Civic Engagement Institute 2013 


2013 CEI homepage

10:10-11:10 Workshop one: Campus strategies to develop civically-engaged graduates

1. Assessment of student learning in community engagement

Peter Levine, Tufts University, CIRCLE
In this interactive session, participants will be invited to share what they are doing with assessment or their general thoughts about assessing students involved in community work. Moderated by CIRCLE director Peter Levine, the session will focus on refining and developing our thinking about assessment, learning from each other.

2. Democratic engagement beyond the election year: UNCG seeks a pervasive strategy of civic learning

Cathy Hamilton, Spoma Jovanovic, Kristin Moretto and Chris Poulos, The University of North Carolina Greensboro
How best do our campuses foster students as engaged citizens? What are the ways that we mobilize higher education to increase student involvement in public life, nurture democratic practices, and make civic engagement central to student learning?  As part of two national initiatives – AASCU’s American Democracy Project and NASPA’s Civic Literacy and Democratic Engagement program – UNCG has attempted to craft a response to the question, “What would a civic minded campus look like?” This session will share ideas, processes and resources for fostering campus-wide civic ethos, civic literacy, civic inquiry, and civic action.

3. Democracy USA: Engaging Students in class, across the country and around the globe

Joseph Blosser, Carol Davis, Greg Sensale, and Ben Turner, High Point University
During fall 2012, High Point University students, faculty, and staff engaged in an interdisciplinary, experiential learning project that involved over 10 courses.  The project included more than 30 students attending the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, election-related co-curricular events, a reality TV show, and a large-scale research project. Workshop participants will learn the methodology behind the project, the perspectives of two students involved, and some of the products of the project.

4. Engaging Students in Non-election Years

Theresa Cusimano and Jonathan Romm, Campus Election Engagement Project (CEEP)
Keep your campus’ focus on student political engagement beyond the election by learning about best practices from some of  model campus programs who participated in the 2012 Campus Election Engagement Project, funded by civic author, Paul Loeb (Soul of A Citizen and The Impossible Will Take A Little While).  Take a look at the reality of the data recently gathered by C.I.R.C.L.E. and the lessons we need to take away from the highest rate of youth voter engagement in U.S. history.

5. Surviving Diversity: Religion and the pluralistic campus

Jeff Spinner-Halev, The University of North Carolina Chapel Hill
In an increasingly secular society, how can religious students, particularly evangelicals and others who follow traditional religions, feel comfortable on campus? The ideas of toleration and multiculturalism are often promoted on campus, but do these ideas extend to religious conservatives as well?  In this workshop, we will discuss what can be done to ensure religious conservatives are valued, integrated members of the campus community.  How do we create campuses – and communities – in which all citizens survive and thrive?

6. The Poverty Tour: A joint project between Higher Education and Community Organizations

Jarvis Hall, North Carolina Central University
In January 2012, the North Carolina Truth and Hope Poverty Tour was launched to give visibility and voice to the poor and marginalized by elevating the issue of poverty in the state.  The tour covered over 2,000 miles as it visited nearly 30 communities.  This workshop will explore how the tour became a major collaborative project between North Carolina’s NAACP, AARP and Justice Center; the Center for Poverty Work, and Opportunity at UNC Chapel Hill; and NC Central’s Institute for Civic Engagement and Social Change.  After reviewing the latest data about poverty in NC, participants will view a mini-documentary about the tour, hear reflections from NCCU students, and explore next steps and institutionalizing the tour in higher education community engagement work.

7. Periclean Scholars: Exemplary global citizens

Thomas Arcaro, Elon University
Elon University’s Periclean Scholars program, now in is second decade, is academically rigorous and integrated, cohort-based, multi-year, multidisciplinary, service/partnership focused, and student centered.  Come learn about this unique program and hear from current and alumni Scholars. The discussion will include program origin and structure, Class initiatives, short and long term impact on students, assessment data, and how the program nurtures exemplary global citizens. Participants will also learn how this program is being replicated by the Universidad de Monterrey (Mexico) and issues that need to be addressed.

8. Don't Count Us Out: How an overreliance on accountability could undermine the Public's confidence in government and higher education

Jean Johnson, Public Agenda, NIFI Board
Learn about two Kettering research projects -- Don't Count Us Out, as well as the brand new report, Will It Be on the Test: A Closer Look at How Leaders and Parents Think about Accountability in the Public Schools. While many leaders believe that transparency and data help build public trust, the typical American is deeply skeptical about the accuracy and importance of quantitative measures, believing that ethics and responsiveness matter as much as or more than rules and benchmarks. Many also argue that accountability is not the job of leaders alone, but also of  the public, and that our institutions will not work well until leaders, individual employees, consumers and voters all behave more responsibly and with more concern about what their actions and decisions mean for others.

What can leaders do to address this possibly corrosive accountability gap and avoid harmful crosstalk? Come consider answers for K-12 and higher education, and government.

