Higher education role in fostering civic engagement


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This interactive discussion session focuses on the ways that higher education can promote the civic responsibility of college students and strengthen communities in the process. Drawing on his work in the field, and using concrete examples, Tom Ehrlich discusses how colleges and universities can equip students with the understanding, motivation, and skills of responsible and effective citizenship, and how communities and nonprofit organizations can benefit from neighboring institutions of higher education to promote their civic goals. The discussion includes teaching approaches such as community-service learning and community-based research; emerging issues involving the use of social media for promoting civic learning; and challenges facing community organizations in working with campuses.

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Higher education role in fostering civic engagement

  1. 1. Higher Education’s Role in Fostering Civic Engagement CRAIGSLIST Boot Camp August 14, 2010Gerald EismanDirector, Institute for Civic & Community EngagementSan Francisco State University
  2. 2. “So, professor. Which institute doyou belong to?”
  3. 3. Topics Changing Landscape in Higher Ed Methods for campus-community engagement Experiences and Opportunities
  4. 4. Wingspread Declaration on Renewing the Civic Mission of the American Research University June 1999
  5. 5. Civic engagement is essential to ademocratic society, but far too manyAmericans have withdrawn fromparticipation in public affairs. Highereducation can contribute to civicengagement, but most researchuniversities do not perceive themselves aspart of the problem or of its solution.Whereas universities were once centrallyconcerned with “education for democracy”and “knowledge for society,” today’sinstitutions have often drifted away fromtheir civic mission.
  6. 6. The Research Universities Civic Engagement NetworkArizona State University 2005Brown UniversityDuke UniversityGeorgetown UniversityMichigan State UniversityNorth Carolina State UniversityOhio State UniversityPrinceton UniversityStanford UniversityTufts UniversityTulane UniversityUniversity of California, Berkeley….
  7. 7. Curricular Engagement includesinstitutions where teaching, learningand scholarship engage faculty,students, and community in mutuallybeneficial and respectfulcollaboration. 2006
  8. 8. Methods Community Service Learning Participatory Research Social Entrepreneurship
  9. 9. Service LearningService learning is a pedagogy built onthe combination of community servicewith academic learning so that each isenhanced by the other. 9
  10. 10. SL Venn Diagram internshipcivicsclass Academic SL Civic Experiential volunteer 10
  11. 11. SL Venn Diagram Academic Academic SLCivic Experiential 11
  12. 12. SL Venn Diagram Civic Academic SLCivic Experiential 12
  13. 13. A Taxonomy of Engagement Community Co-curricular activity for civic/political (Civic) engagement. Engagement Ex: Student club invites head of Green Service Peace to give a lecture on campus. Learning Political Engagement Service Learning Course with political engagement outcomes. Ex: Work with county food bank to enroll needyService Learning Courses without civic families in food benefits program. Reflect on howlearning outcomes. state programs are supported.Ex: Tutor a child in reading. Reflect onability as tutor. Service Learning Courses with civic but not political learning outcomes Ex: Work with environmental agency on creek restoration. Reflect on elements of teamwork. 13
  14. 14. CBPRCBPR is a collaborative research approachthat is designed to ensure and establishstructures for participation by the threegroups involved in the project - communitiesaffected the research, representatives oforganizations, and researchers – in all aspectsof the research process to improve health andwell-being through taking action, includingsocial change. 14
  15. 15. Social EntrepreneurshipThe use of entrepreneurial practices todevelop a social good. Whirlwind Wheelchair International
  16. 16. How to work with UniversitiesFaculty ExpertiseUniversity Engagement CentersStudent involvement
  17. 17. Faculty Expertise… or why you should never ask a computerscientist to format your diskThe story of the Shakespearean scholarand the public housing complex.
  18. 18. http://www.sfsu.edu/~icce
  19. 19. “Professor Smith learns how not to get tenure.”
  20. 20. Discussion• Experiences working with universities or• Opportunities to explore with universities
  21. 21. NEN UniversityNENu’s mission is to serve as a hub forcommunity-engaged scholarship in the Bay Areaby providing an infrastructure that facilitatesconnections among local academic institutions andneighborhood stakeholders so that they canmobilize their combined assets to develop socialcapital and advance community resiliency.1:00 pm: Building Resilient Communities throughMulti-Sector Collaboration