A publication for the faculty, staff, administrators, and friends of California State University, Chico
April 14, 2005 Volume 35 / Number 7


The Engaged Department

With funding from the “Realizing the Civic Mission of Higher Education” grant provided by the Office of the CSU Chancellor (through the Corporation for National and Community Service), Deanna Berg and Terri Davis, co-coordinators of Community Service Learning for the campus, began a process titled, “The Engaged Department” during the fall 2004 semester.

The Departments of Education, Recreation and Parks Management, Nursing, and Professional Studies in Education participated in the fall. Each department received up to $2,000 to participate in an in-depth process that encouraged “community-university engagement” department-wide. The College of Social Work and Communication Arts and Sciences joined the program this spring.

An “engaged department” is one that

• uses service-learning to facilitate the integration of community work and reflection into students’ academic study;

• encourages the scholarship of engagement, especially where community-based research is pursued;

• and provides support for collaborative activities that directly fulfill the University’s mission and strategic plan.

“The consistent feedback we received was that the time and space for dialogue on civic engagement and what that means was the most important incentive for participation,” said Davis. “As a matter of fact, most teams ended up using their $2,000 to create faculty retreats so the entire department could be involved in the conversation.”

Linda Montes, Professional Studies in Education, said, “Being a part of the Engaged Department activities has helped me see the incredible possibilities that await my teaching and my students. The field of education lends itself perfectly for collaboration in a focused mission.”

The request for proposals for fall 2005 teams will be announced during the week of April 18. Teams will be selected and notified before the end of the spring semester.

Interested department chairs, deans, or faculty members may contact Deanna Berg at x5817 or Terri Davis at x6852 for more information.

—Kathleen McPartland