"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
– Margaret Mead
The Office of Civic Engagement supports the efforts of the University to form partnerships with the communities it serves, working with them to respond to the problems, needs, and challenges they face. Its primary role is to support faculty seeking to incorporate community-based experiences into their research and teaching, so that both they and their students become more active, more effective, more creative agents through which the University promotes the well-being of the world beyond the campus.
About Civic Engagement and Service Learning
Civic Engagement is "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." (Citation)
Service Learning is "a teaching method that promotes student learning through active participation in meaningful and planned service experiences in the community that are directly related to course content. Through reflective activities, students enhance their understanding of course content, general knowledge, sense of civic responsibility, self awareness, and commitment to the community." (Citation)
Benefits of Civic Engagement and Service Learning
Combining students' academic coursework with opportunities for relevant experiences enhances both their academic development as well as their readiness to take up their responsibilities as adult members of a democracy.
Civic Engagement and Service Learning experiences:
- Help students develop stronger relationships with faculty and community
- Improve students' satisfaction with college
- Increase the likelihood of graduation
- Aid in student retention
Academically, students demonstrate significant improvement in several areas:
- Information literacy
- Articulated thinking about Civic Engagement
- Understanding of the connection between the university and public life
- Academic engagement
- Civic efficacy
- Positive social and self-perceptions
- Research-based writing
New Director of Civic Engagement
Ellie Ertle has been selected as the new Director for the Office of Civic Engagement! Please contact her with any questions, concerns, or ideas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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