members are happy to meet with nonprofit staff to learn about the goals and needs of their organizations and consider how Saint Mary’s College students and faculty can help meet them.
  • As an academic office, CILSA specifically connects community partners with faculty and students for community engagement courses.  Additionally, CILSA student leaders in the Community-Based Internship (CBI) Program, BAY Collaborative, MICAH Summer Fellowship, and Jumpstart programs provide direct service to a number of local nonprofit organizations and schools.

How can I start working with CILSA, faculty, and students at SMC?

  1. Talk with your colleagues about possible projects for collaboration with the College.  These projects could be direct or indirect service, research, or capacity-building projects.  
  2. Contact us about your organization's interest in partnering with the College.
  3. CILSA provides educational resources, professional development, networking opportunities for community partners.  Additionally, our staff are here to connect you to other resources at SMC.

In what other ways can my organization connect with SMC students and faculty and the resources of the college?

  • Post internships (paid and unpaid) and job opportunities on the Career and Professional Development Service's website.
  • Attend a campus event (speaker, sports game, performance, etc.).  Our beautiful campus is meant to be a resource for the broader community, too ... especially our community partners!

Can I become a guest speaker in an SMC class or at a social justice education event?

  • Absolutely! Contact us with information about your interest and area(s) of expertise.

Contact Us

  • If you would like to discuss partnership opportunities, contact Dr. Sarah Beth Dempsey, CILSA Director of Community Engaged Learning and Research, at