Are you a civic-minded professional?

To understand the civic mission of higher education, it’s important to consider the goals. One goal is graduating students who can successful contribute in the workforce and in their communities. These are civic-minded professionals. The term has been used by researchers at Indiana University-Purdue University, Indianapolis who created a scale to measure what they define as: A civic-minded professional is one who is skillfully trained through formal education with the ethical disposition as a social trustee of knowledge, and the capacity to work with others in a democratic way to achieve public goods. At Iowa Campus Compact, we define it…

Student social entrepreneurs address food waste, insecurity on campus

College cafeterias are known for their abundance with a dizzying array of choices. At the same time, college students are increasingly going hungry. A recent study by the Association of Community College Trustees found that two in three community college students are food insecure. Rates are also high on other campuses with another recent study showing at least 30% food insecurity. Student social entrepreneurs on several campuses across the state are taking action. Students are taking the lead to create their own solutions and help their peers. Mercy College’s Taylor Coakley, Student Senate President, alongside Catherine’s Cabinet. At Mercy College…

Alternative spring travels offer service, build skills

Alternative breaks have a long tradition in Iowa with almost every college and university offering some form of travel and community service during spring and other school breaks. Often touted for their unique opportunity to give back, these trips also have an impact on the futures of the students who participate in them. University of Iowa students working on a garden. This year, several trips have already occurred and some are happening this week and next. Students are returning to find themselves changed with new ways of thinking about concepts they are learning in the classroom and, in some cases,…

The secret behind Dance Marathon

When Jess Short was a student at Grand View University, her mom though she was spending too much time on Dance Marathon. “My mom thought I should be spending more time working or studying,” said Short, who graduated in 2015. “After I got my first job, she said she understands now why my Dance Marathon experience was important. I wouldn’t be who I am today or the professional I try to be without those experiences.” Dance Marathons are yearlong, student-run fundraising campaigns that culminate in an 8 to 24-hour event where students stay on their feet dancing. All funds raised are donated…

Higher Education Seeks to Bring Attention to Civic Skills Gap and Solutions

Iowa is facing a civic skills gap. Communities face challenges that require active citizens with the ability and willingness to apply skills like communication, critical thinking, and teamwork.  The 21 college and university members of Iowa Campus Compact (IACC) are working to fill this gap by helping students build these skills through community experiences. To be successful, a broader coalition of nonprofit, community, and business leaders is needed, so IACC is launching a new campaign to help bring attention to the issue and solutions. “Community experiences were central to developing my ability to frame and solve problems, to manage projects…

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