In March 2016, President Carol Quillen signed the Campus Compact 30th Anniversary statement affirming its principles and making a commitment to articulating a civic action plan grounded in those principles.   Davidson College’s civic action plan aims to elevate and unify existing efforts with the vision of creating an ethos of civic action.  Given our existing engagement infrastructure and the reality that Davidson had a significant number of current strategic initiatives and efforts already in progress at the time of signing the Campus Compact 30th Anniversary statement, we chose to capitalize on the opportunity to unify existing civic action efforts.  This strategy harnesses the expertise of our faculty, staff, students and community members and matches our desired outcomes of creating a campus wide ethos for civic action.  The goals and actions of Davidson’s plan are as follows:  

Goal 1:  Prepare students and recent graduates to successfully transition into the world with the knowledge, skills and abilities to make a positive impact on their communities.  

  • Develop a collaborative leadership development program that highlights what makes Davidson distinctive and focuses on what society needs in leaders today.   
  • Launch a collaborative initiative challenging all students to have at least one high impact experience prior to graduation.
  • Develop and publicize curricular pathways for students to explore civic action and change themes as a complement to their major.

Goal 2:  Provide postgraduate Fellowship opportunities for recent Davidson graduates to work in partnership with organizations that address critical social issues and empower fellows to create and implement solutions to some of the most urgent problems our society now confronts.

  • By 2020, develop sustained model for Davidson Impact Fellows program that provides recent graduates the opportunity to engage in socially impactful work after graduation, working in nonprofit agencies or in social impact / community roles with direct management and mentorship from high-level leaders, at local, national and global organizations.
  • Develop a sustained model for Davidson College Advising Corps that places recent college graduates in rural western North Carolina high schools to increase the number of low-income, first generation, and underrepresented students who enter and complete higher education.

Goal 3:  Deepen support for community-based learning faculty by providing resources, support, and recognition for engaged scholarship.

  • Facilitate partnerships and provide support for community based engagement connected to current curricular granting resources including those from the BACCA Foundation, Mellon Foundation, and the Duke Endowment.
  • Expand the ways in which faculty can utilize curriculum development grants in the Center for Civic Engagement.
  • Include community-based learning and grants related to community-based efforts in Faculty 180 – the activity and workload tracker for faculty.
  • In addition to program level assessment support, facilitate sustained institutional assessment surrounding civic action.

Goal 4:  Strengthen our leadership as an anchor institution and cultivate partnerships for community engagement and change.  

  • Following 2017 pilot, host annual community innovation institute and collaborative community meetings with community partners, students and faculty that facilitates collaborative and reciprocal project development.

Goal 5:  Offer cross-divisional, collaborative programming and initiatives that (1) model values of democratic engagement, (2) involve faculty, staff, students, alumni and community members (3) demonstrate the range of ways to be “engaged” in the community and (4) model personal and social responsibility as a lifelong value.

  • Launch “Intersections” - a collaborative, interdisciplinary series organized through the Center for Civic Engagement that (1) Fosters civic, intercultural and ethical learning, (2) Emphasizes personal and social responsibility in every field of study and component of one’s life, (3) Expands understanding of what it means to be civically engaged and (4) Bolsters the focus of community based learning and immersive civic engagement work happening with faculty and student leaders.
  • Develop sustained partnership model for the alumni service initiative including sustained partnership with on campus civic engagement efforts.