2010 Recipients
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Photos from the Civic Engagement Awards

On Monday, October 4, 2010, at the National Press Club, we honored our academic partners for their many contributions to students’ learning experiences and recognized six institutions for their civic engagement efforts at our annual Academic Affairs and Higher Education Civic Engagement Awards Luncheon.

 

 

View photos of the Civic Engagement/Academic Awards Luncheon

 

 

Miami Dade College logo

 

Miami Dade CollegeServing a multicultural population at 8 different campuses in South Florida, Miami Dade College (MDC) is one of the largest institutions of higher education in the country—and the first community college to be presented with this award. MDC's Center for Community Involvement (CCI) coordinates civic engagement on campus, encouraging partnerships with local agencies and working with faculty and staff to ensure that service-learning is widely incorporated into the curriculum. Specific initiatives with which the institution is involved include operation of a clinic at the Miami Rescue Mission Homeless Shelter, preparation of tax returns for low-income members of the community, organization of an organic food co-op, registration of voters and provision of tutors for elementary school children, among others. The CCI oversees a number of innovative efforts, including bi-annual community partner workshops, a service-learning student ambassador program, and a web-based tracking system to document student service and match agencies with volunteers. Despite limited financial resources, MDC has reserved significant internal funding for civic engagement efforts and infrastructure. Its president, Eduardo Padrón, has provided leadership for several national initiatives-including America Reads and Campus Compact-and has challenged the institution to live up to its reputation as "democracy's college."

 

Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis logo

 

Indiana University – Purdue University IndianapolisAn urban public research university, Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI) has long emphasized civic engagement in its mission and vision and more recently introduced structural changes to support community involvement. The Center for Service and Learning Research Collaborative (CSLRC), an IUPUI Signature Center, was designed to integrate the Offices of Service Learning, Community Service and Neighborhood Resources. It now coordinates service learning, facilitates co-curricular service as well as campus-wide service events and strengthens partnerships between IUPUI and local neighborhoods. Faculty development, promotion, tenure and recognition are closely aligned with civic engagement; for example, professors may be appointed as “Public Scholars” and this title is used alongside their primary title. Student financial assistance—including Federal Work Study funds and institutional scholarships—is often connected to community service. In addition to serving and providing facilities and resources—from cultural and library services to leadership in education and business development—for the Indianapolis area, IUPUI has built strategic partnerships internationally. These include relationships with universities in Kenya, and Mexico focused on increasing access to health and dental services.

 

Santa Clara University logo

 

Santa Clara UniversitySanta Clara University, a Catholic, Jesuit institution situated in California's Silicon Valley, is committed to cultivating "competence, conscience and compassion" within each graduate.  In 2009 Santa Clara introduced a new core curriculum requiring all students to complete one classroom experience focused on civic engagement, as well as one course involving community-based learning or other forms of face to face contact with marginalized communities. Through Santa Clara's Arrupe Partnerships Program, faculty members are supported in building relationships with local organizations and matching students with placements that meet course goals while also benefiting the community. Civic Engagement is also integrated into Santa Clara's Residential Learning Communities (RLCs), which link residence life with coursework and often engage students in the organization of programs related to social justice. The Kolvenbach Solidarity Program connects students with experiences at a greater distance from campus, providing extended immersion trips in the U.S. and abroad during break periods in the academic calendar. Students have become involved with homeless shelters, multilingual/ESL education programs, urban gardens, and health care agencies, among other curricular and co-curricular efforts.

 

The College of New Jersey logo

 

The College of New JerseyThe College of New Jersey (TCNJ), a public liberal-arts college in Ewing, created The Bonner Community Scholars Corps (BCSC) to advance the institution's overall civic engagement efforts while investing in individual students and promoting their development. A diverse group of 70 undergraduates identified as Bonners in high school and assisted with scholarship funding commits to serving the campus and larger community for four years. They form issue-based teams at the start of each academic year, work with community partners to identify and address unmet needs and ultimately mobilize other TCNJ students to assist. For example, BCSC students organize and motivate all freshmen as they fulfill their First-Year Community Engaged Learning (CEL) requirement through co-curricular days of service and class-based projects co-led by faculty members. CEL programs have involved hosting a youth conference, developing a database and web system for a local nonprofit, coordinating support for Haiti's post-earthquake recovery, planting a community garden on campus to provide vegetables to a local soup kitchen, and delivering writing/reflection workshops to juvenile offenders. BCSC students elevate their participation in civic engagement to the regional, national and international level by taking enrichment trips and compiling issue-briefs to inform local partner agencies about larger political developments.

 

Wagner College logo

 

Wagner CollegeA private liberal arts college in Staten Island, NY, Wagner College has for the past decade worked to implement and refine its Wagner Plan for the Practical Liberal Arts. The Wagner Plan emphasizes experiential learning and reflection as key elements of liberal arts and professional education. It has evolved to include a model—called Civic Innovations (CI)—for promoting mutually beneficial and sustainable relationships with community partners. Through CI, academic disciplines (Community Connected Departments or CCDs) are connected with specific local agencies (Department Connected Agencies or DCAs). They then collaborate on syllabi and outcomes for a sequence of service-learning courses. Within the Port Richmond community—an economically distressed area that has recently seen enormous growth in its immigrant population—the Civic Innovations Program has been expanded to also include a steering committee comprised of residents and college personnel. The committee has identified “clusters of need”—including health, education, environment and economy—that future strategic partnerships will seek to address in a still more coordinated way.

 

Western Carolina University logo

 

Western Carolina UniversityWestern Carolina University, located in Cullowhee, NC, is a member of the University of North Carolina system. Each academic year since 2007, a substantial majority of WCU students have engaged in curriculum-based service learning and co-curricular community service. The prominence of this kind of activity results from sustained efforts at the University to ensure that civic engagement is recognized as having academic legitimacy and is incorporated into the WCU culture. The institution has adopted the “Boyer Model” of scholarship and emphasizes the scholarship of application in its decision-making processes related to faculty rewards and promotion. WCU’s 2007 Quality Enhancement Plan articulates an expectation that students will practice civic engagement and includes developing an “Education Briefcase” – an electronic repository in which students will document their learning. The University’s Center for Service Learning develops campus–community partnerships, monitors engagement initiatives and assesses project outcomes. It hosts a yearly Symposium on Service Learning & Civic Engagement that welcomes participants from across the country. Civic engagement efforts by WCU students, faculty and staff have included planting a garden to help reduce regional food insecurity, assisting the municipality of Dillsboro with economic recovery and participating in post-hurricane revitalization efforts in nearby Canton.

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