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Strategies for Deep Civic Engagement with High Impact (Bonner at AAC&U)


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This presentation delved into strategies that higher education can utilize to link deep civic engagement and community partnerships with high-impact learning and educational practices. This is part of a broader strategy being developed by the Bonner Foundation and network. This session was presented at the 2011 Personal & Social Responsibility Conference sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U), held October 13-16, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. For information, contact and

Published in: Education, Spiritual
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Strategies for Deep Civic Engagement with High Impact (Bonner at AAC&U)

  1. 1. Strategies for Deep CivicEngagement with High Impact Ariane Hoy & Mathew Johnson, Bonner Foundation for the AAC&U Personal & Social Responsibility Conference • October 2011 For more information contact or
  2. 2. Current Trends I have to study 84%Too busy with other activities 74% Length and Depth of Involvement I have to work 47% 60%I dont know what is available Barriers to Engagement Lack of transportation 47% Not enough energy 44% Campus Mobilization Too busy with friends 35%What I would like to do is not 31% available It makes me uncomfortable 18% 14% Previous bad experience 0% 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% Strongly Agree Agree
  3. 3. Change the Trend Lines:Engaged Learning ThroughStrategy 1: Student Leadership: The Student Experience and Developmental ModelStrategy 2: Academic Connections: The High-Impact Curricular Developmental ModelStrategy 3: Community Capacity: Research and Evidence-Driven Practice
  4. 4. NASCE Tool n = 8159 respondents Total n for study= 11,230 Average Age: 21 years Average GPA: 3.26 8% non-traditional students
  5. 5. Drill TypeDown Frequency Depth
  6. 6. An Issue: Students focused on doing short-term service. How many hours per month do you engage in community service? 40% 35% 32% 29% 30% 25% 19% 20% 15% 8% 10% 5% 7% 5% 0% -5 0 0 0 40 0 -1 -2 -3 n4 n0 1- n6 Be n 11 Be n 21 ha n3 ee ee et tw ee ee ee tw or tw tw tw Be Be M Be
  7. 7. An Issue: Students focused on doing short- term service without much depth. 70 60 50 40 One Shot 30 20 Continuing 10 0 Deep vic Ci r de ElOne Shot alt en h m alt on Continuing He vir er ng En Hu s es Deep ssn s ele iou m lig Ho th Re u Yo
  8. 8. An Issue: Students are working. How many hours per week do you work at your job or internship?30% 27% 22%25% Between 0 and 520% 17% 13% 15% 10% Between 5 and 1015%10% 5% Between 10 and 20 4% 5% More than 20 0% Before XYZ At XYZ
  9. 9. An Issue: College attendance gap.
  10. 10. An Issue: Students are working and... I have to study 84%Too busy with other activities 74% I have to work 60%I dont know what is available 47% Lack of transportation 47% Not enough energy 44% 35% Too busy with friendsWhat I would like to do is not 31% available It makes me uncomfortable 18% 14% Previous bad experience 0% 20% 40% 60% 80%
  11. 11. An Issue: Colleges have maxed out the potential service mobilization of students... NOT! Yes: College Yes: High School No: High School 46% 3% 41% Drop 3% Gain 41% 10% No: College
  12. 12. An Issue: Students are satisfied with the service opportunities they have access to at their campus. Not really! 57%Overall, I am satisfied with my personal level of involvement in community service here at ... University. 43% Are not satisfied.
  13. 13. Structure Matters I have participated through… student group 74 service organization 27 sought myself 25 other college entities 25 course 21 organized project 19 led project 18 Structured peer- service trip 13 group avenues for sports team 11 engagement lead to religious group 9 more engagement.
  14. 14. AStrategy 1: Student Leadership Element 1: Placements Element 2: Student Development Element 3: Integrative Learning Element 4: Money
  15. 15. AA solution:Element 1: PlacementBuild developmental,multi-semester/year,intensive, team basedplacements.
