Did We Reach Our Goal? Looking Beyond the Assessment
At the start of the past academic year, Washington & Jefferson College and the Office of Community Engagement rolled out with a new initiative; The Community Outreach Team. The program was in the pilot year, and we thought, at first after assessing the program, that it was an instant “success”.
Developing a Framework for Civic Engagement Initiatives
As Stephen Covey would say, “begin with the end in mind.” As colleges and universities develop civic engagement initiatives for their campuses, it is important to begin with the framework and outcomes they want students to achieve. At Seminole State College of Florida, it was important to not only determine learning outcomes but to develop 1) a definition for civic engagement; 2) a developmental model; and 3) an assessment instrument to measure students’ learning and outcomes.
Meaning Making or Faking?: Increasing the Value of Reflection
Reflection is cornerstone to experiential learning. Experiences themselves are not educative; the process of reflecting and making meaning allows students to think about what they observed or did, why it mattered, and how they might think or act differently based on new knowledge. While the value of reflection for students is clearly established, over the years, I have become increasingly aware of the narrative that students tell us what they think we want to hear in their reflections.
Community Conversations: The Fight for Voting Rights
Although Brazosport College is a small community college, with limited staff devoted to democratic engagement and civic learning, we strive to serve our community and develop students prepared to thrive in a global community. We do not have an office for civic engagement or a specific program focused on CLDE; however, more importantly we have faculty, staff, and administrators committed to student success and developing students prepared to serve our community. Inherently, community colleges not only serve the students of their institution, but their community as a whole. The community connections and support at Brazosport College are unique and paramount to fostering civic learning and democratic engagement.