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Bonner Program Staffing - Overview

Page history last edited by Samantha Ha 4 years, 6 months ago

Front Page / Bonner Program Resources / Bonner Program Staffing / Overview



Bonner Program Staffing 

Overview  |  Guides  |  Campus Examples  |  Documents to Download


Staffing Structure

The Bonner Program should be housed within, or be closely linked to, the central campus service office, wherever that may be located.  The management of the program should also be closely linked to the management of the campus-wide civic and community engagement program.  There are many ways this has evolved as you will see in the Campus Examples section of the Bonner Program Management guide as well as in the related guides on Campus-Wide Engagement.


The Bonner Program should have at least one staff member who is referred to as the Bonner Program Director or Coordinator.   On a number of campuses,  the director of the campus-wide service center also serves as the Director of the Bonner Program while another staff member is designated as the Bonner Program Coordinator. 


Because of endowment funding, the Bonner Foundation requires Bonner Scholar Programs to have at least one full-time Bonner Scholars Program coordinator or director.   The specific guidance is as follows:


3.1.1 Staff Levels

    • All Bonner Scholar Programs must have one staff person who administers the program full-time, year-round. This person should have the title of either director or coordinator.
    • In addition to the above staff member, programs with more than 40 Bonner Scholars must have additional staff administering the program, as follows:
      • Programs with 60 or more Bonner Scholars must have at least one more half-time equivalent staff member supporting the program.
      • Programs with 80 or more Bonner Scholars must have at least one more full-time equivalent staff member supporting the program.
      • The second position may be filled through a combination of professional and work-study staff. For instance, a chaplain or assistant director of student life could be assigned to provide oversight of the program at 25% of his or her total responsibilities, with the remaining 75% covered by three 10-hour-a-week work-study students.


In the absence of direct funding from the Bonner Foundation, we cannot require this specific staffing level.  However, the above level of staffing should be considered a best practice that all programs should aspire to put into place.


Other positions directly focused on managing the Bonner Program include:  

  • Bonner Senior Intern
  • Bonner Leadership Team
  • Bonner Congress 
  • Selection Committee
  • Advisory Committee 


Roles and Responsibilities

 The Bonner Program staff is responsible for coordinating the operation of all aspects of the program, including recruitment, selection, orientation, training, placement, reflection, enrichment, and evaluation.  However, for the Bonner Program to be effective, other members of the campus community — administrators, faculty, students — have a role to play as part of the Bonner team.   Bonner Program staff utilize and coordinate these other institutional resources to support students and the program. These other institutional resources may include the admissions offices, financial aid, student life, religious life, internships and career development, fundraising, public relations, alumni affairs, athletics, study skills, health, and counseling.


The following are suggested roles and responsibilities for developing a dynamic team and a strong program:


Campus Service Program Staff


  • Office/Center Director:  The Center Director oversees all the operations of the community service center, and often plays a central role in promoting academic-based service-learning on campus. 


  • Bonner Program Coordinator:  Coordinators of the Bonner Program have the main responsibility for implementing and maintaining the program, particularly in regard to the Bonners’ service experience and character development over four years.


  • Other Office/Center Staff:  Administrative support staff, including student work-study positions.


  • Work-Study Students:  Because the administrative funds from the Foundation are not sufficient to cover the full administrative costs of a Bonner Scholars Program, colleges are encouraged to recruit and utilize work-study students (they need not be Bonners) to assist in the administration of the Program.


Student Leadership Positions

 As outlined in the Bonner Program Rules, students in the Bonner Program should have opportunities for leadership roles in all aspects of the program.  Programs are encouraged to have written Bonner constitutions or handbooks that define the rights and responsibilities of students in their Bonner Program, as well as describing a student leadership structure for key program areas such as recruitment, selection, regular meetings, advisory committee, placement, budget, and communication. Bonners should be encouraged to write internal handbooks and guidelines that govern the establishment and operation of these committees.


The key roles that have emerged are as follows:

  • Bonner Senior InternConsider identifying two upper-class students to assist in staffing the Bonner Program. These students could be in charge of the day-to-day operation of the Program and work closely with the Coordinator. Having one of these students work during the summer in preparation for new Bonners’ orientation and the opening of school could be of immeasurable benefit.


