University-Community Partnership

The university-community partnership is the collaboration between a social work program and community agencies that serve older adults and their families. HPPAE university-community partnerships are constructed to be more collaborative than the traditional top-down structure in which agencies adopt university educational guidelines to instruct students in their field placements.

Universities and agencies are viewed as true partners in designing and implementing the HPPAE, recruiting students, evaluating the HPPAE’s effectiveness, and cultivating and garnering resources to sustain it. To learn more about implementing strong university-community partnerships, please review the HPPAE manual and examples outlined below.

  • The School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany offers the Internships in Aging Project to MSW students specializing in gerontology. This presentation highlights key steps for building successful university-community partnerships that can enhance aging field opportunities.
  • Florida State University’s (FSU) Geriatric Practicum Program is based on the HPPAE model, which was successfully implemented with Hartford funding from 2006–2010. These slides provide an overview of FSU’s criteria for selecting community partners to participate in the program.
  • The University of Alabama offers social work students, including HPPAE students, the opportunity to complete their field placements in Washington, DC. These slides highlight this unique partnership as well as other strategies for implementing a successful HPPAE.
  • The VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System has operated a successful HPPAE for over 10 years. Click here to learn more about the program, particularly the strong partnerships which developed as a result of HPPAE.
  • The Older Adult Service Matrix provides a comprehensive list of services available to older adults. This matrix can also help with rotation ideas so students are exposed to a continuum of care.