The vision of the Bonner Scholars Program is to shape students into lifelong servant leaders who are actively engaged as local and global citizens. The program promotes personal growth, develops professional skills, and facilitates vocational discernment while engaging in service learning. As Bonner Scholars, students commit themselves to serving an average of ten hours a week in local non-profit agencies. Bonners are encouraged to find agencies that fit their personal interests and skills. The following guidelines have been established to aid students and community partners:
First Year Service Model
During the first semester of service, Bonners are introduced to the Bonner Program through the First Year Service Model by visiting and serving with five community partner agencies. First year Bonners are given the choice of serving at one of the five sites for the first semester. This model allows students new to the area to visit a variety of agencies, however all the partners are familiar with the Bonner Program and can welcome first year students warmly to the community.
Community Learning Agreements
Wofford Bonner Scholars and community partner agencies will complete and sign contracts (Community Learning Agreements) at the beginning of the service term (each semester and the summer). The contract will serve as a means of communicating the expectations and commitments of both student and agency. One expectation included in the contract is work schedules. The student and his/her work sites will comprise a set schedule of when the student will be available to work. An agreement must be made between the student and agency regarding the measures to be taken if the Bonner Scholar is unable to meet that schedule, i.e. students are expected to call in advance if unable to work. The agency must also be aware that academic obligations may arise during the semester that may prevent them from working at times. These contracts will be reviewed by the Wofford Bonner Office to insure program quality. Community Learning Agreements are created on the Bonner Web Based Reporting System (www.bwbrs.org) under the “Plans” tab.
The responsibility lies on the Bonner Scholar to set up a transportation schedule with the Bonner Office if he or she requires transportation to and from his or her work site. The responsibility includes calling the office in advance if he or she will not be working a particular day. The Bonner Program relies on Bonner Staff and work-study students to drive the vehicle, so all transportation times must fall between the hours of 1:00pm to 5:00 p.m.
The agencies will evaluate the student working with them at the end of each semester to make sure that the expectations and commitments agreed to in the contract are being upheld. These evaluations will be reviewed by the Wofford Bonner Scholar Office to insure program quality. Additionally, each semester the Bonners will evaluate the sites where they serve. This allows the Bonner Program to ensure that the Community Partners provide adequate support and learning opportunities for the students.