UMass Dartmouth's mission includes teaching, research and public service. The University sponsors our chapter of Compeer as part of its public service mission.
Faculty and Staff
The University is a treasure chest of talent and energy. Our chapter of Compeer has received much appreciated and valuable assistance from many individuals and departments. Their assistance and expertise in creating marketing materials, writing grants, and program development proved invaluable.
Students are also a source of talent and energy for Compeer. In turn, Compeer offers students a unique and valuable opportunity for service, career exploration, skill development, and exposure to the non-profit workplace.
Students in business and grant-writing classes have applied their skills to helping Compeer as part of their course work. Individual students from business and psychology have served as program interns, helping the program coordinator with all the tasks necessary to run the program, and earning academic credit in the process.
Compeer could not exist without its volunteers!
Large numbers of students participate as Compeer friends. Students may do this on a purely volunteer basis or they may earn 1 academic credit per semester, as long as they have sophomore standing or above. Student Compeers start off with a group match. They visit a local community residence in pairs to socialize or engage in recreational activities such as cards, crafts, music, basketball, etc. At least once a semester they invite their friends to an on-campus event. After a year with the program, students may chose to graduate to a one-on-one match, which are always of the same gender. They may request to be matched with one of their friends from the group home or to be assigned to someone living independently or with their family.
Students majoring in psychology, social work, and nursing enjoy a rewarding volunteer experience that gives them exposure to persons with serious and persistent mental illness and to the mental health system. Many of our Compeer students seek careers and further education working with this population. Students in these fields have reported job offers and job interviews that came to them as a direct result of their Compeer experience.
Students in pre-med, pre-law, and criminal justice tracks will experience frequent contact with people with mental illness in their chosen professions. The Compeer experience allows them to see, through the eyes of their Compeer friend, the difficulties involved in accessing services and struggling to recover and reengage with society.