Become a Client Partner-Information Systems - Carnegie Mellon University

Become a Client Partner

Students in the Software Development Project course collaborate with community-based organizations to develop useful information system solutions to meet real management needs. Real world client partnerships are an important part of the program's educational mission, giving students and project sponsors a significant opportunity to work together towards a common goal. Typically, our project clients represent non-profit or charitable organizations, often engaged in missions that benefit the community in significant ways.

Benefits
Student Consultants work, as a team, with community partners throughout the semester to identify, plan, and implement ways in which technology can help the organization better fulfill its mission. Teams act as consultants working 'with' and not 'for' their project clients. At the completion of the project, each team must provide a sustainable solution that fits the client's objectives, organization constraints and capabilities.

Read the full Executive Summaries report for examples of past project outcomes [pdf]

Expectations
There is no fee to participate, but organizations must invest significant time and effort during the semester-long partnership to achieve sustainable technology improvements.

  • Invest your time
  • Attend the mandatory Community Partner Orientation Meeting at the Carnegie Mellon University campus on Wednesday, February 1, 2017 from 9:30am - 11:50am (Cohen University Center, Room Rangos 3)
  • Make a required brief presentation with the student team at the end of the semester at the Community Technology Forum at the Carnegie Mellon University campus on Friday, May 12, 2017 from 12:30pm - 4:30pm and stay for the entire session to hear about and celebrate all partnership presentations.
  • Your presence at these meetings is very important. Please advise us if you have a constraint on these days.
  • Meet and work with the team each and every week for at least 1 hour. Provide timely feedback to the student team on progress, proposals, deliverables, technology demos, etc. as requested.
  • Provide biweekly brief feedback on the team and the project progress via a short online form and periodic conversations with the supervising faculty member.
  • Read the final report, providing feedback to the student team within 2 days, and submit Feedback Form to the faculty instructor giving approval to publish the report.

Read more about the client partnership process [pdf]

Sign-Up
Please start by submitting your Potential Community Client Form. We will follow up by email and/or phone. All organizations are considered, though preference is given to organizations providing services to a low-income community or a community at risk for falling into the "digital divide".