Civic engagement refers to the vast range of activities of people, at different levels, working to make a difference in the public life of communities. Getting involved in the electoral process, volunteer tutoring, organizing a community clean-up, and working to obtain affordable housing, are all forms of civic engagement. In this introduction to civic/community engagement students will learn about the roles citizens can play to strengthen communities and work for the public good. They will learn about the history of civic engagement in the United States, the various roles they can take to engage with communities, the knowledge, skills, and values they need to be effective. Students will participate in a community based civic engagement experience and will reflect on the learning about civic engagement, the community, the issue, and about themselves. They will explore their options for responding to these issues. Students will learn introductory skills and knowledge of civic engagement. In the process they will increase their understanding of how their own social location and identity how that effects their engagement. They define issues and think about root causes, look at power as a factor, identify community institutions and resources, and identify and describe types of leadership. Through their engagement and reflections students will work on developing 21st skills such as listening, collaborating, empathizing, and negotiating to provide the foundation for future endeavors in civic engagement.
Monday, November 7, 2016 to Monday, February 13, 2017