Information for Community Partners

LALIS collaborates with different community organizations, institutions, and individuals in these ways:


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  • Weekly Volunteerism

    During the semester, students volunteer 2-3 hours per week for eight to ten weeks. In consultation with their instructor, each student selects one of our partner organizations to collaborate with as a volunteer.

  • Translations
    Through LAIS 386, "Community Interpretation and Translation," students partner with community organizations to provide professional translations. Some of the translations that we have completed so far have been in the fields of law, social services, medicine, and education.
  • Interpretation
    Students can work with community organizations as interpreters. In the past, our students have been interpreters at medical clinics, legal offices, and schools to name a few.
  • Semester-Long Collaborative Projects

    These projects are the result of a proposal or initiative that combines the organization’s needs in a particular area, a LALIS instructor’s particular research interest and the theme of one of the advanced seminars offered by LALIS during that semester. Generally, these projects last the entire semester and can be extended or be repeated by another faculty member.

  • Continuing Collaborative Projects
    These are permanent collaborations in which one or more faculty members, during different semesters, collaborate individually or with their advanced Spanish students on a project that meets the specific need of a community partner.
  • Internships

    During the summer, students with different levels of Spanish fluency can apply for grants from the university (Richmond Guarantee) in order to work on an academic Project together with a community partner. These internships are planned and supervised by a UR faculty member in conjunction with the community partner.

  • Independent Study

    These entail academic, community-focused research done by students on the verge of graduating. The students are supervised by a LALIS faculty member and are required to present a final report to the faculty member and community partner.

  • Spontaneous Request or Proposals
    LALIS frequently receives request for help with translation, interpretation or collaboration for bilingual events taking place in the Richmond area. As far as posible, faculty and staff try to contact and connect community partners with graduating or recently graduated students that could respond in a timely manner to the request.

Academic expectations for student volunteers

We see collaboration between the academic institution and the community as a mutual learning opportunity. This learning exchange process encourages a sense of social responsibility, committment to the common good, solidarity, curiosity and an interest in facing and resolving problems creatively and critically. With this objective in mind, at the beginning of each semester, we share our expectations for students with our community partners. Each community collaboration is unique and different, for this reason, our objectives are broad and flexible and can be adjusted to meet the needs of the particular community partner.

How do I become a community partner to LALIS?

The process is simple: to be a community partner of LALIS in any of the ways described above or to present a proposal, all you have to do is communicate via email with LALIS Spanish Community-Based Learning Program. Once we know of a specific need, the topic of the project and/or what kind of collaboration is most appropriate, we can schedule beginning and end dates, the number of volunteers, requirements and expectations.