11:20-12:20 Workshop two: Campus strategies to build community

1. The Faces of Welfare

Thomas Mould, with students Jamie Albright, Greg Honan, Gloria So, Laura Lee Sturm, Elon University
The Faces of Welfare project developed through Elon University’s Program for Ethnographic Research and Community Studies (PERCS) is helping students develop an understanding of the varied opinions, views and lived experiences of people both intimately involved in the welfare system, such as aid recipients and providers, and those involved less directly, from politicians to consumers of U.S. media. The class is tied to a larger, on-going project whose goals include giving voice to underrepresented groups involved in public assistance programs and ensuring the general public receives accessible data that can be used to develop media literacy in political discourse about public assistance. The workshop will focus on the structure of this class and project as a model for collaborative work between faculty, students and community members that bridges traditional classroom pedagogies, undergraduate research and service learning. Workshop participants will engage in discussions about how they might integrate similar work into their curriculum.

2. Building a Diverse and Inclusive Community

Barbee Myers Oakes and Shayla Herndon-Edmunds, Wake Forest University
Transforming institutional culture in order to build a more diverse and inclusive community is a complex task that demands shifting the driving assumptions of underlying policies, programs, and structures. This workshop will outline the Wake Forest University Office of Diversity & Inclusion’s strategy for positioning diversity and inclusion as central to facilitating the university’s mission.  This multifaceted strategy includes the development and implementation of a cultural competence education model designed to enable participants to embrace the complexities, intersections, and benefits of living, studying and working in an increasingly diverse society. 

This workshop will establish the case for diversity within institutions of higher education, identify essential elements in the development and implementation of a campus diversity plan, share the Wake Forest model of cultural competence education, and propose what success looks like.

3. The importance of “Sense of Place” in rural community partnerships

Beth Velde, Kate LaMere, Alex White, Dennis McCunney, Rebecca Dumlao, Paige Schneider and Carol Kline, East Carolina University
According to Charles Wilkinson, "our species thrives on the subtle, intangible, but soul-deep mix of landscape, smells, sounds, history, neighbors and friends that constitute a place. An ethic of place respects equally the people of a region and the land, animals, vegetation, water and air." In rural areas community engagement requires university faculty and students who recognize the importance of place in our communities and who appreciate the interplay between place, community members and community issue. This workshop will focus on ECU's efforts to use the concept of "sense of place" to collaborate with rural communities by learning about the places in which they reside. At the end of the workshop participants will be able to define the concepts of sense of place and ethic of place through a lens of community engagement; understand the uniqueness of doing engaged research in rural environments; analyze the skills needed to do engagement within an ethic of place; and consider how this integrated approach creates sustainable and socially responsible community/campus partnerships.

4. National Issues Forum: Promoting public deliberation in America

Bill Muse, National Issues Forum Institute; Jean Johnson, Public Agenda; and Katy Harriger, Wake Forest University
Participants will discuss the work of the Kettering Foundation and the National Issues Forums Institute in introducing students and citizens to the process of public deliberation.

5. Reading the community: Helping students learn the process (Part 1)

Judith Ramaley, Portland State University
A successful college or university in the 21st century will focus on a mix of interdisciplinary expertise, work closely with other organizations at a local, regional, national and global level, introduce effective instructional approaches that engage students in the study of the Big Questions that will shape our future and ensure that their students learn how to use their education in productive and responsible ways in a world that will continue to change dramatically. This session will provide a model for helping students learn how to get to know a particular community or neighborhood and select a way to become involved in that community while exploring the more complex and intellectually challenging aspects of learning at the same time.  Participants will experiment with some ways to describe or “read” a community and consider how to adapt these ideas to their own institution and context.

6. Civic engagement in the fourth dimension: The real time of real lives

Julie Ellison, Citizen Alum, University of Michigan
Now that those civically-engaged students have graduated, how do you relate to the citizen alums they have become? Citizen Alum, a multi-institutional initiative, counters the image of alumni as primarily "donors" with a vision of them also as "doers," active participants with colleges and universities in problem solving across lines of difference. Citizen Alum aims to build richer multigenerational communities of active citizenship and active learning. The 21 colleges and universities with Citizen Alum Campus Teams are working to build substantive relationships with alumni who identify as active citizens, offering an alternative to committed alumni who recoil from the role of 'ATM' or who are graduating with a heavy burden of educational debt.  After a brief orientation to Citizen Alum, this interactive workshop will ask participants, “Where are your citizen alums?” and “Who is on your campus team?”

