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Spirit, Mind, Action: A framework for civic engagement learning at Georgetown College

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What a great first year! Over 21% of our student body participated in civic engagement events. Assessments from these events show, overwhelmingly, that students learned about the spirit, mind, and action themes of civic engagement at GC while also putting theory into action by applying course-specific information to their service endeavors. Here are some more fun facts:

  • 21% of our undergraduates in AY 12-13 took part in a service-learning class. In addition to learning course-specific content,
    • Scores increased on pre and post surveys for all students, most notably Freshmen. This indicates that their basic understanding of the spirit, mind, action themes increased over the course of the term.
    • Scores on students’ reflective projects indicate that students understood (at a mid-to-high level) the connection between the course material and service in terms of their personal awareness (average score 2.47 out of a possible 3), connection of academic content to the service project (average score 2.5 out of a possible 3), and overall civic engagement (2.6 out of a possible 3).
  • We partnered with twenty different community agencies last year. This has gone a long way in connecting the college and our community. Students are coming to know members of the community they may otherwise have never known. Agencies know that we’re focusing outward and they’re becoming more interested in what we’re doing on campus.
    • Spreading the word about these partnerships is key to continuing the momentum. We’ve had articles featured on the Kentucky Campus Compact site, in the News Graphic, and even a presentation to the Scott County School Board.
    • We’re working on bringing more community events to campus this year. Notably, some of our Harper-Gatton leaders are trying to bring a homelessness awareness campout to campus in the spring.
  • 50% of all campus departments completed at least one service-learning course. You served our community in many creative ways. You also showed that this is a useful pedagogical tool across many disciplines.
    • This academic year, we’ll focus more on engaged learning as a pedagogical tool. Stay tuned for information about training opportunities.

Georgetown College’s Center for Civic Engagement (CCE) represents the college’s commitment to enhancing student identity (spirit), learning (mind) and engagement (action). The CCE supports and provides resources to the college and surrounding community to foster the connection between service and academic learning goals. The key to these experiences is the partnership between the college and our community partners. Civic engagement enhances students’ understanding of social issues and concerns, and fosters leadership, citizenship, organizing, and critical thinking. The CCE serves the college’s mission of providing a foundation for shaping informed thought and action in order to prepare students for their place in society.



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