Executive Summary In October 2016, Keene State College’s President Huot charged a Civic Action Plan (CAP) Workgroup to prepare the Campus Compact CAP. The group considered a number of models including the National Survey of Student Engagement, the National Study of Learning Voting and Engagement, and the President’s Community Service Honor Roll.  In addition, it reviewed campus climate reports, and student and alumni surveys, and conducted interviews with a variety of campus stakeholders. Based upon this background research, the CAP Workgroup applied the Active Citizen Continuum, initially used to assess student progress in civic engagement, to civic action programs, initiatives and the institution.  Potential CAP actions were evaluated using themes that encourage or require a change in campus culture, involvement with the community, a commitment of resources, or further study and planning in order to live up to our institutional commitment to civic engagement and coordinated civic action at Keene State College.  Presented below is the outcome of the Workgroup’s efforts. Specifically, KSC’s CAP recommends establishing and staffing a Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) on campus. Once in place the CCE would serve as a clearinghouse for civic engagement best practices, coordinate and facilitate the efforts of students, faculty, and staff to address the needs of the larger community, and would function as the point of contact for community members interested in partnering with the College.

Assess Current Status, Identify Baseline Data on Civic Engagement

Establish CAP implementation work group. Survey campus and community on definitions related to CE. Move forward with adoption of CAP definitions. Evaluate barriers to civic engagement:

  • Survey campus and community benefits of, and barriers to civic engagement.
  • Oversee an external review of civic engagement.

Review collected and existing data related to student civic engagement - NSSE, annual reports, service hours, course designation.

Development, Proposal, and Approval: Mission, Goals, and Structure of Center

Explore potential models, structure, and financial considerations. Consider Civic Engagement stand alone, or part of College Wide Learning Outcomes Center. Generate mission and goals of Center Review related staff PDQ’s and develop PDQ for Director. Establish Center budget. Clarify role of Community Partner Advisory Board. Make final recommendations to Cabinet Upon approval, search for and/or appoint Interim Director, provide course release.

Opening, Marketing, Initial Actions of the Center for Civic and Engagement

Opening of Center. Designate Center and Director as the primary contact for ADP, Campus Compact, Carnegie and other civic engagement organizations. Establish standing Civic Engagement Committee (CEC) comprised of faculty, staff, and community partners to support CCE. Collaborate with ISPC to create sets of civic engagement themed ISP course pathways. Coordinate revision and promotion of service-learning course and/or civic engagement designation. Evaluate the implementation of the civic engagement e-portfolio, coordinate an expanded pilot study. Invest in a functional tool to increase civic action communication, collaboration, tracking, and assessment. Propose means of addressing barriers to ethical engagement including risk management, transportation, and student readiness. Create a strategic marketing strategy to regularly promote civic engagement. Coordinate a revision of KSC policies, procedures and practices using a civic engagement/justice lens.

Moving Beyond Institutional Borders

Evaluate feasibility of establishing a shared multi-use space with room for meetings/trainings and connection making available to anyone in the community. Identify and promote extramural grant funding opportunities related to civic engagement. Support faculty/staff seeking grant funding for civic engagement activities. Create a clear path for community members to more effectively partner with Keene State College for example comprehensive web-based instruction, streamlined affiliation agreements, etc.