Civic and Engagement
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Understanding the Impact of Civic Engagement on Student Learning
Civic and EngagementCivicOf or relating to issues of public concern.EngagementEngagement, to quote from the 1999 Kellogg Commission Report, Returning to Our Roots, goes well beyond extension, conventional outreach, and even most conceptions of public service and is not designed to provide the universitys superior expertise to the community. While service, outreach, and extension traditionally describe activities that are provided to, intended for, or done in communities, engagement describes activities that are undertaken with community members in a context of reciprocal partnership. It is important to be clear about what we mean when we use the term civic engagement - This essay advocates the end of civic engagement. Not the end of political participation, social connectedness, associational membership, voluntarism, community spirit, or cooperative and tolerant moral norms but rather the umbrella term, civic engagement, used to encompass all of those topics while clarifying noneWe should be asking which kinds of engagementpolitical, social, or moralmake democracy work, and how they might be promoted. Ben Berger, Political Theory, Political Science, and theEnd of Civic Engagement, Perspectives on Politics, June 2009
1Civic Engagement in Higher Educationdescribes the collaboration between higher education institutions and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.
Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching (2006)
Engagement is the partnership of university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.
Committee on Institutional Cooperation, 2004
Processes and PurposeProcess of collaboration and reciprocity2National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic EngagementThe purpose of civic engagement and learning: "A socially cohesive and economically vibrant US democracy and a viable, just global community require informed, engaged, open-minded, and socially responsible people committed to the common good and practiced in 'doing' democracy."
Why campuses purse civic engagement needed now more than ever3Defining Civic Learning and Democratic EngagementEducational experiences that intentionally prepare students for informed, engaged participation in civic and democratic life by providing opportunities to develop civic knowledge, skills, and dispositions through learning and practice.
U.S. Department of Education, Advancing Civic Learning and Engagement in Democracy: A Road Map and Call to Action (2012)Fundamental aspect of experiential education leaning democracy by practicing it As the Crucible Moment states: full civic literacies cannot be gained only by studying books; democratic knowledge and capabilities are also honed through hands-on, face-to-face, active engagement4Why Campuses Focus on Civic Engagement?Mission FulfillmentPublic Accountability and Credibility Self-Interest
Addressing Institutional PrioritiesImproving Teaching and LearningAdvancing Diversity and InclusionImproving Student Success
AACU Rubric as part of the Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education project
Creating a Culture of CollaborationIn 2001, A Decade of Civic Engagement was declared, propelling the College forward with a commitment to civic learning and community engagement that has become deeply entrenched within academics and student activities as well as within the greater community.
In 2011, after commencing the 2nd Decade of Civic Engagement, the colleges civic engagement center was endowed, and renamed the Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement.
Mount Wachusett Community College
Creating a Culture of CollaborationMISSION: The Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement promotes positive social change and healthier, more vibrant communities through innovative programming and partnerships that benefit our community and Mount Wachusett Community College.
Mount Wachusett Community College
Mount Wachusett Community College
Presidents Office, Board of Trustees & Executive CouncilCreating a Culture of CollaborationSTUDENTSCommunityPartnershipsCivic engagement at MWCC is designed to be symbiotic. Initiatives and programs can originate from multiple places across campus, and are not owned by the Center. Center staff assists in programmatic design, coordinates meaningful community collaboration that meets existing community needs, provides data collection, evaluation and assessment and serves as a support for faculty, students and community organizations. In addition, the Center serves as an incubator for new civic and community engagement programming and houses a number of programs, including:
Service Learning embedded within nearly 50 courses by 36 instructors, service learning engages over 400 students annuallyInternships required for some majors, students are placed with organizations to meet specified needs and gain hands-on experience in alignment with the organizations' established mission and goalsCo-ops and job placement serving all 4 campuses and over 1,000 students each year, services provided to MWCC students include alignment of volunteerism and community engagement experiences into resume and workforce preparednessAmeriCorps Job Ready program 15 full time AmeriCorps Members placed throughout North Central Massachusetts engage over 10,000 community members each year in job awareness and preparedness activities and workshopsUnited Way Youth Venture engaging nearly 2,000 youth annually, this program provides support to youth in the region to design and implement their own socially entrepreneurial initiatives to meet identified community challengesStudents Serving Our Students (SOS) Program designed by an MWCC student, this newly launched program trains student mentors to assist fellow students in addressing and eliminating external barriers to education such as homelessness, food security, etc. These students serve as a liaison between the community organizations we partner with and the students in need. Although not officially rolled out until this coming spring, this semester alone, the program has already served nearly 100 studentsThe Whats Next Speaker Series Brings experts with progressive ideas and proven best practices to engage community leaders, faculty and students in discussion about a particular field or issueGeneral Studies Service Learning Capstone Course (ISC220) Beginning in Fall 2013, students majoring in General Studies will be required to partake in a capstone course that meets once/week in a traditional classroom and once/week at a community partner, where students will implement self-designed activities and projects with clients. Over 200 students will go through this capstone annually, which is in its 2nd year of successful pilot.Alternative Spring Break a collaboration with Student Life, each year, MWCC students come together to address a LOCAL need in the community, working with an established community partner.
Creating a Culture of CollaborationMount Wachusett Community College
There are many different moving parts that contribute to the growth and success of civic engagement at MWCC; one of the primary things is that students are matched with nonprofits who staff have already worked with to identify needs that are in alignment with the organizations strategic plan and goals. That way, the students are not creating an additional onus on already overstretched and overworked nonprofit and community service organizations, but rather, helping to build capacity. The other fundamental piece was the alignment of the Centers strategic plan and activities with the colleges strategic plan and goals. Once this occurred, the college community could more easily see the impact, center staff could more easily define impact and institutionalization occurred and led to endowment.
Where weve been:Faculty, staff and community buy-inLaunched dual-enrollment Citizenship AcademyFaculty stipends for curricular re-design to include service learningInstitute for Nonprofit Development provided support, expertise and capacity building for partnering organizations and ensured that students were meeting existing needs within the communityGrant funded programs came and went, with minimal alignment with the Colleges strategic plan or goals; in 2009, the Center underwent a strategic planning process and intentionally linked the Centers Strategic plan to the colleges plan and goals, resulting in a more viable and effective means of engaging students, faculty and the community
Where we are:Civic engagement is embedded within the colleges Mission and strategic planFull-time civic engagement staff are institutionalized by the collegeVolunteerism and service learning are noted on student transcript and tracked against student success and retentionCarnegie Classification in Curricular Engagement & Outreach and PartnershipsPresidents Community Service Honor Roll 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 & 2011Founding signatory on The Democracy Commitment & Steering Committee representationAlignment of civic learning outcomes with LEAP Value Rubric is underwayService Learning data shows student success and retention are closely aligned with meaningful curricular and community opportunitiesAdjunct faculty are receiving training, support and stipends for curricular redesign through Bridg