7. Healing the Heart of Democracy

John Fenner, Center for Courage & Renewal
Parker J. Palmer’s latest book Healing the Heart of Democracy lifts up five habits of the heart that are necessary for healthy communities: an understanding that we are all in this together; an appreciation for the value of “otherness; an ability to hold tension in life-giving ways; a sense of personal voice and agency, and a capacity to create community.  Come explore these habits and how they inform what can be done to help young people learn to hold conflicting viewpoints in a way that opens them to larger understandings of the world; to help adults deal with human diversity, including radical “otherness,” in trusting and trustworthy ways; and to preserve and expand the settings of public life where people with dissimilar backgrounds and viewpoints can meet, become comfortable in each other’s presence, and be reminded that we are all in this together.

1:15-2:45 Deliberation on Shaping Our Future

Katy Harriger and Jill McMillan, Wake Forest University, and Bill Muse, National Issues Forum Institute
In this session we will engage in the process of deliberative dialog while discussing the role of higher education in shaping the future of the United States.  We will be learning at two levels – thinking through the substantive issues surrounding the future of higher education while simultaneously learning how to deliberate about public issues.  Participants will talk in small moderated groups about the choices facing higher education, using the NIFI issue guide “Shaping Our Future” as the common text for discussion.

3:00-3:50       Workshop three: Tools to help remove barriers

1. Managing deliberative dialogues

Katy Harriger and Jill McMillan, Wake Forest University, and Bill Muse, National Issues Forum
Would you like to bring deliberative dialog to your campus?  What is involved in planning for and carrying out a dialog?  What kind of issues work best for campus conversations?  How can you involve a wide spectrum of the campus in this effort?  These questions and others that you may have will be addressed by experienced faculty and administrators.

2. Gatekeeper Training

Barbee Myers Oakes and Shayla Herndon-Edmunds, Wake Forest University
The Wake Forest Office of Diversity & Inclusion developed and implemented a cultural competence education model designed to enable participants to embrace the complexities, intersections, and benefits of living, studying and working in an increasingly diverse society.  The signature program, GateKeepers Workshop Series, includes the topics Enhancing Our Community through Inclusion, Cross-Cultural Conflict & Dialogue and Contact Theory & Dialogue.  Attend this workshop if you are interested in experiencing a cultural competence education workshop for your own development and/or to assess the feasibility of providing diversity education or cross-cultural communication training for faculty, staff and/or students.  Participate in activities designed to broaden one’s view of diversity, explore perception and how it is formed, and learn techniques for effectiveness in cross-cultural interactions.

3. Reading the community: Helping students learn the process (Part 2)
Judith Ramaley, Ph.D., Professor of Public Service at Portland State University
(see description for Part 1 above)

4. Civic engagement and community information: Five strategies to revive civic communication

Peter Levine, Tufts University, CIRCLE
The Knight Commission on the Information Needs of Communities in a Democracy issued a report in 2009 arguing that the traditional news media can no longer inform people adequately. Colleges and universities can be part of the solution if they communicate in new ways, not relying on journalists to translate their research for the public. This new communication requires changes in institutions’ policies and priorities as well as new skills for students and professors. After a very brief background presentation, this session will turn to brainstorming and strategy. Participants are invited to review this report in advance:

5. Making Space:  ‘Being’ Rather than ‘Doing’ in Community Engagement

Kathleen E. Edwards, Ph.D. student, Cultural Foundations, UNC Greensboro and Tiffany Dumas, Volunteer Coordinator                                
Initially connected to reconciliation efforts between First Nations and the Canadian government, making space is the act of “listening, learning, and doing things differently” (Regan, as cited in Steinman, 2011, p. 12) so that it creates new forms of engagement that could not otherwise be imagined. Eric Steinman offers making space as a practice through which to develop more authentic service-learning relationships by moving away from service-learning as what we do and moving toward how we are in relation to each other. Inspired by this idea of making space, the two session facilitators—a volunteer coordinator at a daytime center for people experiencing homelessness and a university instructor—committed to implementing a service-learning class in Fall 2012 that prioritized “participatory listening” (Steinman, 2011), border crossing (Anzaldúa, 2012), and community building over a project-based course construction. In this session explore some of the successes and challenges experienced as they tried to operationalize a commitment to making space within the various relationships.

6. The Power of Inquiry

John Fenner, Center for Courage & Renewal
Good questions create doorways into new levels of understanding; they are invitations to travel where one has not been before and see things with new eyes.  Too often true dialogue is thwarted by questions aimed at proving the other wrong, by turning dialogue into debate.  In this interactive session participants will learn how to craft “open and honest” questions that can deepen understanding and expand the dialogue.  We will also explore the process of Appreciative Inquiry – the use of questions to discover the strengths and best qualities of an organization or community.  These strengths can then serve as the foundation of any change process.

7. I'm Just Sayin': Getting Involved in  Community Issues

Carol Davis, Sarah Martin, and Ben Turner, High Point University
Based on their two-year project, Democracy USA/American Dream Project, at High Point University, presenters will share unique and meaningful strategies your campus can use to encourage students to volunteer to go into the community.  Not only will they learn citizenship skills, they will have a life-changing experience!