Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Introduction to Civic Engagement - Did you know?

Did you know that?

In our CEL A292 Introduction to Civic Engagement class last fall, students said that they had made above average growth or a great deal of growth in these critical thinking skills and understanding society and culture on a scale for an end of semester survey:
  • Analyzing other people’s ideas and proposed solutions. 100% 
  • Contributing to a team to solve problems.86%  
  • Systematically reviewing their own ideas about how to approach an issue.86%  
  • Creatively thinking about new ideas or ways to improve things.86%
  • Discussing complex problems with co-workers to develop a better solution. 86%  
  • Seeing the relationships between local, national, and global issues. 86%   
  • Communicating effectively with people who see things differently than I do. 86%  
In the same course, students agreed or strongly agreed with the following statements asking about their engagement with community issues: 
  • Helped me to know about opportunities to become involved in the community.100%
  • Integrating service into a college course is a very good idea. 100%
  • It is very important to me to help other people during my lifetime. 100%
  • Gave me knowledge and skills to address community issues. 100%
  • The nature of this class helped motivate me to be the best student I can be.100%
  • I will be able to apply learning from this class to solve real problems in society. 100%
  • Provided me with skills/knowledge that I can use in my career. 100%
  • I participated in class discussion more frequently than other classes. 86%
  • Had a positive impact on my plans to complete my college degree 86%
  • Would highly recommend that other students take the class. 86%
  • Caused me to feel more concerned about social problems. 86%
  • Appreciate how my community is enriched by cultural/ethnic diversity. 86%
  • Better able to discuss controversial issues with civility and respect. 86%
  • Activities provided opportunity to explore and clarify values 100%
At the end of the fall semester, one student shared with me: 
I’ve never been asked to think about who I am going to be as a member of my community. I’ve thought about who I was going to be as a teacher, but I’m graduating now, and I’ve never thought before now about who will I be for my community!

I’m proud of our students, many of whom are freshmen or sophomores and who take on completing 20 hours over 10 weeks of the semester in one of a group of community agencies that we have agreements with. And I’m proud of our Civic Engagement curriculum, which pushes students to grow in their personal, academic, and civic roles and development of a civic identity. 
Our fall classes are open now with three sections of CEL A292, one of which is online (the online class participates in activities of advocacy and marketing with social media for organizations, rather than direct service). In addition, CEL A392 offers an experience in learning about philanthropy and reviewing actual grant applications to award $10,000 to four organizations ($2,500 each) at the end of the semester, and CEL A395 is a Civic Engagement Internship with a community organization. For more information, contact Judith Owens-Manley at 786-4087 or jowensmanley@alaska.edu or visit the CCEL website at www.uaa.alaska.edu/ccel