Partnership is a strong concept and the foundation for community engagement. At Western Carolina University (WCU) it is considered the highest level of engagement, reciprocation, and collaboration that is possible between two or more entities. This Civic Action Plan (CAP) seeks to articulate and frame the alignment and partnership that exists between WCU as a community-engaged regional comprehensive university and Campus Compact as a leader for advancing and supporting the public purpose of higher education institutions. Moreover, the CAP is aligned with WCU’s current mission, vision, and strategic plan and seeks to stretch our imagination and our pursuit of deeper, intentional, and more mutually beneficial partnerships across and beyond campus. The CAP is also designed to stretch and advance our conceptualization and application of community-engaged practices in and out of the classroom and on and off campus where the real-world work, learn, and impact lives. The CAP principles:
- We empower our campus to create mutually respectful partnerships for a just and sustainable future for our communities.
- We prepare our students for engaged citizenship to deliberate and lead for public good.
- We embrace our responsibility to contribute to the health/strength of our communities.
- We harness institutional capacity to challenge prevailing inequalities in our democracy.
- We foster an environment affirmative of the public purposes of higher education.
From October 2016 – May 2017, our team included representatives from the student body, community, faculty, and administrative staff:
- Ms. Kelsey Woodford, Higher Education Student Affairs (HESA) Masters student, Graduate Student Association (GSA) President
- Mr. Kevin Trudell, HESA Masters student
- Mrs. Rebecca Mathis, Director of Community Engagement, Blue Ridge Health and WCU alumna
- Dr. Patricia Bricker, Associate Professor, Teaching and Learning
- Dr. Beth Wall-Bassett, Associate Professor, Nutrition and Dietetics
- Dr. Ricardo Nazario-Colon, Chief Diversity Officer
- Dr. John Carzoli, Assistant Professor, Physical Therapy
- Dr. Amy Murphy-Nugen, Assistant Professor, Social Work
- Dr. Lane Perry, Director, Center for Service Learning (CSL)
The CAP is organized as follows:
- PLAN RATIONALE: CAP PRINCIPLES MATTER NOW.
- INSTITUTIONAL BASELINE: INFRASTRUCTURE, ALIGNMENT, AND STRETCHING OURSELVES.
- TIMELINE AND ACCOUNTABILITY: WHEN, WHO, AND HOW?
- OUTCOMES ARTICULATED THROUGH STRATEGIC AREAS.