Community engagement describes collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.
The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.
Carnegie Foundation Community Engagement Classification
The Experiential Learning Council has created the following service-learning definition, outcomes, and best practices to support the future development of service-learning at Drake University (Experiential Learning Council, 2011).
Service-learning is a type of experiential education that combines and pursues both achieving academic learning and meeting a relevant community defined need with intentionally integrating the use of effective ongoing reflection and assessment.
Students engaged in service-learning at Drake University will:
Best Practices for Service-Learning
Service-Learning is done well when faculty and staff adopt best practice pedagogy. Drake University Service-Learning supports the following best practices for service-learning experiences:
Adapted from the Council for the Advancement of Standards in Higher Education
General Considerations for Drake University Service-Learning
Drake University’s mission includes the statement that we wish to prepare our students for “meaningful personal lives, professional accomplishments and responsible global citizenship.” Service-Learning at Drake University provides an ideal vehicle for students to move toward those goals. Similarly, goal three (of four) of our current strategic plan calls for us to “Carry out the university’s public responsibility to serve the common good,” and service-learning can serve as a vehicle to move toward that goal and be a model for other universities and colleges of what can be accomplished. Drake University takes it mission and strategic plan seriously. These words are not empty promises. Drake will enter into activities and partnerships that bring this promise to life. A well-defined service-learning program can do this. The Experiential Learning Council will use the definition, outcomes, and best practices to guide collaborative efforts to strengthen service-learning related courses and programs. The documents serves as the basis to design credit and noncredit, academic and co-curricular experiences that elevates the learning outcomes desired for service-learning.
We define Global Service-Learning (GSL) as the intersection of service-learning, immersion in global contexts, and intercultural education. Alone, each of these areas can produce exceptional global learning experiences. Global Service-Learning intensifies the potential learning by borrowing important elements of each and creating a robust, transformational, and dynamic global experience for faculty, staff, and students.
Global Service-Learning is a form of experiential education that combines academic learning and meeting a relevant community-defined need. Quality service-learning is undertaken intentionally and integrates effective cross-cultural interaction, ongoing reflection, and assessment.
Students engaged in Drake Global Service-Learning will:
Global Service-Learning can be conducted in three different models at Drake University: