Community Colleges, Civic Engagement and College Success


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A presentation given by Iowa Campus Compact Executive Director Emily Shields to the Iowa Association of Community College Trustees in July 2012 on the community colleges and the connection between civic engagement and service-learning and college access and success.

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  • Coalition of college and university presidents committed to the public purpose of higher education.Support service-learning and civic engagement with programs, funding, professional development, research, advocacy.
  • Coalition of college and university presidents committed to the public purpose of higher education.Support service-learning and civic engagement with programs, funding, professional development, research, advocacy.
  • Reciprocal is key
  • Remind participants that the service and the learning are equally important
  • Remind participants that the service and the learning are equally important
  • Createinstitutional culture of civic engagement through written and oral statements.• Create a teaching and learning expectation for campus-community connections byrecognizing the achievements of students, staff, and faculty involved in civic engagement.• Create civic engagement learning objectives in courses, minors, and majors.• Create co-curricular opportunities through student leadership groups and activities.• Create hiring, promotion, reward, and advancement criteria consistent with the scholarshipof teaching and the scholarship of engagement.• Create support structures for generating teaching and learning grants relating to civicengagement.• Create teaching excellence centers that offer frequent workshops, trainings, and ongoingsupport for integrating civic engagement into the curriculum.• Work with academic disciplines and professional associations to focus on disseminatingthe best scholarship, teaching, and practices of civic engagement.• Create a civic engagement center that can provide logistical and technical support forcurricular and co-curricular civic engagement activities.• Create an institutional-community network or advisory group focused on long-term,reciprocal campus-community partnerships.• Develop measures to evaluate the community impact of this work.• Create structures that support seamless collaboration between curricular and co-curricularinitiatives.
  • 1. Begin by getting key campus leaders talking to one another. One possibility is to convenea meeting between those supporting civic engagement and those engaged in access andsuccess initiatives to discuss relevant research, the needs of each department or program,and possible collaborations.2. Find ways to encourage faculty to look for civic learning opportunities that engage studentsin meaningful and quality community work.3. Bring together local groups working on access issues in your community and look forways your campus can support their work.4. Enlist the support of development office staff to pursue grant funds to support innovativeundergraduate retention strategies, or create new development revenues by appeal-ing to donors committed to the institutional mission of a civically engaged college oruniversity.5. Start tracking and evaluating civic engagement activities on your campus in relationshipto success indicators. Determine whether current institutional data-gathering effortsallow for reporting on the relationship between service-learning and student retentionand success.6. Ensure that an institutional commitment to civicengagement is reflected in the faculty review process,including promotion and tenure/contract renewalpolicies. Because service-learning and engagedscholarship are mission-driven, they should not besimply allowed or tolerated but explicitly valued andrewarded.7. Share evaluation and data analysis results with key institutional and community stakeholdersin order to celebrate successes and improve quality.
  • Community Colleges, Civic Engagement and College Success

