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Education and Reflection - Training Modules

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Front Page / Bonner Program Resources / Education and Reflection / Training Modules 



Education and Reflection

Overview  |  Guides  |  Training Modules  |  Campus Examples  |  Documents to Download



About These Training Modules

The original Bonner Civic and Community Engagement Training Curriculum was developed to provide Bonner Programs and other campus programs with a comprehensive resource to support student development. The training modules or facilitator guides are designed to support students and other participants to attain relevant skills, knowledge, understanding, and reflection for their service and civic engagement within communities.


First developed in partnership with COOL (Campus Outreach Opportunity League) and refined over time to ensure developmental progression for students' community engagement (i.e. starting from engaging in direct service to completing capacity-building projects), these training guides provide staff and student leaders with fully developed lessons plans. These interactive sessions are designed according to principles of active, experiential and adult learning, often using learning by doing. They are intended for use in meetings, retreats, class settings, and can even be integrated within coursework. They often engage participants in dialogue, problem solving, case studies, scenarios, project work, and other activities. 


Below is a full list of the trainer guides by title. Also included is a brief description that may help you select a training or add the information in Bonner Web-based Reporting Systems (BWBRS). Many of the training modules have both a one-hour and longer (90-minute or so) guide. A longer description can be found at the beginning of each training with more details about the recommended level, preparation, and outcomes. 


Class-Based Training Modules


  • 8-Themes Curriculum 


The 8 Themes Curriculum Modules can support students to move through a progression of how to be a personally responsible community member (helping others), to participatory community member (understanding issues and addressing them through multiple methods), to justice-oriented community member (understanding one's role as a critically conscious member, tackling root causes) to developing and continuing one's role as a crucially conscious community builder (cultivating this mindset and leading change initiatives, using democratic processes). 







  • Bonner Capstone Curriculum 


The Capstone Workshop Series includes eight scaffolded modules to guide students through different phases of capstone/capacity-building projects. The initial modules encourage students to reflect on the connection between their academic learning, community service, and identity. Then, the series provides guidance on how to develop a capstone proposal, implement the project, disseminate the results, and reflect on the learning.  




Sometimes, schools in the Bonner Network adapt Bonner Capstone Workshop series based on their program structure and student needs. For example, The Bonner Capstone Canvas module at Colorado College is a resource designed to walk students through the development of their capacity-building Capstone projects. Within the module, students have access to the capstone expectations, junior capstone proposal preparation resources, and capstone presentation expectations.



All Bonner Meeting Modules


  • Bonner Common Commitments Workshops


The Common Commitments represent collective beliefs and shared values that those connected through the Program encounter and that drive their community engagement initiatives. The meetings around the common commitments will help Bonners reflect on shared values that inform their work and develop a sense of community.


  • Wellness 


Due to advocacy and discussion from students and staff across the Bonner Network, as well as work by National Bonner Interns, Wellness has also become a Common Commitment. There are several good resources for related programming on Self-Care, Community Care, and holistic well-being. See the following.



Stage 1: Exposure (Explore) Stage 2: Understanding (Experience) Stage 3: Application & Discussion (Example) Stage 4: Adaptation (Excellence)
Exploring Diversity & Intersectionality 

Bridging the Divide Part 1: Political Discourse for Civic Action


Bridging the Divide Part 2: Maintaining Political 
Discourse on Social Media 


Advocacy and Public Education


Get Out the Vote


Understanding Issue Campaigns



Education & its Influences on Class Mobility


Gender Inequality and the Wage Gap 

Unpacking the -Ism’s: Common Terms To Talk About Social Justice and Oppression Interfaith Perspectives on Service: Bridging Beliefs and Action Differently Abled

Empowerment: It's Intersectional

River Stories: Our Gender Histories & Herstories
Who Am I?: Unpacking Race and the Privilege and Oppression That Follows 

Faith and Me: Exploring Spiritual Beliefs

Empowered  Voice Through
Creative Expression
addresses International Perspective)

Bridging the Gap Between Service, Activism, & Politics


Black Lives Matter

Keeping it Classy: Discussing Class & Socioeconomic Status


Y'all Means All: Discussing Gender and Sexual Orientation


Refugee and [Im]migrant Voices 


Addressing Sexual/Gender Prejudice 



  • Dialogue Across Difference


The Bonner Program itself is designed to encourage dialogue and reflection. The incorporation of suggested workshops/modules around diversity and inclusion will help create safe space for students to understand diverse aspects of one's identity, navigate conversations involving different perspectives, and clarify and refine their own values and beliefs. 



