Campus Compact’s Engaged Department Institute Initiative

The California State University has been pleased to offer, in partnership with national Campus Compact and California Campus Compact, the Engaged Department Institute for CSU academic departments in 2001, 2002, and 2003.

The Institutes were designed for academic departments interested in the department as a unit of engagement and change. The purpose of the institutes was to help participating departments develop strategies to (1) include community-based work in both their teaching and their scholarship, (2) include community-based experiences as a standard expectation for majors, and (3) develop a level of unit coherence that will allow them to model successfully civic engagement and progressive change on the departmental level. The institutes were facilitated by national experts and covered topics such as:

  • the academic and civic effectiveness of community-based work;
  • discipline-specific models of service-learning integration;
  • supporting community-based work on both the faculty and the student level;
  • assessing community-based work on both the faculty and the student level;
  • community-based work as a vehicle of curricular integration; and
  • the community partner as departmental resource; the department as community resource.

A departmental team generally consisted of the following: the department chair, three faculty members or two faculty members and the institution’s service-learning coordinator, and a non-profit/public sector community partner with which members of the department have already worked or would like to work. Academic departments that benefited most from this experience were those where community-based work was already well established on an individual faculty basis and where moving to greater institutionalization at the department level could represent an important institutional step.

The CSU Chancellor’s Office has partnered with UCLA’s Center for Service-Learning Research and Dissemination within the Higher Education Research Institute, to conduct a follow-up study on the impact of the participating teams from 2001. To learn more about the study, see the executive summary and full report (.pdf).