    1. 1. A PROMISINGCONNECTIONIncreasing CollegeAccess and Successthrough Civic Engagement
    2. 2. • About Iowa Campus Compact• What is Civic Engagement?• Why Civic Engagement?• Research – Connection with College Completion• Community College Models• What you can do and how we can helpSession Overview
    3. 3. www.iacampuscompact.orgAbout Us
    4. 4. Member Benefits• Resources• Successful models• Funding• Visibility• Faculty opportunities• Recognition• Professional development• Technical assistance• Advocacy and policy• National movementAbout Us
    5. 5. .What is civic engagement?• Service-learning• Community engagement• Community-based research• Civic education• Community experiences• Community-based learning• Democratic practice• Philanthropy education• Other co-curricular offerings for students
    6. 6. .What is civic engagement?Individual vs. Organizational• Individual - create civically minded persons, useknowledge and skills for community betterment• Organizational - create infrastructure that linkcampuses and communities through reciprocalpartnerships
    7. 7. Service and learning goals of equal weight and eachenhances the other for all participants (Sigmon, 1994)What is service-learning?
    8. 8. The system of community colleges grew out of acommitment to the democratic principles of access andopportunity; its leaders were philosophically dedicated tothe belief that broad engagement of the diverse communitywill create a strong educational, social, political, andeconomic fabric. (Cohen & Brawer, 2003)Why Civic Engagement?
    9. 9. A Promising ConnectionReportResearch
    10. 10. • Eyler, Giles, Stenson, and Gray (2001) found a range of benefitsfor students (page 11):• academic learning and ability to apply what they have learnedin the “real world”• improves student satisfaction with college, more likely tograduate• sense of personal efficacy, personal identity, interpersonaldevelopment, ability to work well with others• spiritual and moral development• leadership and communication skills• reducing stereotypes and facilitating cultural and racialunderstanding• social responsibility and citizenship skills.Research
    11. 11. • 2010 Job Outlook Survey from the National Association ofColleges and Employers candidate’s involvement involunteer work key factor in making hiring decisionsResearch
    12. 12. • High-quality curricular and co-curricular civic engagement ispositively correlated with student success in K-12 schools,community colleges, and public and private four-yearcolleges and universities (Grantmakers for Education, 2010;Meyer, 2003).• Peer group interaction key for college student success, serviceis one way to develop peer relationships (Astin, 1996)• Service-learning is positively associated with student retentionand the likelihood of completing a degree (Astin and Sax,1998)(page 6)Research
    13. 13. • Gallini and Moely (2003) (page 6)• effects of service-learning on student retention, academicchallenge, academic engagement, interpersonalengagement, and community engagement• surveyed students about engagement, academicchallenge, and persistence• students in service-learning courses scoredsignificantly higher on all measuresResearch
    14. 14. • Campus Compact offices of Northern New England study• 770 students at 17 institutions• student survey on how service-learning course affectedthem on five measures: retention, academic challenge,academic engagement, interpersonal engagement,and community engagementResearch
    15. 15. • AACC, Prentice and Robinson (2010) study (page 9)• More than 2,000 students• Statistically significant differences between service-learners and non–service-learners on five out of sixlearning outcomes• educational success and academic development, civicresponsibility, critical thinking, communication, and careerand teamwork.Research
    16. 16. • Dahiwakud Project (developed by the Community CollegeNational Center for Community Engagement, CCNCCE)• Collaboration with four-year and two-year institution• Joint energy efficiency project for low-income families• Improved attitude and interest in learning and community service• Faculty reported expanded knowledge and skill set(page 10)Community College Models
    17. 17. • Accent on Student Success: Engaged Together for Service(ASSETS)• Intergenerational service projects• 1,500 students surveyed• 9 in 10 improved attitudes toward learning and community service• 90% of minority students surveyed more likely to complete degreeCommunity College Models
    18. 18. • Kapiolani Community College (handout)• Faculty-driven and integrated• Service-learning outcomes aligned with institution learning outcomes• 2009 and 2010 fall-spring persistence rates 25% higher for service-learning students• Service-learning students also performed better in developmentalcourses• Offer “Pathways” by issue/field area, continuum of opportunitiesthrough courses, work study, internships, student leader positionsCommunity College Models
    19. 19. • Iowa Western Community College• Majority of service is academic-based service learning, however there are also multiple serviceopportunities throughout the year to encourage students to continue to be civically engaged• Sampling of graduates indicated that service-learning enhanced understanding of coursecontent, attributed to career opportunities as well as networking and resume building, and manycontinue to serve after they graduate.• IWCC notes Service-Learning on student transcripts• Bring together community members, students, faculty and staff to volunteer for a common goal• IWCC hosts annual recognition for service which includes community partners, students, facultyand staff.• Hosted professional development with leaders in the field such as Patty Clayton, Dr. RobertFranco etc. Also offer opportunities for faculty to attend/present at service-focused nationalconferences• Service-focused student clubs to promote leadership – Colleges Against Cancer chapterthrough American Cancer Society• Host annual community-wide and campus-wide service events - Community Relay For Life andPink OutCommunity College Models
    20. 20. • Iowa Western Community College• Received 5 subgrants through Learn and Serve America totaling more than $60,000• Most recent: 2011 STEM grant project at Lakin Campus• Multi-program project (culinary, construction, ag/hort, sustainability and AmeriCorps)• Multi-agency project (CB Boys & Girls Club, Micah House shelter, Heartland Family Servicesand Extreme 180 Youth Summer Fitness Camp)• Utilize AmeriCorps program for student leadership opportunities• Americorps State (Iowa Campus Compact) - 300 hours (6 students)• AmeriCorps VISTA Summer Associates – 10 weeks, full-time (6 students)• Partner with neighboring higher education institutions in Omaha for large-scalecommunity projects• Metro Area Coalition for Service-Learning (UNO, Creighton, UNMC, CSM, Methodist,Clarkson, Grace, IWCC and MCC) – implement projects and professionaldevelopment around annual themes such as Veterans, Refugees, etc.• Project Homeless Connect Omaha – one day event to provide medical and socialservices to community residents struggling with homelessness - Serves 600+ in metroareaCommunity College Models
    21. 21. • Iowa Western Community College• Benefits from Campus Compact membership• Professional development opportunities• AmeriCorps programs• Networking and collaboration with other Iowa higher education institutions• Foster strong partnership with Iowa Commission in Volunteer Service• Resource sharing – member networks/best practices• Opportunities for student leadership – IUGO conference and othersummits• Grant opportunities – federal and private• Award opportunities for faculty and students• IWCC student recently named a Campus Compact Newman Civic Fellow (one ofonly four in the state of Iowa)Community College Models
    22. 22. 1. Connect with institutional mission and vision statements2. Integrate civic engagement at all academic and co-curricular levels3. Integrate into the faculty promotion and reward structure4. Provide professional development opportunities forfaculty5. Provide infrastructure support for community-campusrelationshipsWhat Institutions Can Do
    23. 23. 1. Get key leaders talking2. Encourage faculty3. Connect local groups4. Utilize development office5. Track and evaluate6. Reflect institutional commitment7. Share evaluation and dataWhat Leaders Can Do
    24. 24. 1. Professional development (training, workshops, webinars,etc.)2. Funding opportunities3. Student engagement programs4. Faculty programming5. Networking and collaboration6. Information on research and models7. Dissemination and recognitionHow IACC Can Help
    25. 25. Questions? Discussion?Information and resources