Sent on behalf of Dr. Amy Magnus, Director of Civic Engagement, and Annie Layon, Civic Engagement Student Assistant
We start the Tuesday Tip today with a student’s voice. Annie Layon, a graduating senior, shares her experience with and desire for more community- and civically-engaged pedagogy at Chico State:
Hi there! I’m Annie Layon and I’m a Women’s Studies and Psychology student at Chico State – I’m excited to be graduating this semester! As an avid environmentalist, feminist, and activist, I’ve always been extremely passionate about environmentalism and sustainability. Yet, I’m leaving Chico State asking myself: How could my courses from all kinds of disciplines have been more intentional about helping me take what I learned in the classroom out into the world? In my 4.5 years at Chico State, civic and community engagement wasn’t a top priority in the course curriculum. However, I would have deeply appreciated the opportunity to actively connect what I learned in my classes to the world around me through community-engaged projects, civically-engaged pedagogy, and intentional opportunities to use my education to support my community. So, I encourage faculty to stay curious, ask questions, and consider incorporating community- and civically-engaged pedagogy into their courses!
The Benefits of Community- and Civically-Engaged Pedagogy
Community- and civically-engaged pedagogy marry the dissemination of academic knowledge, mutually beneficial collaborations between communities and students, and students’ application of their knowledge in a community. Courses that embed community- and civically-engaged learning as a high impact practice (HIP) prioritize both knowledge and action, helping students wield the skills and expertise they are developing to support their communities in helpful ways. At Chico State, we value the use of high impact practices (HIPs) as a key path to student success. Two stellar examples of this work on campus are the Town Hall Meeting and Center for Regenerative Agriculture and Resilient Systems.
HIPs continually demonstrate their positive impact on student retention and motivation, students’ sense of belonging and community, and their inclination toward civic responsibility. Trudeau and Kruse (2014: 25-26) articulate some of the key impacts of these approaches to teaching, highlighting their transformative potential:
“…students who participate in civic engagement are highly motivated and engaged in their learning. For some students, these experiences become formative moments in which they understand with greater clarity what they want to pursue in their working life or the kind of citizen they want to be… another important reason is that the learning which the students experience through civic engagement is personally – and socially – relevant, long-lasting, and sometimes transformative, and is thus more substantive than a lecture-discussion approach to learning.”
Taking the First Step: Support, Resources, and Future Programming
You might be thinking: “…this sounds awesome, but how will I find the time, resources, or capacity to add one more thing to my already-busy schedule?” The Office of Civic Engagement is here to help and support you! Incorporating engaged teaching and learning into your teaching routine is an approach that should be implemented slowly, carefully, thoughtfully, and with special care taken to ensure it is done ethically and in collaboration with communities. The Office of Civic Engagement, in collaboration with Faculty Development, is excited to share that we are in the process of developing new engaged teaching and learning programming that will be available to faculty starting in the 2024-2025 academic year. We will promote these programs and put out a call for applications in the upcoming spring semester, but feel free to reach out now with your ideas or questions!
Want to learn more? Check out these resources:
Alcantar, C. M. (2023). Civic engagement of Latinx students: The role of higher education institutions in serving the public good. Journal of Hispanic Higher Education, 22(3), 255-275.
Trudeau, D., & Kruse, T. P. (2014). Creating significant learning experiences through civic engagement: Practical strategies for community-engaged pedagogy. Journal of Public Scholarship in Higher Education, 4, 12-30.
Visit Collaboratory to see more examples of community-based research, community- and civically-engaged pedagogy, and more!
Please reach out to Amy Magnus in the Office of Civic Engagement (email@example.com)
Our NCFDD recommendation this week is connected to civic work in the classroom: the concept of public scholarship. Writing for public audiences can be challenging after a life of academic orientation. Check out this webinar on the topic. You have to sign up for NCFDD (which you have free access to for this year) and once you do, you will have access to an incredible catalog of useful resources for your classroom and professional development.