For over 30 years, SUNY Cortland has been “living” its mission of helping students “grow as engaged citizens with a strong social conscience fostered by outstanding teaching, scholarship, and service” through its wealth of community partnerships. However, our Civic Action Plan planning process showed us that the college is probably letting academic, social, and financial opportunities “slip-by” because it does not have a strategy for maximizing the potential of its considerable civic engagement resources. We will address this concern by creating an advisory panel that represents academic, social, and economic perspectives.
The panel will help the Institute for Civic Engagement identify civic engagement projects that meet our four priorities: academic excellence, transformational education, well-being, and maximizing resources (including economic resources). Panel members will be our Risk Management Officer, a faculty economic expert, an assessment specialist, a student, and a local nonprofit agency supervisor.
Action Steps to be taken by the Institute for Civic Engagement –
- By August 31, 2017, form the Advisory Panel.
- By September 29, 2017, begin partnering with select faculty, students, and community members, as well as with at least two of the offices below, to develop civic engagement opportunities that meet our four priorities:
- Career Services
- Economics Department
- Institutional Advancement
- Institutional Planning and Assessment Committee
- Institutional Research and Analysis
- Sponsored Programs
- Student Affairs
- Student Government Association
- By May 31, 2018, begin recording progress:
- Track direct and indirect financial benefits to the college.
- Use Task Stream to track civic engagement numbers (e.g., number of students).
- Service-learning students record reflections electronically, to note evidence of learning.
- Continue interviewing community partners to collect additional information.
- Generate additional data from our National Study of Student Engagement (NSSE) and National Study of Learning, Voting and Engagement (NSLVE) reports.
- By May 31, 2019, identify at least three ways in which our civic engagement projects help SUNY Cortland meet its four priorities.
- Use data to assess and refine civic engagement pedagogies annually.
- Host two events per semester to share lessons from, and benefits of, civic engagement projects. The person responsible is the director of the Institute for Civic Engagement.