Our Faculty Initiatives: Renewed

This blog post is from Executive Director Emily Shields. Learn more about our faculty initiatives here.

Earlier this fall, national President Andrew Seligsohn introduced the concept of a new era for Campus Compact, one in which our commitments to each other and the ideals of the civic mission are renewed. In Iowa we are seeing a renewal of this commitment as well and last month I wrote about it in the context of our national service programs.

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Faculty members from the Cedar Rapids area at a recent workshop.

This renewed commitment extends to our faculty development initiatives as well. Since our founding, we have focused on supporting faculty interested in integrating community engagement into their teaching and scholarship. We have offered workshops and conferences every year focused on building the skills necessary for quality community engagement and highlighting the great work already happening in our state.

As we continue to grow and change, these efforts are growing and changing as well. For 2017 and beyond, we are offering new opportunities for faculty development and engagement. This includes the opportunity to host workshops and institutes on member campuses across the state and a new faculty fellowship model focused on building scholarship in the field of community engagement. This will also include new learning and support opportunities for those providing faculty development on their campuses and initiatives focused on the policies and practices that determine whether faculty are able to engage with community in their work.

The first opportunity members can take advantage of is by making plans to host the Engaged Faculty Institute in 2017. The institute is based on curriculum developed by scholars in California and Colorado and can be adapted to each campuses’ unique climate, culture, and goals. A model of it was successfully offered last year at the University of Northern Iowa for ten faculty there.

Engaged Faculty Institute
2016 Engaged Faculty Institute attendees on a community tour.

“From top to bottom, this was an impressive, useful, inspirational Institute,” said one attendee. “Over the years, I’ve attended various professional development events, but this one was truly informative and, one hopes, transformational. I am confident not only in my ability to integrate this service-learning project into my class but also to develop service-learning projects in my future classes.”

Campuses interested in hosting an institute in 2017 should complete a short application form by January 30, 2017. We are also able to offer a variety of shorter workshops on community engagement broadly or specific topics such as partnership, reflection, and assessment. Requests for those can be made at any time by contacting me.

Since 2012, we have also selected faculty fellows each year who have developed their own work in community-engaged teaching and scholarship and learned from each other. This program has seen strong impacts on individual faculty members and very positive reviews.

“Thank you for this opportunity!” said one fellow. “I’m now really excited about developing community-based learning as my scholarship and feel like I have gained significantly in the skills I’ll need to do that.”

In early 2017, we will open our Engaged Scholarship Faculty Fellows Program application again, however with a new focus for the program. We hope to help faculty use their scholarship to contribute to the field of higher education community engagement. Selected fellows will propose a research question and attend the fall Pen to Paper Writing Retreat to receive support and direction and meet with journal editors. Fellows will then be supported in a cohort model and have the opportunity to apply for additional research funds to support their work.

Learn more about our faculty initiatives and apply to host an institute!