Open Circle’s Academic Outreach Program strives to engage college students and faculty in our mission to promote the health and wellness of older adults and their caregivers in the Open Circle community. 


Whether it be through academic partnerships with colleges and universities, service learning internships and graduate level collaborations, or day-to-day volunteer opportunities–all of our academic outreach experiences have been incredibly  diverse and rewarding.


Victor B. Cole

Community Engagement Coordinator, Metropolitan State University

As the academic internship coordinator at Metropolitan State University, I have enjoyed working closely with  Augustana Care Open Circle, and in particular with Mr. Mark D. Rosen. Metropolitan State University students bring with them significant experiences and information from their usually full lives. Those who intern with Open Circle at the Hopkins site with Mr. Rosen, are always treated as whole individuals, encouraged and welcomed to create programming and events for clients. Interns return to their classes with high praise of their work with Open Circle Adult Day Services. I recommend any program to consider Augustana Care Open Circle as an option for students to intern, learn, grow, and give back.

Angie Schaefer

Nursing Graduate, Normandale Community College

My internship/volunteer experience at Augustana Open Circle has been amazing.  When I met Ellen and Mark at the Service Learning Fair at Normandale College, I knew that it would be a fun environment.  What I didn’t realize is how much it would impact my life interning there.  Augustana Open Circle is honestly like a family you are so excited to see each week.  The staff there is caring, welcoming, and always one step ahead with the participants.  Speaking of the participants- the range in personalities, levels of cares, and communication strategies are perfect for students or healthcare related career people to gain experience with.  Open Circle is a special place, I would recommend it to anyone, and have to my peers.  If you are looking for a great experience with a caring staff, and are ready to bond with some very amazing people that are there every day, consider Augustana Open Circle.

Julie Grivna

OT Assistant Program Instructor, Anoka Technical College

The Occupational Therapy Assistant Program at Anoka Technical College had the pleasure of collaborating with Open Circle this past year through several rotations of fieldwork education. To say that I am amazed by this program would be an understatement. The way this Day Program is set up is truly ingenious. The variety of programming provides the clients with choices and allows them to have a voice in how their day is spent. It is extremely essential to me that my students are vividly aware of the importance of a person’s right to choose how they spend their time. Open Circle brings such joy to the clients and this is evident by their smiles and high levels of participation… With support from the staff, the students have built confidence in planning and leading groups as well as preparing tasks for different clients while meeting their individual needs. I have had students who have been hesitant to complete their fieldwork in an adult day settings, realize how much they enjoyed this population and setting and then continue to volunteer when their time was finished. This is a true testament to how Open Circle provides exceptional care and demonstrates the willingness to help the students learn.

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