What is Civic Engagement?
Civic engagement can take on several different meanings. The following is a formal definition we at the Center for Civic Engagement think defines the term very clearly:
"Individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern."*
About the Center for Civic Engagement
Established in 2004, the Center for Civic Engagement at Ivy Tech - Bloomington is the campus hub focused on activities surrounding individual volunteerism, service learning in the classroom & community and community involvement by students, faculty and staff, as well as utilizing College resources to benefit the south central indiana community by hosting events such as the O'Bannon Institute for Community Service, held each spring. The Center for Civic Engagement is often described as a three-legged stool:
Volunteerism is a decision made by an individual to give time and effort to a non-profit, civic or faith-based group, or to any organization that provides a community service.
Service-learning is an active learning experience formally incorporated in the curriculum of each academic program. It combines community service with preparation and reflection, and it emphasizes an understanding of civic responsibility.
Community Involvement is active participation in the public life of our service area in a planned, informed, committed and constructive manner where participation supports the common good of the community and the institutional mission of Ivy Tech Community College.
The Center is staffed by a Director and is led by a committee of faculty and staff from the Bloomington campus. In addition, dozens of students, faculty and staff are involved in forwarding the Center's mission through work on campus task force committees focusing on grant development, award recognition, technology, building relationships with area high schools, scholarly publications, alternative spring break opportunities, civic forums and non-profit assistance.
Goals of the Center for Civic Engagement
Goal One: Support the development of service learning.
Goal Two: Encourage faculty, staff, and student participation in volunteerism.
Goal Three: Use the institutional resources of Ivy Tech to promote civic engagement.
Goal Four: Promote civic engagement successes for community awareness and resource development.
Goal Five: Foster knowledge and understanding of civic engagement amongst our campus community and share our knowledge and experiences with other academic entities.
*Source: American Psychological Association: http://www.apa.org/ed/slce/civicengagement.html#definition
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