  16. 16. Example: Democratic Present findings to School BoardEngagement Organize public forum on school lunch Policy Research model lunch programs, farm-to-school, obesity Research Evaluate student attitudes toward nutrition Capacity Lead workshops for board, staff, & volunteers Building Summer Manage summer program with high school students Team Help expand to other schools in district Regular Coach elementary students in School Garden Club 1x Plant School Garden for Orientation
  17. 17. Developmental Service Excellence Elevated responsibilities, often tying to capstone project Example Leadership position for site or program, managing a team or project Experience Commitments to multi- semester programmatic role addressing community need Exploration Intentional immersions that provide exposure and result in additional commitment
  18. 18. A solution:Element 2: Student DevelopmentProvide intentional education, training &reflection activities.
  19. 19. Training Guides:
  20. 20. Education, Training, Reflection Excellence Active listening Social justice Communication Vocation & career exploration Goal setting Spiritual exploration Organization Connection to academic study Reflection (capstone/thesis) Time management Example Delegation Leadership of civic engagement Event planning International perspective Fundraising Research and deliberative democracy Grant writing Social justice Running a meeting Spiritual exploration Volunteer management Experience Balance/boundaries Analysis of Diversity Budgeting Knowledge of poverty Conflict resolution Understanding of place Facilitation Critical Thinking Planning Political dimensions of civic engagement TeamworkExploreActive listening Knowledge of selfCommunication Knowledge of communityGoal setting Introduction to DiversityOrganization Community buildingReflection Forms of civic engagementTime management
  21. 21. A solution:Element 3: Integrative LearningCohort-based, key integrativelearning experiences along theway.
  22. 22. Cornerstone Activities Senior Presentation Culminating project and reflection paper, with public presentation Third Year Leadership Project Often an international service immersion or campus-wide civic engagement initiative Second Year Exchange Multi-campus event involving learning, service, and exposure to political dimensions First Year Trip Cohort immersion into new place involving service, reflection, and exposure to issues in context
  23. 23. A solution:Element 4: MoneyProvide financialsupport throughscholarships, workstudy, andstipends.
  24. 24. Integration: Michael AusterlitzGraduate of Hobart andWilliam Smith College andMiddlesex County College •Now enrolled at Cornell’s Public Led HomelessnessPolicy Graduate Program Team at HWS Research & Issue Brief on Chronic Homelessness Elijah’s Promise and program Bonner Intern Role Served at Elijah’s Promise in NJ
  25. 25. M
  26. 26. Student Impact & Alumni Survey Find... Co-Curricular is Critical
  27. 27. Student Impact & Alumni Survey Find... Dialogue Across Difference is most critical variable
  28. 28. Student Impact & Alumni Survey Find...Importance and value of structured and unstructured reflection
  29. 29. Student Impact & Alumni Survey Find... Importance and value of roles ofFaculty, Partner and Staff Mentors
  30. 30. Student Impact & Alumni Survey Find... Average Volunteering Rates in the United States Versus Bonner Graduates 60.0 45.0 49.2 42.3 49.2 30.0 26.3 15.0 0*Average Citizen 26.3% *Average College Graduate 42.3%onner Graduates in Our Sample 49.2% B Persistent community & civic engagement after college
  31. 31. Student Impact & Alumni Survey Find... Persistent community & civic engagement after college
  32. 32. Student Impact & Alumni Survey Find...33% Government/public sector32% Non profit organization25% For-profit/Private sector6% Self employed Career Choice
  33. 33. What about these elements stand out asconnections or illustrations of high-impact educational practices? Where do you see the potential links?
  34. 34. An Issue:Co-curricular settingsnot necessarilysupporting intellectualand cognitive abilities(writing, civiceducation, povertyanalysis, politicaldimensions)
  35. 35. An Issue: Community partner agencies need:1. Trained and experienced, higher-level volunteers.2. With the academic and professional skills to take on the design, assessment, planning, and other capacity building activities needed.3. With the developmental maturity to lead teams, connect to other agencies, and move towards issue- based community organizing.
