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Civic Engagement at the Center

Page history last edited by Ariane Hoy 5 years, 9 months ago

Overview | Pillars | Courses | Campus Profiles | Essays | Sample Syllabi



Overview of the Civic Engagement Initiative 

Since 2003, five colleges and universities involved with the Bonner Foundation Program have worked to create a civic engagement academic certificate or minor. The purpose of this initiative has been to develop a complementary academic track to a comprehensive community service based scholarship. The schools involved in this pilot project include: Mars Hill College (NC), The College of New Jersey (NJ), Washington and Lee University, UCLA (CA), and Portland State University (OR). In addition a team of senior level and distinguished faculty have participated in the conception and development of this initiative. This group includes professors from the University of Minnesota, Duke University, Michigan State University, Rice University and Wagner College (NY). Finally, another set of institutions—including Colorado College (CO), Lynchburg College (VA), Morehouse College (GA), Rutgers-Douglas College (NJ), Saint Mary’s College (CA), University of Alaska Anchorage, Wagner University (NY), and West Chester University—have also been inspired to create civic education related programs and have begun to develop their own initiatives.


These pages have been designed as resources for individual and campuses interested in the Bonner Foundation’s Civic Engagement Certificate programs. They are intended to serve as a resource for participants to fully understand the Bonner Program and its newest ongoing initiative to create a curricular component to the co-curricular service-based scholarship program. They are also intended to serve as guides for campus representatives — including administrators, staff, and faculty — to build and refine one’s own Civic Education programs. Whether these programs take the form of a certificate, minor, major, or combination of these forms, the true purpose of these initiatives is to support the education of students who possess the knowledge, skills, and commitments to engage in sustained social change efforts.


Over a series of annual meetings, the Bonner Foundation has convened practitioners —including faculty, administrators, and program staff—to share their ideas, strategies, and practice. Through this process, we have come to realize that we have the opportunity to document and share the stories and examples of how these institutions have worked to institutionalize a civic-oriented academic program. These web-baed resources will aim to help other campuses, including those in the Bonner network and outside it, to build and foster student service and academic connections, made in a deep and sustained fashion.


If your campus is interested in creating a Civic Engagement Minor or Certificate program, you may find downloading this FIPSE Blueprint helpful. It is a workbook that presents the pillars and types of courses that campuses who have participated in this initiative have done. In addition, it offers questions to work through as you chart your own program.






Pillars or core features associated with these various incarnations of civic engagement academic programs on campuses which are the foundation of the Bonner Program's Civic Engagement model.



A close look at the five institutions participating in the FIPSE Civic Engagement Project, their course structure, and the common approaches and designs.


Campus Profiles 

This section will provide a profile of each of the campus’s Civic Engagement Minor/Certificate program, including its unique or innovative elements, structure, placement in the institution’s governance, program objectives, courses, and relationships to the institution’s core mission and other programs.



This section contains essays written by faculty, administrators, and practitioners about their programs or specific courses in their programs.


Sample Syllabi 

This section contains sample syllabus submitted by campuses involved in the FIPSE initiative. This will be a growing resource.

These courses illustrate the types of courses offered by the various civic engagement academic programs.


Back to Curricular Implementation Guides.

Back to Implementation Guides Index.




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