A Community Engagement task force, consisting of faculty and staff from the entire university, has been working over the past year to figure out ways that UMW can enhance our already strong connection between our courses and the community. This has been partially motivated by a SCHEV directive to evaluate civic engagement but also motivated by our desire to highlight the excellent work we already do in this area and to enhance that work.
What distinguishes Community Engagement from other courses or types of service? [to be added]
Community Engagement Committee members:
- Miriam Liss, chair
- John Broome, Education
- Kimberly Gower, Management
- Betsy Lewis, Spanish
- Leslie Martin, Sociology
- George Meadows, Education
- Andrea Smith, Historic Preservation
- Kelli Slunt, Chemistry
- Noura Allen, Residence Life
- Christina Eggenberger, Director of Service
- Janel Donohue, Rappahannock United Way
- Nina Mikhalevsky, Provost
- Rose Maddox and Tim O’Donnell, Academic Engagement and Student Success
- Debra Schleef, Institutional Analysis
- Melissa Yakabouski, Admissions
At the last UFC meeting, a motion from the General Education committee was passed that allowed for the approval of courses to be designated as Community Engagement (CE). These are courses that require a minimum of 15 hours of work within the community (including both for profit and not for profit community agencies or the government). These courses also require some sort of reflection.
Several UMW courses now have a Community Engagement Designation
- IDIS 350W International Perspectives on Community Engagement through Sports
- PSYC 350 Psychology of Women
- SOCG 475 Public Sociology
- (check back – more will be added soon!)
Community Engagement Learning Outcomes
- Courses must include an out-of-class experience that involves at least 15 hours of work.
All CE designated courses must meet the following four outcomes:
- Diversity of Communities/Cultures: Demonstrates evidence of adjustment in own attitudes and beliefs because of working within and learning from diversity of communities and cultures. Promotes others’ engagement with diversity.
- Analysis of Knowledge: Connects and extends knowledge (facts, theories, etc.) from one’s own academic study/ field/ discipline to community engagement and to one’s own participation in community life, politics, and government.
- Identity/Commitment: Provides evidence of experience in community-engagement activities and describes what she/he has learned about her or himself as it relates to a reinforced and clarified sense of one’s identity and continued commitment to public action.
- Action and Reflection: Demonstrates independent experience, accompanied by reflective insights or analysis about the aims and accomplishments of one’s actions.
In addition, CE courses may also seek to incorporate the following additional outcomes:
- Communication: Tailors communication strategies to effectively express, listen, and adapt to others to establish relationships to further community action
- Contexts/Structures: Demonstrates ability and commitment to collaboratively work across and within community contexts and structures to achieve a community aim.
- Academic impact: Uses community engagement experience to inform one’s academic study/field/discipline.
Click to submit a course for the CE designation.
Resources for Developing a Community Engagement Course [to be added]
Are you a community organization requesting help? Use this form. [to be added]
Are you a UMW Professor seeking a project? Use this form. [to be added]