Student Engagement
Indicators of Engagement


Mission and Purpose
The institution's mission statement explicitly articulates its commitment to the public purposes of higher education and is deliberate about educating students for lifelong participation in their communities.

This aspect of the mission is openly valued and is explicitly used to promote and to explain the civic engagement and community-building activities on and off campus.

The institution demonstrates a genuine willingness to review, discuss, and strengthen its commitment to civic engagement and community building.

All members of the campus community demonstrate their familiarity with and ownership of the institution's mission.

Academic and Administrative Leadership
The president (chancellor), the chief academic officer, and the trustees visibly support the campus's civic engagement and community-building efforts, in both their words and their actions.

The president (chancellor) and the institution's academic leaders have played a visible and committed role in helping the institution sustain and expand its community-building efforts and evolve into a genuinely engaged institution.

The campus is publicly regarded as an important and reliable partner in local community development efforts.

High-level administrators include community-based learning, including service learning, in their strategic plans for enhanced academic learning.

Disciplines, Departments, and Interdisciplinary Work
Community-based learning opportunities can be found across the entire curriculum. It is as much the concern of the arts and humanities, the natural sciences, technical disciplines, pre-professional studies, and interdisciplinary programs as it is of the social sciences.

Students have multiple opportunities to do community-based work in their disciplinary and general education curricula.

Formal opportunities exist for capstone experiences (including group reflection meetings, forums, and variable credit courses) focused on community-based problems or issues in most disciplines.

Academic units (i.e., departments and programs), rather than individual faculty members, have assumed ownership of partnering activities.

Course-based community initiatives are structured and/or coordinated across disciplines.

Teaching and Learning
The institution recognizes that course content can be delivered in many ways and allows faculty sufficient freedom to utilize community-based strategies.

Multiple cultural and historical perspectives on the meanings of community-based work are integrated throughout the students' curricular and co-curricular experiences.

Community-based work provides an opportunity for students to generate knowledge, develop critical-thinking skills, and grapple with the ambiguity of social problems.

Community knowledge and community expertise are valued as essential to the education of students for meaningful participation in their communities and are incorporated in various ways throughout the curriculum.

Experiential learning is valued by both faculty and administrators as an academically credible method of creating meaning and understanding.

Students are formally introduced to the concepts and skills necessary for civic engagement and community-based work early in their academic careers.

Faculty Development
The institution regularly provides faculty with campus-based opportunities to become familiar with teaching methods and practices related to service learning and community-based education.

Mechanisms have been developed to help faculty support each other in learning to design and implement service learning and other community-based courses.

To enhance their ability to offer quality community-based or service-learning courses, faculty have access to curriculum development grants, reductions in teaching loads, and/or travel grants to attend relevant regional and national conferences.

Faculty Roles and Rewards
The institution's tenure, promotion, and/or retention guidelines reward a range of scholarly activities such as those proposed by Ernest Boyer (1990), including community-based teaching and scholarship.

Faculty data forms, annual reports, and mandatory evaluations all include sections related to civic engagement, community-based teaching and research, professional service, and/or other forms of academically based public work.

The institution explicitly encourages academic departments to include community-based interests and experience as criteria in their faculty recruiting efforts.

Support Structures and Resources
Faculty and students are kept well informed of the resources available to support community-based work. These resources are effectively included in all faculty and student orientation programs.

The institution has developed a full range of forms and procedures that allow it to organize and document community-based work.

The institution recognizes the unpredictable nature of work in the community and attempts to provide flexible scheduling options for faculty and students.

The institution maintains a centralized office or center that is clearly aligned with academic affairs and is committed to community-based teaching and learning.

Internal Budget & Resource Allocations
Adequate funding is provided to support, enhance, and deepen involvement by faculty, students, and staff in community-based work.

The institution regularly draws upon already existing resources to strengthen community-based and civic engagement activities. Such activities are seen as priorities in the allocation of those resources.

The institution provides sufficient long-term staffing to support all core partnerships and community-based and civic activities. It also provides adequate office space for that staff to do its work.

Community Voice
Local knowledge and expertise are honored through on-campus celebrations of and for the community. The keepers of local history and knowledge are invited to share their expertise with campus students, faculty, and staff.

The community is deeply and regularly involved in determining its roles in, and contributions to, community-based learning.

The community plays a significant role in helping to shape institutional involvement in the community.

The community is well represented on all relevant institutional committees.

The community provides feedback on the development and maintenance of engagement programs and community-based work and is involved in all relevant strategic planning.

The institution allocates resources to compensate community partners for their participation in service-learning courses and other forms of teaching and research.

External Resource Allocations
The institution helps the community create a richer learning environment for students working with it and assists it in accessing human, technical, and intellectual resources on campus.

The institution makes resources available for community-building efforts in local neighborhoods.

Campus mechanisms have been designed and developed to serve both the campus and the local community (e.g., shared-use buildings).

The institution has developed purchasing and hiring policies that intentionally favor local residents and businesses.

Coordination of Community-Based Activities
The institution effectively coordinates community-based activities across academic, co-curricular, and non-academic programs.

The institution helps community partners understand, access, and navigate all of its community-based activities (service learning, practicum, and other community-based courses).

Forums for Fostering Public Dialogue
The institution plays a visible and effective role in facilitating dialogue around important public issues.

The institution helps to bring together stakeholders from all sectors of the community.

Student Voice
Students participate on major institutional committees, including those that make personnel decisions.

The institution provides a venue for students to discuss and act upon issues important to them and their communities.

The institution recruits and trains student leaders to work with faculty and community partners.

Students are formally introduced to the concepts and skills necessary for community-based work early in their academic careers.

The institution recognizes student-initiated advocacy campaigns as legitimate forms of civic engagement.

Glenn Bowen , Center for Service Learning , Western Carolina University (slightly adapted) – October 11, 2007

Based on the Campus Compact Indicators of Engagement Project

Original source: Hollander, Saltmarsh, & Zlotkowski, “Indicators of Engagement.” In Simon, Kenny, Brabeck, & Lerner (Eds.), Learning to Serve: Promoting Civil Society through Service-Learning . Norwell , MA : Kluwer Academic Publishers, 2002.




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