Each semester, the public relations courses in the SMC partner with nonprofit organizations to provide a unique experience for both students and professionals. Our students put in many hundreds of hours and get to see the work they do help local organizations do good for the community.
Service learning is standard practice at many universities and is inherent in our Jesuit mission. Students get to learn and improve their skills – in this case, in public relations – and the nonprofits get applicable, strategic PR plans and materials that they could not otherwise afford.
I’ve been happy and proud to be part of this partnership at Loyola, working with organizations as diverse as Voice of the Wetlands, Ozanam Inn, Boys Hope Girls Hope and Green Light New Orleans. Selecting clients is a challenging process; the SMC uses an RFP (request for proposal) process to identify interested groups and make strategic matches between needs of the students and needs of the organizations.
Dr. Cathy Rogers, head of the PR sequence, and I have just completed the latest round of semi-annual applications. We were fortunate to be able to choose from a wealth of opportunities, meeting with a number of representatives of nonprofits that provide New Orleans with a broad spectrum of services.
We are pleased to announce that, for fall 2012, our community partners will be the Louisiana SPCA Community Clinic and the Louisiana Organ Procurement Agency. We look forward to a semester of learning and serving with both of these organizations.