  • Empathy-Building Training Series


Empathy - the ability to understand another person’s emotions - is considered one of the crucial skills in any work space. As one of the intended program outcomes, building empathy is of great value to students, especially those in the Bonner Program or others who collaborate with diverse individuals and populations. The training guides (below) in this series are well designed for use in all group meetings in the Bonner Program, during cornerstone activities, as well as in campus-wide service and DEI contexts. The activities may be helpful for instilling the Bonner Common Commitments of Diversity and Community-Building as well. They are easy to implement, including by student leaders in the Bonner Leadership Team (BLT), staff, and faculty. Depending on the time available for the meeting, facilitators may use the entire series in a retreat format or select specific activities for a meeting.



  • Reflection


As discussed in "Student Development: Goals and Framework" section, reflection is crucial aspect of community engagement. It guides students to explore values and attributes towards community engagement; share fears, challenges, questions, and successes while working with communities; and find interconnections between education and service, and individual service and larger systemic issues. Here are a few reflection prompts that could be used to guide students through critical reflection process. 



Guides: Capacity-Building Projects


  • Skill-Based Capacity-Building Projects Guides

    • Guide to Creating Brochures & Flyers — This step by step guide outlines a set of steps in designing and developing a brochure for a community partner organization.
    • Guide to Celebrating Volunteers —  This guide will show comprehensive research and a step-by-step process through a webinar for students to learn how to conduct volunteer recognition projects. 
    • Guide to Creating an Email Marketing List — This guide outlines a step by step process of researching email marketing softwares and creating an email listserv for your community partner’s needs.
    • Guide to Writing a Grant Proposal —  This guide outlines a step by step process of researching potential grant opportunities and submitting a well-written grant proposal.
    • Guide to Writing an Operations Manual —  This guide outlines how to write a training and/or operations manual for a community partner organization. 
    • Guide to Writing a Press Release —  This guide outlines the steps to develop a captivating and well-written press release. 
    • Guide to Designing a Program —  This guide outline the steps to design a new program outlining community needs, develop a program mission, vision, and goals, conduct an analysis of strengths and challenges/risk factors (SWOT), create an implementation plan, and execute an assessment plan.
    • Guide to Evaluating a Program —  This guide will teach you a basic understanding of what is and how to conduct a program evaluation.
    • Guide to Creating Promotional Videos —  This guide covers the following steps to create a promotional video: Before Making the Video, Crafting Central Message of the Video, Compiling Images and Audio Files, and Editing Video.
    • Guide to Craft a Case Story —  This guide explains how to successfully craft a case story in partnership with a non-profit organization.
    • Guide to Training Design —  This guide outlines a set of steps in researching, creating, and writing training and/or curriculum sessions for a community-based program or partner.
    • Guide to Social Media —  This guides outlines how to create a social media strategy and content for a nonprofit program/organization and how to sustain the social media presence over time.
    • Guide to Survey Design — This guide outlines how to create a survey questionnaire for their community partner.
    • Guide to Volunteer Orientation — This guide outlines how to plan an orientation or training for new volunteers. 


  • Guide for Integrating Community-Based Research

The 23-page Bonner Implementation Guide for Community-Based Research (pdf) is a comprehensive guide includes handouts and worksheets for integrating community-based researching into your campus community and civic engagement efforts.  This 23 page guide covers the following steps:

    • Step 1:  Introduce CBR to partners and recruit and identify projects from community partners or groups.  This dovetails well with the Capacity Building Form. 
    • Step 2:  Simultaneously recruit and identify faculty (have them on deck) who are interested in CBR or research projects. 
    • Step 3:  Work with partners, for example through meetings involving community partner staff member, student, and staff member (as broker) to turn the need into a research question and project.
    • Step 4:  Develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) for the project, especially so that the focus, scope, timeline, and deliverable for the project is clear.
    • Step 5:  Manage the project. Once the project is underway, the roles of the staff and faculty member are dependent on the research project itself.
    • Step 6:  Ensure that the deliverable (from MOU) is met and project completed, assuming things are going fairly well as the team involved completes the work.
    • Step 7:  Share and disseminate the results in a way that is useful to the partner and to addressing the community needs or concerns.  But, it’s okay for the project to help in other ways too.
    • Step 8:  Evaluate the project.


This guide narrates how one program (Macalester College) brought partners together to work through the Capacity Building Opportunities Form. Then, the program also integrated an introduction and discussion of the partners' interests in capacity building projects into meetings with students. Together, Bonner staff, students, and partners then created positions that enabled Bonner students to take on new projects. See this guide for more help in how to do this. 


Directory of All Training Modules


In addition to the recommended 8-themes for class meetings, the following links will take you to other modules, which draw students' attention to local and global issues, and skills for civic leadership and scholarship. It would be useful to integrate them based on your program needs.