|Welcome to the CSU Office of Community Service Learning website on
Engaged Departments! We have prepared this site as a starting point for campus discussions
on why and how to create an Engaged Department (ED).
This website contains a collection of presentations, discussion exercises, examples, and
other materials from workshops on Engaged Departments that have been held on California
State University campuses over the past few years. We have organized the site around a
framework that provides one path through the materials, but this is by no means the only
way to proceed. These materials are available for use and modification by anyone as long
as proper acknowledgement is given as to their source.
We hope this site will grow over time to encompass more examples of workshops and other
materials that are being used on our campuses. If you have an internal resource that you
would like to share or an external link that you think would be valuable for us to include,
please let us know by sending an email to:Erika Randall, Coordinator, STEM Squared.
Click on the links below for more information:
- What is an Engaged Department?
- Promoting an Engaged Department
- Facilitating an Engaged Department Institute
- Service Learning for Civic Engagement
- Faculty Roles and Rewards
- Scholarship of Engagement
- Community Partnerships
With this website, we hope to provide a framework for thinking about
the Engaged Department (ED) concept and a motivation for developing your own materials for
hosting campus discussions. To paraphrase, Dr. Rich Berrett, CSU Fresno, who has hosted
numerous ED seminars, on campus-definitions, information and examples are all well and
good, but you are not going to be able to create an Engaged Department unless the faculty
of the department are ready to engage with one another. At the Fresno seminars, this is
stated up front as one of the goals:
To develop a level of unit coherence that will allow [faculty] to successfully
model civic engagement and progressive change on the department level.
This doesn't mean that every faculty member in a Department must become part of the
process, but it does require a critical mass. Equally important, and experience with ED
Institutes bears this out, a successful Institute requires a facilitator with the skills
and knowledge to draw participants into profound conversation with each other on what the
outcome of this process will mean to the program as a whole.
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|II. What is an Engaged Department?
Components of an Engaged Department (.pdf),
explores Ernest Boyer's definition of Engagement that then leads to a discussion of
department resources directed toward community-identified needs.
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|III. Promoting an Engaged Department
On some campuses, departments have been encouraged to become Engaged
Departments with competitive mini-grants. The Request for Proposals (RFP) from
CSU Chico (.pdf) and
CSU Fresno (.pdf) are two examples of campus efforts to
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|IV. Facilitating an Engaged Department Institute
The links below provide a brief overview of an Engaged Department
Institute (EDI) along with sample agendas that have been held over the past few years
on CSU campuses. The Institutes can be brief (one day) to semester long depending on
what outcomes are desired.
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|V. Service Learning for Civic Engagement
- Service-learning courses come in many forms. The presentation,
The Many Shapes of Service Learning (.pdf)
developed by Hollie Lund, Service Learning Director at Cal Poly Pomona, describes different
models for departments to consider.
- The short presentation, Service Learning for
Civic Engagement (.pdf) introduces the notion of "socially responsible knowledge
(Altman)" and is followed by the discussion exercise,
Learning Pedagogy for Civic Learning Outcomes (.pdf), designed to help faculty to
create service-learning courses with civic learning outcomes.
- The framework, Three Steps to Civic
Engagement for Social Change (.pdf), and the accompanying workbook,
Service Learning for
Social Change: A Curriculum Development Workbook (.pdf) developed by Seth Pollack
at CSU Monterey Bay, were designed to assist faculty in creating service-learning
curriculum. The workbook provides an elaborate and profound model for developing
courses around the principle of social justice.
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|VI. Faculty Roles and Rewards
One of the most difficult commitments to make in an Engaged Department
is to re-examine policies regarding faculty engaged in community scholarship. The
following questions are important for a department to consider:
- Does the department recognize the workload involved in teaching service-learning
- Are course assignments rotated so that the SL courses are not taught by only a few
- Does the Department mention SL in their hiring announcements?
- Does the Department's Retention, Tenure, Promotion (RTP) policy fully recognize and
reward community scholarship?
- Do faculty know how to document their community work for their committees?
- Boyer, Engaged Scholarship, and New Models
for RTP (.pdf) (presented at Sonoma State in April 2005) is meant to be a
conversation starter on RTP policies. It presents the "Boyer Model for Scholarship"
along with examples from different campuses. Associated with the presentation are two
discussion tools below.
