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Community Partners

The CTP Fellowship is awarded to students from each of Vanderbilt University’s participating professional schools, with the purpose of supporting their leadership development. In exchange for their participation, fellows receive the benefits of collaboration, experience and education, as well as a CTP leadership certificate and a $1000 stipend, paid in two installments in December and May.

The primary requirement of the CTP Fellowship is engaging with Community Partners through what we call the Leadership Laboratory. The fellows are divided into interdisciplinary teams of up to four students. Each team works with a Community Partner (a local nonprofit with a social challenge that would benefit from an inter-professional approach).  For their participation, Community Partners receive a $1000 stipend at the end of the academic year, in May.

The fellows will be expected to provide leadership and consultation rather than simply volunteer hours. Our purpose is to help our partners make progress on adaptive challenges, those that require more than technical expertise and benefit from innovative, collaborative thinking.

Community Partner Responsibilities:

Identifying a Problem: 

Community Partners begin collaborating with the CTP by identifying how the Fellows can best assist them in tackling an important challenge.  A short description of a problem to be analyzed and addressed should be sent to Kat Baker, Associate Director (  This description will be used to educate the Fellows on their options as they choose teams to join.

Guiding the Fellows During 4 Partner Engagement Days:

Each team will meet twice a semester with their Community Partners to discuss further what it means to be a non-profit in Nashville; spend a day with the communities they serve; and assess, identify and think through a challenge the Community Partner faces. In this way, the Fellows serve as students of and consultants to their partners. These daylong meetings are scheduled by the teams and their partners to be held some time within weeks designated by the CTP.  These designations are meant to provide useful structure to the program, but may be adjusted if the Community Partner has a special event or some other need that necessitates a schedule change. Such changes should be planned in concert with the Fellows Team. Also, if the Community Partner and Fellows Team agree, they may split the daylong meetings into half-days or other time increments. The goal is for the Fellows Team to provide 30 hours of service total during the academic year to their Community Partner, which may include direct service, event attendance and research on their own time. Fellows Teams and their Community Partners should designate their schedule for the year at their first Partner Engagement session.

Attending a Luncheon Presentation: 

Each team will write and present a three-to-five page case study about the challenge they have chosen to address with their Community Partners. The Community Partner is expected to attend the luncheon at which their nonprofit will be featured, and is also invited to other luncheons to support the work of every Fellows Team and to network with other Community Partners.

Attending the End of the Year Celebration: 

Each team will write a one-to-three page report on their experience including any resolutions to the challenge they addressed. This report will be submitted to their Community Partner at a end-of-the-year celebration dinner. Community Partners will also be invited to a mid-year dinner at the close of fall semester, but attendance is optional.

Providing Evaluative Feedback:

The CTP will ask Community Partners to provide feedback on the program’s effectiveness at mid-year and at the conclusion of the program.  We welcome specific advice on ways to improve the program, and frank feedback about the Fellows’ performance. 

2014-2015 Community Partners

Children’s Defense Fund Cradle-to-Prison Pipeline

Clinic at Mercury Courts

REACH Coalition

Tennessee Immigrant & Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC

Urban EpiCenter