Community Resource Teams

A Community Resource Team consists of faculty and students from more than one of the graduate programs, working with a community organization or agency to solve a problem, address a need, or conduct necessary research. Our first team was in operation during the 1999-2000 academic year.

The idea of the community as a real-life laboratory is not a new idea for Sage. The Community Resource Teams make formal the type of connections that have long occurred incidentally. And the advantages are obvious. Community organizations have access to expertise that would not otherwise be available. Students have the opportunity to participate in relevant experience that adds depth and breadth to classroom instruction.

Faculty members have ample opportunities to connect theory and practice. Students whose primary contacts have been limited to students in their own program have the chance to work with those from other disciplines, which requires the type of interactions, negotiations and collaborations that are found in the work setting.

Plans for future Community Resource Teams include connections between the health sciences areas and education, between business and health science, between community psychology and public administration, as well as many other possibilities. Bringing together faculty and students from occupational therapy and special educations, for example, may lead to research into how to sustain the effects of therapy after the therapy session. Physical therapy students working with nursing students under the supervision of faculty may give insight into the most typical physical challenges faced by the elderly who receive care at home. Bringing together public administration and community psychology students with faculty from both programs may focus on evaluation of the most effective community treatment programs for individuals who struggle with issues of chemical dependence.

The funded programs offered at Sage include the Rubin Community Fellows program and the Broughton Graduate Research Fellowships. Building on the work initiated by faculty who work as Rubin Fellows and the graduate students who are awarded a Broughton Fellowship will often serve as the basis for developing Community Resource Teams. As organizations in the Capital Region have an opportunity to work with Sage students and faculty in meeting goals and solving problems, we expect that many more teams will develop. We are looking forward to great things.