Campus-Community Connections

From the Director's Desk

Dear WiCC Members,

We look forward to seeing many of you on April 18, 2016 in Milwaukee, WI where Todd Barr will be the keynote speaker about revenue generation for higher education civic engagement. We are also thrilled to welcome Waukesha County Executive Paul Farrow as our luncheon keynote speaker! The office has been buzzing with excitement as we prepare all the last-minute details. A special thank-you goes to Syed Ahmed, Sharon Neu-Young, and Micala Queary from the Medical College of Wisconsin for helping us take care of many logistics for the event!

WiCC is also pleased to announce that we have hired a new Associate Outreach Specialist: Donna Troestler. Donna joins us from UW-Madison's Biochemistry Department. She's a graduate of both UW-Oshkosh and Madison College. Donna is replacing Rachel Kruse. A special thank-you to Rachel Kruse for her years of service and dedication to WiCC. Rachel truly helped advance WiCC's mission, and I deeply appreciate her service to the organization. I'm optimistic that many of you will grow to have a good relationship with Donna as we move forward, beginning with when you meet her on April 18 in Milwaukee!

In March, I attended the national Campus Compact conference and came away inspired. I was joined by 17 other delegates from 8 WI institutions-great turn-out, WiCC! If you couldn't make it, here is a list of "Top 10 Take-Aways from the Campus Compact Conference."

(1) Educational Testing Service (ETS) is creating a standardized assessment of civic knowledge and skills. Learn about it here: Assessing Civic Competency and Engagement in Higher Education: Research Background, Frameworks, and Directions for Next-Generation Assessment

(2) Your campus can participate in the Tufts University's Tisch School for Citizenship and Public Service National Study of Learning, Voting, and Engagement for FREE! Nationally, they have found that blacks, females, and private institution students vote at the highest rates. E-mail for more information.

(3) A group of liberal arts colleges developed a scorecard for community-based learning courses that allow students, community members, and faculty members to assess the experience. E-mail for access to the documents. The effort was funded by the Teagle Foundation.  

(4) More disciplines are realizing how service-learning can help accomplish their learning goals. For example, the American Psychological Association's articulated learning outcomes specifically refer to service-learning and civic engagement as important for undergraduate psychology majors.

(5) AASCU's "The Democracy Commitment" has jump started discussions on campuses about Economic Inequality. This effort will develop curriculum and could be adapted to other campuses.

(6) Andy Furco's session on "The State of the Field" revealed that the biggest gap in the civic engagement literature is around "community impact." Can you help fill that gap? Do you know examples of scholarship that documents the impact of campus/community partnerships on the communities they attempt to serve? According to Dr. Robert Bringle, the "gold standard" research articles for the impacts service-learning has on students using quantitative methods have been published:
And, using qualitative methods:
(7) Initial results from a study by Tufts University suggests that, in order to promote life-long active citizenship, campuses should consider creating (a) strong social cohesion and networks, (b) pervasive political discussions-in and out of the classroom, (c) collaborative governance with students, (d) diversity and equality as a deliberate practice, and (e) active political engagement. Tufts will be releasing this study under the name "Politics 365." Stay tuned.

(8) New scholars come to higher education expecting to do "collaborative engagement" work, which sits at the intersection of deliberative dialogue, democratic education, and community engagement-according to a new edited volume by civic scholars.

(9) You can participate in the "Future Directions of Service Learning and Civic Engagement" project. Where do you think we need to go? Some leaders in the field want to know what you think!

(10) Curious how to make sure students more aware of their own predispositions related to public service? The Pathways to Public Service Project was designed with that in mind.


Gavin Luter