  36. 36. ! Community partner agencies need:
  37. 37. An Issue:Threat of having aboutique programthat affects onlyrelatively few(60-80) students
  38. 38. An Issue: Colleges have maxed out the level of service and community engagement they can mobilize among students. NOT!10% of students account for 49% of community service
  39. 39. An Issue:Keeping serviceprogram atmargins ofinstitutional valueand support
  40. 40. Strategy 2: Academic Connection Element 1: Faculty Development Element 2: Curriculum Development Element 3: High Impact Practices
  41. 41. A solution:Element 1: Faculty DevelopmentMoving beyond semester projects:Connecting faculty to service similarlyintentional, multi-year, developmentalprogression.
  42. 42. Tie faculty members in... Issue/ Public Education Site Team Networking Convening, Speakers, Forums, Students & Social Media, Dissemination Faculty Mapping Advisor Policy News & Analysis Capacity Building Program, Planning & Tech Support Community- Based Research & Direct Service Service-LearningAsk faculty for multi-year involvement
  43. 43. A solution:Element 2: Curriculum DevelopmentStructured academic pathways thatintegrate academics and service.
  44. 44. Academic Model:• Intensive• Multi-Year• Developmental• Course Connections• Minor, Certificate, Concentration
  45. 45. Academic Model: Capstone Integrative Seminars Honors Theses Research Coursework CBR / Methodology Undergraduate Research Projects Courses with Internship Connections Full-time Internships Bridge Coursework Poverty Politics Global DiversityGateway/Lead-In Courses
  46. 46. A solution:Element 3: High-Impact PracticesAll HIPs connect to communityengagement.
  47. 47. Linking High-Impact PracticesFourth Year Capstone Placement Capstone / ResearchThird Year International Service Global Learning Cohort Meetings Undergraduate ResearchSecond Year Exchange Cognate Course Cohort Meetings Learning CommunityFirst Year Trip Seminar
  48. 48. What do you think are the needs (i.e.,learning, resources, planning, guidance) of faculty and staff to effectively integrate HIPs and civic/community engagement?
  49. 49. An Issue: Campus-community partnerships want ways (beyond anecdotes and counting hours) to describe how their programs are making an impact
  50. 50. An Issue:The field is moving to integrate mechanismsof impact assessment and evidence-basedprogram models in a climate of scarceresources
  51. 51. An Issue:Moving beyond “mission,” and “pedagogy” to“partnership” and “co-creation of communitysolutions.”(Saltmarsh and Hartley)Technocratic Engagement Community Teaching, Learning, Researching Teaching, Learning, Researching in/for Community with Democratic Engagement
  52. 52. Strategy 3: Community Capacity Element 1: Partner Development Element 2: Public Policy Element 3: Assessment Element 4: Strategic Planning
  53. 53. A solution:Element 1: Build Partner CapacityModel for community partner developmentthat includes multiple types ofengagement by the institution buildingtowards deep partnerships that makedemocratic engagement the norm.
  54. 54. Partner Developmental Model Democratic Engagement Engaged Reciprocal! Ongoing development & evaluation of vision, planning, and capacity building High-impact integration Established Co-created strategic vision and plan Multi-year commitments Team with multiple positions Various types of engagement Emerging Multi-year agreements and placements Positions at multiple levels Exploration of academic connectionsExploratory Technocratic EngagementShort-term & one-year placements
  55. 55. A solution:Element 2: Public PolicyIntegration of public policyand program modelresearch, guided bycommunity partnersneeds, to identify andspread proven programmodels and effectivecommunity solutions.
  56. 56. A solution:Element 3: Assessmenta. Student mobilization,b. Student impactc. Faculty engagement,d. Non-profit effectiveness,e. Community capacity-building and impact.
  57. 57. A solution:Element 4: Strategic PlanningIntegration of evidence and data withprogram and institutional strategicplanning.
  58. 58. Where do we collectively go from here?How can we steer higher education tomaximize its potential as a resource to communities?