Fayetteville State University’s Civic Action Plan is designed to enhance how the institution addresses civic and community needs, structurally and strategically, based on evidence and data collected from the city, counties, and region it serves. Moreover, the intent is to strengthen its engaged programs, projects, and activities ensuring that they are mutually beneficial and impactful for both FSU and its community partners. This Civic Action Plan reflects logical and evolutionary next steps Fayetteville State University can and should take to build upon and strengthen its civic engagement and support of the region. The overarching goals for this plan are: Goal 1: To implement an evidence-based process for identifying community needs, utilizing university resources to address those needs, and assessing impact to promote continuous improvement Goal 2: To Increase collaboration with external partners so as to expand and more accurately determine community needs and develop mutually-beneficial resolutions Goal 3: To develop human and fiscal resources required for leading and implementing this evidence-based process As shown in Figure 1, page 4, the Civic Action Plan has six actions including the annual Regional Community Partners Civic Action Planning Conference, designed to be a bold and important activity to support these goals and for Fayetteville State University to assume a leadership role within the region as follows:
- Identify Evidence-Based Needs of the City of Fayetteville/Cumberland County, the seven contiguous counties of Hoke, Moore, Lee, Harnett, Sampson, Blade, and Robeson, as well as the region referred to as the Sandhills or Southeastern Region of North Carolina: FSU will focus on identifying and assessing regional needs by obtaining evidence-based data and information from city and county governments, public school systems, health and human services organizations, business and industry, etc
- Establish and Lead a Regional Community Partners Civic Action Planning Conference: Fayetteville State University will undertake a bold initiative to annually (or periodically) host a Regional Community Partners Civic Action Planning Conference with the intent to include city, county, and regional governmental agencies and officials; FSU community partners that include external organizations such as educational partners, community and civic non-profits, healthcare, business and industry; and other interested parties. This event will be an outgrowth and significant enhancement of the current Community Partners Appreciation and Awards Luncheon that FSU has hosted for the last two years.
- Structurally Disseminate Evidence-Based Regional Needs to FSU Campus Divisions and Units: The evidentiary information and data collected will be disseminated in a more structural way through a defined process so that the appropriate internal constituencies (see Figure 1, p. 4) receive it and act upon it through adequate planning and implementation of programs and activities.
- Strategically Match Needs to Mutually-Beneficial Engagement Programs Between FSU and External Organizations in the Region: Fayetteville State University will match the identified evidence-based needs of its community (e.g., non-profit and for-profit organizations, governmental agencies, educational partners, and health providers) with the expertise of its faculty and staff, and in alignment with its academic programs, research, and service strengths to effectively determine the strategic direction and priorities appropriate for both parties.
- Assess and Evaluate Outcomes and Impact for Continuous Improvement: Fayetteville State University will assess and evaluate its community engagement programs and activities utilizing the Campus Compact Civic Action Plan Engagement framework and the Holland Matrix Categories for rating outcomes and achievements. In addition, measures and metrics developed by the responsible FSU department or unit and the University of North Carolina system will be used.
- Communicate Outcomes and Obtain Feedback from Community Partners: Fayetteville State University will communicate its plans and outcomes throughout the year as indicated in the table (see page 7).
In Summary The Fayetteville State University Civic Action Plan Enhanced Process represents the first phase of actions the university will undertake to improve upon its efforts to be more effective as a community partner in the region. Being a good citizen is applicable to individuals and organizations alike. Through its mission, vision, core values, policies, and strategic plan, FSU has incorporated service and civic engagement since its founding in 1867 and remains committed to social, cultural, and economic transformation of southeastern North Carolina.