Civic Engagement and Civic Learning
At the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire (UW-Eau Claire) we focus on the foundations for lifelong citizenship: preparing students, faculty, and staff for active, informed, and socially responsible contributions to democracy and the public good. To this end, we are committed to meaningful teaching, scholarship, and service in collaboration with community partners. We must nurture an institutional identity and campus culture of civic awareness and competency. We must sustain reciprocally beneficial relationships with diverse collaborators in the Chippewa Valley and in our wider community across the state and around the world.
We wish to inspire and empower a commitment to civic engagement at the individual, departmental, and institutional levels at UWEC. Our ultimate goal is to make civic engagement a signature part of our campus identity-a reason that students and faculty come here to study/teach/and do scholarship.
|Ruth Cronje, et al.
Service Learning is currently the only campus-wide effort at civic engagement. Service learning is just one form of the broader practice of civic engagement. Civic engagement is defined as "working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes" (Ehrlich, 2000, p. vi). A number of departments and programs at UW-Eau Claire already provide civic engagement experiences in both curricular and co-curricular settings. However, all students should have these opportunities.
As a campus, we must pursue a broader approach to civic engagement, developing solution-based projects in cooperation with governments, community organizations, and businesses that address social and environmental challenges and have the potential to create meaningful change in our community. In addition to multiple benefits for students, civic engagement will help UW-Eau Claire demonstrate our commitment to community responsiveness and to the well-being of our region and state, all hallmarks of the Wisconsin Idea. (Wis. Stat. § 36.01(2)
Thomas, Ed. (2000). Civic responsibility
and higher education. Westport, CT: Oryx Press.