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Project SHINE

Info graphic showing the 1870 student participants, 54 faculty nitrating Project SHINE into courses, and 43 community partnerships that have marked 20 years of service learning at Metro State

Project SHINE (Students Helping in the Naturalization of Elders) is a community service-learning program in which university students assist adult refugees and immigrants in their efforts to learn English and obtain citizenship. 

Project SHINE began at Temple University in Philadelphia in 1997 in response to legislation that jeopardized the public benefits of legally immigrated non-citizens. Today, SHINE is operating in roughly 24 colleges and universities across the United States to the benefit of adult learners of all ages. At Metro State University, 8 to 10 courses participate in Project SHINE each semester and approximately 100 students are involved in Project SHINE each year.

For students

How do students get involved?

  • Complete the Project SHINE Application form
  • Attend a training covering basic ESL tutoring with the Minnesota Literacy Council. All Project SHINE related training will take place in the Saint Paul Campus.
  • Complete a minimum of 20 hours of tutoring (or more for internships and practicums or field-based coursework) at one of our 17 Twin Cities community partner organizations.

Explore the Project SHINE site to find community partners or potential sites for your community service hours.

For faculty

Project SHINE, also helps faculty members create links between classroom teaching and relevant field experience. It provides an opportunity to deepen students' theoretical understanding in a broad range of disciplines, including urban studies, anthropology, communications, ethnic studies, English, sociology, criminal justice studies, public policy, political science and history. Students gain knowledge of diverse cultures and life experiences, develop skills beyond the textbook, and find a powerful way to reinforce their academic studies.

To learn more about Project SHINE, faculty members can schedule a one-on-one meeting with a staff member in the Institute for Community Engagement and Scholarship by emailing to discuss program expectations and potential opportunity for students at community sites.