  • Bonner Leadership Team:   Sampling of Bonner Program Roles
    • Bonner Leadership Team Member
    • Bonner Congress Representative
    • Bonner Senior Intern (Program Associate)
    • Bonner Junior Intern
    • Bonner High-Impact Intern
    • Bonner Community Impact Intern
    • Bonner Logistics Intern
    • Bonner Programming Intern
    • Bonner Class Representative (i.e., Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, and Senior)
    • Bonner Community Fund Treasurer
    • Bonner Issue Based Organizer
    • Bonner Alumni Coordinator
    • Bonner Fundraising Coordinator 


  • Bonner Congress Representative: As an advisory council to the Bonner Foundation, the Bonner Student Congress provides information, energy, and opportunities for student leadership within the Bonner Program. The Bonner Congress convenes annually with two representatives from each of the campuses in the Bonner Network.


Additional roles include positions for students related to managing service placements and partnerships are as follows:


  • Project Coordinator: A project coordinator coordinates and leads issue-oriented service projects. This person is responsible for helping recruit and train occasional and regular volunteers. Furthermore, the project coordinator manages occasional and regular volunteer service projects/placements.


  • Service Team Leader:  A service team leader serves on a team with a focus on a particular issue area. The service team includes campus staff and faculty, community leaders, and students from each class; student roles and responsibilities match the level of experience and expertise.


These service leadership roles are covered in more depth in Bonner Program Resources > Community Partnerships and  Campus-Wide Engagement > Campus-Wide Centers.


Bonner Program Committees

The Bonner Program Rules define two required committees to help guide the program:


  • Advisory Committee: As stated in the Bonner Program Rules, a Bonner Program Advisory Committee must be established with representatives from the following groups: students, campus administrators, faculty, and community partners. Campuses are allowed to have this group assume responsibilty for the selection process for new Bonner Scholars/Leaders.


  • Selection Committee:  A Selection Committee for Bonner Scholars/Leaders is required. This Committee should consist of at least one person from the following categories: coordinator, admissions office, financial aid office, Bonner Scholars/Leaders, faculty, and community leader.


Suggestions on Involving Other Students in the Program

 Involving upperclass students who are not in the Bonner Program can be an effective way of insuring that the Program becomes an integral part of the college community and not a marginal or elitist group. Upperclass students will help shape the direction of the program, create a positive perception of Bonners on the campus, and will help integrate the Program into the more comprehensive college service activities.


Upperclass students can also serve as mentors to Bonners — advising them in areas such as time management, studying, coping with the social pressures of college, and dealing with problems unique to the college (e. g., the experience of being a minority student at a school with low minority enrollment, being a low-income student in the midst of a affluent student body).


Upperclass student service leaders should assist in preparing Bonners to become community service leaders. From them, Bonners can learn the history of service program successes and failures at the school, how to encourage other students to become involved in service, and the day-to-day tasks involved in running a service program.


Student representatives of all groups on campus should be made aware of and involved in the intent and activities of the Bonner Program. The community programs where Bonners serve should encourage the participation of student volunteers who are not Bonners. This will insure that the Bonners will not be isolated from other students. Bonners should be understood as one element in a broadly-based community service emphasis, which includes the service efforts of many students. Informing student leaders about the Bonner Program will help eliminate any suspicion, jealousy or tension regarding the Bonners that might possibly develop.


If the Bonner Program is to succeed, it is necessary from the outset to include a broad range of students in the Bonner Program mission to strengthen the larger campus community service program.


Upperclass students should be advocates for the Bonners in administrative decisions regarding the Program. Besides serving on the Bonner Scholars/Leaders Selection Committee, non-Bonner students can become involved in the Program through serving as support staff (work-study or volunteer) in the Bonner Program office and through assisting in planning and running the Bonner Program orientation. This could be a work-study job given to a student who would likely have been a Bonner Scholar if he/she had had the opportunity. Presence of older students at Bonner Program meetings is also a good idea, provided the Bonners do not feel inhibited in expressing themselves among upperclass students. Perhaps some Bonner Program meetings should be planned as open meetings because they feature speakers and discussions of general student interest; other meetings of the Bonner Scholars/Leaders could be closed because of their house-keeping or group-building intent.


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