Office of Civic Engagement

Quick Facts

What does the Office of Civic Engagement do?

Where do we conduct civic engagement?

Most of our outreach happens on our campus. We interact with students through tabling, campus events, and in their classrooms. We also work with faculty to help them connect their teaching and research with community partners throughout our entire service region(opens in new window). It's important that our students feel connected to Chico as they live and learn here during their college experience. We also want them to learn to be contributing citizens wherever they might live.

What are all the ways we can think about civic engagement?

Civic engagement can encompass several different ideas. See below for definitions of each.

Civic Engagement

Civic engagement is a pedagogical learning experience within an academic course. It encompasses a broad range of ways (applied learning activities) that courses may engage students in learning about and taking action for the public good. The applied learning activity is directed toward the achievement of course learning objectives and also toward making meaningful contributions through collaborative active participation. The applied learning activity is used to clarify, illustrate, challenge, or stimulate additional thought about the topics covered in the classroom. Structured written and/or oral reflection ties the applied experiences to the academic content of the course and also provides students with the opportunity to develop or strengthen their awareness of the relationship between the course material and societal needs, a service ethic, and their role as citizens.

Service Learning

Service learning uses community service as the vehicle for the attainment of students' academic goals and objectives. Students perform valuable significant and necessary service which has real consequences to the community. The goal of the service is to empower students and those being served. It is different from volunteer work. We think volunteering is great. Get out in the world and make a difference. But-- we also think volunteering is significantly more meaningful to you as well as who you volunteer for is the volunteering is followed by learning. We believe in purposeful, intentional civic involvement with reflection and self-evaluation. More about service learning

Place-conscious Pedagogy

Place-conscious pedagogy is an approach to learning that shifts educational systems away from standardized and isolated teaching practices toward an awareness of place that connects the (local) context with what is being taught. Place-conscious pedagogy prepares students to live in a way that respects the integrity of the culture, ecology, and economy of their places. A more intentional sense of place is needed to understand our global world, as understanding international communities is easier when a person has a strong understanding of their own place.

Community-based Scholarship

Community-based scholarship also called community-based participatory research (CBPR) is a partnership approach to research that equitably involves, for example, community members, organizational representatives, and researchers in all aspects of the research process and in which all partners contribute expertise and share decision making and ownership. The attached table outlines the differences between CBPR and traditional research. More about community-based scholarship