Leveraging Assets: Student Lived Experience and Community Partner Expertise
“I want to help, but I’m not an expert,” is a mantra I’ve repeatedly come across in community engagement work. Whether partnering with students, volunteers, staff, or faculty, two common concerns emerge: 1) “I’d like to help, but don’t know how,” 2) “I want to help but can’t because I have to take care of me.” These concerns present obstacles to sustained, engaged civic participation.
Enhancing Voter Engagement through Student Leadership and Voice
Our campus has a long history of serving and engaging the local community. Originally a teacher training school in eastern North Carolina, East Carolina has grown to become an accredited institution serving nearly 27,000 students. Despite the growth in the last century, it has never forgotten its roots or relationship to local community. Indeed, the school touts its commitment to public service and regional transformation at almost every turn – through strategic planning documents, mission statements, and official university communications. There is also significant evidence that this commitment goes beyond vision all the way to implementation and action. Many faculty engage in community-based research projects, while students regularly serve the local community through co-curricular volunteer activities, often contributing more than 40,000 hours to the community per year. And community outreach activities - from summer camps to literacy programs to nutrition education programs - fill university calendars.
#CLDE15 Meeting in Review: Leveraging Academic and Student Affairs Partnerships to Advance CLDE
Our recent 2015 ADP/TDC/NASPA Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (CLDE) Meeting in New Orleans, La. brought together a collection of faculty, students, administrators, community partners and representatives from our national sponsor and partner organizations committed to advancing civic learning and democratic engagement through higher education. Collectively, we considered one of higher education’s civic missions: to act as stewards of the communities they inhabit as well as to prepare students to be stewards of their present and future communities.
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”.