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You must explore this incredibly valuable resource: an excellent online curriculum of ten learning units covering issues such as service-learning course planning, building course infrastructure, establishing community-campus partnerships, building cultural competence, and pursuing service-learning scholarship. The curriculum includes case studies, worksheets, research findings, and sample syllabi from over 60 different disciplines.

This resource was originally create by Community-Campus Partnerships for Health and recently redesigned by California Campus Compact and Campus Compact of the Mountain West. Click here: https://ccph.memberclicks.net/efi-units

Additional materials are available for those interested in using the curriculum to facilitate a collective faculty institute experience. If your department or other collective of engaged faculty are interested in exploring that option, please contact the Nashman Center – we would love to support you. Email: gwsl@gwu.edu

A Year in Review is a new initiative of the Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service, which will share the narratives of the community engaged work across GW. Our goal is to deepen the discourse about public service, underscore our shared commitment to community engagement and share important stories from the campus and community.

A Year in Review: Curricular Engagement Magazine will feature the stories of GW’s exemplars of engaged scholarship, highlighting:

  • Community Based Participatory Research
  • Engaged Teaching
  • Academic/Community Partnerships
  • Our Students’ Engaged Work

On a rolling basis until February 22, 2016, the Nashman Center will be asking for your help as we gather these stories. Please consider submitting a brief narrative about your service-learning course or community based research project. You might encourage your students to submit reflective course work describing their journey in service-learning. Perhaps your community partners may submit a piece describing academic service from their perspectives.

More details on the submission process to come – for now, please consider how you might share your story.

As you know, the Fall 2015 Service-Learning Symposium is scheduled for December 9, 2015. Link here for more information about having your students participate.

This year, the Spring Symposium will be replaced by a new celebration of community engagement and public service: A Year in Review.  This event, April 26th, 2016, will highlight GW’s stories of community based research, service-learning, academic/community partnerships, and our students’ own accomplishments in service. These same stories will be featured in an online publication, A Year in Review: Curricular Engagement Magazine.

We are looking forward to gathering your stories about courses, research, community partnerships and the positive impact being made for our community and on transformational student learning. It will be a wonderful event, please mark your calendar now!

The eJournal of Public Affairs has posted a call for papers for their special issue on civic leadership for social justice. Submissions might include empirical studies, theoretical frameworks, innovative use of community-engaged scholarship to advance student leadership and social justice skills, community initiatives or other efforts to, “conceptualize, teach, and assess civic leadership that advances claims of social justice at all levels…”

Deadline to submit is January 11, 2016. Link for more information.

The Nashman Center and the GW community of engaged faculty are looking forward to GW Teaching Day this Friday (Oct 9, 2015). In anticipation of the keynote speaker, Dr. Elizabeth Barkley and her ideas related to involving students in collaborative learning, we found a recently published study worthy of note. The study findings suggest a connection between service learning courses and increases in group work skills.

The study examined several potential learning outcomes of service learning, and found statistically significant evidence for two: civic responsibility and interpersonal skills. The interpersonal skills learning outcome includes competencies like teamwork, leadership, and verbal communication. We encourage you to check it out.

Hébert, A., & Hauf, P. (2015). Student learning through service learning: Effects on academic development, civic responsibility, interpersonal skills and practical skills. Active Learning in Higher Education16(1), 37–49. http://doi.org/10.1177/1469787415573357.  Link: http://alh.sagepub.com/content/16/1/37.full.pdf+html

Many service-learning courses engage students in group work relative to their service projects. In fact, for many faculty, students’ ability to work effectively in those teams is an aspect of the course learning goals. It is surprising then that there isn’t more empirical literature connecting these service learning projects to the development of collaboration skills. Given the many fine examples of service learning and group work here at GW, this is a gap in the literature that might be ours to fill.

The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement (CIRCLE) has shared the first in a series of blog posts on Impact Measures. The first submission shares three measures of critical consciousness, potentially quite useful tools for researching/evaluating the impact of civic engagement initiatives.

Critical consciousness is a concept put forward by Paulo Freire and is connected to the ability of marginalized of oppressed groups to reflect on social injustice and act to address oppressive conditions. These three quantitative instruments,

“assess youths’ thinking about social inequalities, their motivation to engage in action, and their actual participation to change perceived inequalities.” (http://www.civicyouth.org/guest-post-critical-consciousness-impact-measures/)

Imagining America is featuring a series of thoughtful pieces that explore the experiences of engaged scholars. Posts are from the perspectives of the young engaged scholars selected to be Publicly Active Graduate Education (PAGE) Fellows.

The PAGE Fellows are a cohort of graduate student artists who “use their practice to transform their communities.”  Explore their posts yourself at: http://imaginingamerica.org/news-and-media/blog/

The linked blog post from the Points of Light Foundation may offer a useful case study for student discussions about the need to do critical thinking when considering ways to get involved and support international efforts.

While many well intentioned people enjoy donating items to giving money,  examples are given describing the additional volunteer and storage that items require compared to the usefulness of money. Posts such as these can help facilitate conversations about the need for international organizations to develop trust and communicate their needs. Link: http://www.pointsoflight.org/blog/2015/09/24/how-volunteers-are-helping-refugees-–-and-what-you-can-do

The annual Gulf-South Summit on Service-Learning and Civic Engagement through Higher Education will be held on April 13-15, 2016 in Savannah, GA. The deadline for presentation proposals is Oct 30, 2015.

The Gulf-South Summit promotes networking among service-learning practitioners and supports research, reciprocal campus-community partnerships and a culture of engagement in higher education.

The particular focus this year will be on inclusive community development, techniques for dialogue and deliberation as democratic practice, and best practices in student leadership for civic engagement, and community-engaged scholarship.

Please contact the Nashman Center if you have an interest in presenting or co-presenting with other GW colleagues. We would love to support you.

Link for more info: http://www.gulfsouthsummit.org/2016-conference/callforproposals/  

We are thrilled to announce our Center’s new name: The Honey W. Nashman Center for Civic Engagement and Public Service.

Our namesake, Dr. Nashman, is associate professor emerita of sociology and human services. During her 50-year career at GW, she was an early-adopter of service-learning and laid much of the foundation for the University’s current programs. She co-founded the Center itself in 1993.

President Steven Knapp announced to the gathered audience at the annual Freshman Day of Service and Convocation that Dr. Nashman and her husband Alvin E. Nashman have made a major financial donation to the Center. At the event, Dr. Nashman remarked,

“I hope this will expand current programs, help us work more closely with the community and neighbors and make a difference in working toward community development, human rights, social justice and true inclusion.”

For more highlights about the donation, please see this post from GWToday.

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