Community Engagement (CE) is the second of our three strategic priorities. According to the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement: “[CE is] the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.”
During my first year here, I have learned that we have a strong and foundation upon which to build - CSULA students, faculty and staff are committed to playing vital roles in a variety of local and global communities. We are clearly and distinctively engaged as a campus, but as we move forward this year, we will need to think more carefully about how and where. What are nature, scope, and impact of that engagement, on our students, campus, and community partners? And how can we improve and expand upon our current efforts? In order to achieve the Carnegie Classification, we will need to reflect upon, analyze, and understand our responses to these questions. Indeed, this will be one of our key tasks for 2011-12.
We are in the process of redesigning our infrastructure to better support community-based learning. The new infrastructure and database will enhance the capacity of academic programs to offer service learning, internship, and community-based participatory research opportunities.
In order to provide support for the professional development of faculty interested in community engagement, the Office of Community Engagement and the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning (CETL) will be co-sponsoring a faculty learning community (FLC) on community engagement. Coordinated by Dr. Michael Willard (Liberal Studies), this FLC will promote cross-disciplinary discussion about how to foster a strong sense of civic identity in students and faculty while building stronger, more meaningful ties to the communities surrounding CSULA.
There will be many opportunities throughout the year for faculty, staff and students to work together and with our communities to have a positive impact on the world around us.
For more information, please contact the Office of CommunityEngagement@cslanet.calstatela.edu 323-343-5424.