Indicators of Engagement Revised for Minority-Serving Institutions
February 19, 2009
A. Mission and Purpose
- The institution’s mission statement explicitly articulates its commitment to the public purposes of higher education and is deliberate about educating students for lifelong participation in their communities.
- This aspect of the mission is openly valued and is explicitly used to promote and to explain the civic engagement and community building activities on and off campus.
- The institution demonstrates a genuine willingness to review, discuss, and strengthen its commitment to civic engagement and community building.
- All members of the campus community demonstrate their familiarity with and ownership of the institution’s mission.
- The president, the chief academic officer, and the trustees visibly support the campus’s civic engagement and community building efforts, in both their words and their actions.
- The president and the institution’s academic leaders have played a visible and committed role in helping the institution sustain and expand its community building efforts and evolve into a genuinely engaged institution.
- The campus is publicly regarded as an important and reliable partner in local community development efforts.
- High-level administrators include community-based and service-learning in their strategic plans for enhanced academic learning.
- Community-based learning opportunities can be found across the entire curriculum. It is as much the concern of the arts and humanities, the natural sciences, technical disciplines, pre-professional studies, and interdisciplinary programs as it is of the social sciences.
- Students have multiple opportunities to do community-based work in their disciplinary and general education curricula.
- Formal opportunities exist for capstone experiences (including group reflection meetings, forums, and variable credit courses) focused on community-based problems or issues in most disciplines.
- Academic units (i.e., departments and programs) rather than individual faculty members have assumed ownership of partnering activities.
- Course-based community initiatives are structured and/or coordinated across disciplines.
- The institution recognizes that course content can be delivered in many ways and allows faculty sufficient freedom to utilize community-based strategies.
- Multiple cultural and historical perspectives on the meanings of community-based work are integrated throughout the students’ curricular and co-curricular experiences.
- Community-based work provides an opportunity for students to generate knowledge, develop critical thinking skills, and grapple with the ambiguity of social problems.
- Community knowledge and community expertise are valued as essential to the education of students for meaningful participation in their communities and are incorporated in various ways throughout the curriculum.
- Experiential learning is valued both by faculty and administrators as an academically credible method of creating meaning and understanding.
- Students are formally introduced to the concepts and skills necessary for civic engagement and community-based work early on in their academic careers.
- The institution regularly provides faculty with campus-based opportunities to become familiar with teaching methods and practices related to service-learning and community-based education.
- Mechanisms have been developed to help faculty mentor and support each other in learning to design and implement service-learning and other community-based courses.
- To enhance their ability to offer quality community-based or service-learning courses, faculty have access to curriculum development grants, reductions in teaching loads, and/or travel grants to attend relevant regional and national conferences.
- The institution’s tenure, promotion, and/or retention guidelines reward a range of scholarly activities such as those proposed by Ernest Boyer (1990), including community-based teaching and scholarship.
- Faculty data forms, annual reports, and mandatory evaluations all include sections related to civic engagement, community-based teaching and research, professional service, and/or other forms of academically based public work.
- The institution explicitly encourages academic departments to include community-based interests and experience as criteria in their faculty recruiting efforts.
- Faculty and students are kept well informed of the resources available to support community-based work. These resources are effectively included in all faculty and student orientation programs.
- The institution has developed a full range of forms and procedures that allow it to organize and document community-based work.
- The institution recognizes the unpredictable nature of work in the community and attempts to provide flexible scheduling options for faculty and students.
- The institution maintains a centralized office or center that is clearly aligned with academic affairs and is committed to community-based teaching and learning.
- Adequate funding is provided to support, enhance, and deepen involvement by faculty, students, and staff in community-based work.
- The institution regularly draws upon already existing resources to strengthen community-based and civic engagement activities. Such activities are seen as priorities in the allocation of those resources.
- The institution provides sufficient long-term staffing to support all core partnerships and community-based and civic activities. It also provides adequate office space for that staff to do its work.
- Local knowledge and expertise are honored through on-campus celebrations of and for the community. The keepers of local history and knowledge are invited to share their expertise with campus students, faculty, and staff.
- The community is deeply and regularly involved in determining its roles in, and contributions to, community-based learning.
- The community plays a significant role in helping shape institutional involvement in the community.
- The community is well represented on all relevant institution al committees.
- The community provides feedback on the development and maintenance of engagement programs and community-based work and is involved in all relevant strategic planning.
- The institution allocates resources to compensate community partners for their participation in service-learning courses and other forms of teaching and research.
- The institution helps the community create a richer learning environment for students working with it and assists it in accessing human, technical, and intellectual resources on campus.
- The institution makes resources available for community-building efforts in local neighborhoods.
- Campus mechanisms have been designed and developed to serve both the campus and the local community (e.g. shared-use buildings).
- The institution has developed purchasing and hiring policies that intentionally favor local residents and businesses
- The institution effectively coordinates community-based activities across academic, co-curricular, and non-academic programs.
- The institution helps community partners understand, access, and navigate all of its community-based activities (practica, service-learning and other community-based courses, volunteers, etc.).
- The institution plays a visible and effective role in facilitating dialogue around important public issues.
- The institution helps to bring together stakeholders from all sectors of the community.
- Students participate on major institutional committees, including those that make personnel decisions.
- The institution provides a venue for students to discuss and act upon issues important to them and their communities.
- The institution recruits and trains student leaders to work with faculty and community partners.
- Students are formally introduced to the concepts and skills necessary for community-based work early in their academic careers.
- The institution recognizes student-initiated advocacy campaigns as legitimate forms of civic engagement.
|This project is funded through the Corporation for National and Community Service, Learn and Serve America — Higher Education.|
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