Partnerships formed outside of academia can play important roles in the creating of unique experiential, service-based, and/or immersive educational experiences. Although the incidence of such partnerships is increasing significantly, their scholarly analysis has not kept pace. What scholarly work does exist frequently focuses on success stories; this renders an incomplete overall picture. The introduction of change to an established educational model affords the opportunity to present, discuss, and learn from the resulting challenges. This article discusses these challenges and the potential of theses partnerships to add value in many different educational approaches and contexts. It presents an in-depth case study of a multi-semester, project-focused, team-based course that utilized outside-of-academia partnerships to realize an experiential, service-based international immersion experience. Over the course of nearly two years, the partnerships proved to be at once enabling, rewarding, and challenging, defying simple categorization. The article concludes with a presentation of lessons learned and their broader implications for like-minded endeavors in the future.



URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/poli_fac/21