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Skidmore College
Civic Engagement

Civic Definitions

Goal III (Skidmore Strategic Plan 2005–15)

"We will prepare every Skidmore student to make the choices required of an informed, responsible citizen at home and in the world."

Informed, Responsible Citizen

Informed, responsible citizens participate in the life of the community. They have the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to build community and effectively evaluate and respond to public issues and concerns.

Civic Engagement at Skidmore

Civic engagement requires an understanding of political, economic, cultural, scientific, and other institutions aimed at the public good; democratic principles and practices; and concern for public issues and scientific and cultural literacy. Civic engagement entails research, deliberation, principled advocacy, direct action, or service that enhances quality of life in the local, regional, national or global community.

The following experiences help build the foundational understanding for civic engagement:

Civic Learning includes foundational knowledge in historical, political, and cultural matters that shape our civic life. It fosters a capacity to critically examine complex social, ethical, and environmental concerns from multiple perspectives.

Civic Skills include the ability to work cooperatively to solve complex social and environmental issues by forming and expressing opinions, interacting civilly with diverse others to achieve goals, participating in collective decision-making processes, organizing people for action, and implementing policy decisions.

Community Service includes voluntary actions that seek to provide resources or services for the promotion of a public good.

Although many courses incorporate civic learning, civic skill development, and community service, Skidmore highlights a subset of civic engagement courses that require students to apply their understanding through one or more of the following:

Community-Based Research is scholarship involving collaboration of faculty and/or students with community partners that is directed toward investigating, assessing, and addressing behavioral, social, educational, cultural, and environmental problems.

Service Learning is a credit-bearing educational experience that integrates meaningful community service with guided reflection to improve student learning of course content, student sense of social, artistic and environmental responsibility, and responds to an identified community need.


Applied Civic Engagement Course Designation

Community-Based Research and Service-Learning courses that have been approved as Applied Civic Engagement Courses (ACE) will be flagged in the Master Course Schedule.