- The first exercise, Evaluating
Community Based Activities of Faculty in the RTP process (.doc), involves
discussing examples of faculty scholarship that falls in the gray area between
traditional categories of teaching, research and service. The main question is -
Would your department recognize this effort in RTP? We have found that the best
conversations on this exercise occur when faculty from different departments are
placed within the same small group.
- The second exercise, Evaluating
Community Scholarship in Your Department (.pdf), works best when it involves
faculty from the same department. In this exercise, faculty are asked to discuss a
real case from their own experience that falls on the borderline of scholarship in
the traditional sense.
- A companion piece to establishing a policy on recognizing faculty work is a set of
guidelines on how faculty should document their work. The Service Learning and RTP
Guide developed at CSU Long Beach has been found to be helpful.
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|VII. Scholarship of Engagement
Faculty who are engaged in community scholarship need support on where
to find research materials, where to publish, and which conferences might provide venues
for presentations, etc. The presentation, Scholarship
of Engagement (.pdf), provides a few links to resources that may be helpful to faculty.
When faculty engage in community scholarship, many things can differ from more traditional
research. Research agendas, methods, even epistemological assumptions themselves may be
challenged. One of the growing areas of research in this regard is Community Based
Participatory Research (CBPR - often called Participatory Action Research) in which
community partners participate with university researchers at every stage of the research
process from determining the research questions to developing the means for data collection,
analysis of the data, and ownership of the results. CBPR is action oriented, and in many
cases, provides a good opportunity to involve service-learning students in a community
defined research project. The presentation,
Principles and Methods of Community
Based Participatory Research (.pdf), was part of a short workshop conducted at CSU
Long Beach on Participatory Action Research. It is accompanied by two discussion tools:
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|VIII. Community Partnerships
An additional characteristic of Engaged Departments is the voice they
provide to community partners in determining their priorities, curriculum, research
agendas, and service activities. The presentation,
Strengthening the Community-University
Partnerships (.pdf), by Andy Furco, Director Service Learning Research & Development
Center at UC Berkeley, outlines the principles of forming a strong partnership.
One of the most frequent activities faculty engage in with community partners is grant
writing to support community projects. The presentation,
Grant Writing Made Easy
(.pdf), comes from a workshop on grant writing conducted at CSU San Marcos in Spring 2005.
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Study on CSU's Engaged Department Institute
In the Summer of 2001, the CSU Office of Community Service Learning conducted a Engaged
Department Institute based on the Campus Compact materials. A full study,
Department Institute and the California State University: Progress, Process and Challenges
(.pdf), of the Institute and its outcomes was conducted by researchers at the UCLA Higher
Education Research Institute.
Comments from Team Leaders
Team leaders who have participated in past Engaged Department Institutes were
asked about outcomes and challenges that remain. Their comments have been complied to
serve as a resource for others.
Articles/Books on Engaged Departments
Kevin Kecskes, Director, Community University Partnerships for Learning, Portland State
University, is editing a new book on the Engaged Department, featuring a dozen national
case studies to be published by Anker Publications, Inc. in 2006.
Kecskes, K. (2004, Summer). Engaging
the Department: Community-based Approaches to Support Academic Unit Coherence (.pdf).
The Department Chair, 15(1), 7-9. (Included with permission from Anker Publications.)
Anker publishes many fine titles in service-learning and civic engagement. Visit their
website to browse their selection.
Research on Civic Engagement of Students
The Center for Information & Research on Civic
Learning & Engagement (CIRCLE) is an excellent source of research on civic and political
participation of young Americans. There are many documents to explore on this site.
A recently posted (May 2005) working paper
"The Impact of
Participation in Service-Learning on High School Students' Civic Engagement (.pdf)"
by: Shelley Billig, Sue Root, and Dan Jesse RMC Research Corporation, Denver, CO, discusses
the impact of service learning on high school students with encouraging results.
The site also contains (encouraging) data on the turnout by youth in the 2004 election,
in the paper, "Census
Data Shows Youth Voter Turnout Surged More Than Any Other Group (.pdf)."
The Higher Education Research Institute
at UCLA also conducts regular studies on service learning and its impacts. The recently
released results of a follow-up survey,
"April 2005: Volunteering
and Community Involvement Declines After Students Leave College (.pdf)," show, as
one might expect, volunteerism declines once the demands of post-college life take hold.
The full HERI study, "How
Service Learning Affects Students (.pdf)," of more than 20,000 students, updated in
2000, is also available.
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May 17, 2016