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Skidmore College
Office of Community Service Programs


For Faculty and Staff

Skidmore Institutional Goals and Activities

Skidmore’s strategic plan gives particular attention to civic engagement, calling upon us to create an institution that “empowers and inspires all of our students to make the choices required of informed, responsible citizens throughout their lives.” Informed, responsible citizenship is the third goal (of four) in the strategic plan.

The Assessment Steering Committee has identified clear learning goals associated with civic engagement, especially related to “personal and social values.”

In 2008, President Phil Glotzbach created the Responsible Citizenship Task Force “to refine objectives and develop initiatives that will enable us to realize the objectives of Goal III, particularly its first point, ‘Foster pedagogical innovation relating to responsible citizenship; support campus initiatives that teach and exemplify this value.’” The RCTF issued a lengthy report in February 2009, “Civic Engagement at Skidmore: A Status Report,” summarizing current civic engagement activities at Skidmore and offering recommendations for enhancement.

Civic Engagement in Higher Education: The National Scene
Civic engagement is a “hot topic” in higher education. Campuses across the country have examined and expanded institutional supports for civic learning, leading professional associations are issuing white papers, and foundations are funding new initiatives. Below are some key resources that describe the national scene.

Assessment and Learning Rubrics for Civic Engagement
Numerous resources now provide frameworks for defining and assessing student learning about personal and social responsibility. Below are some national resources as well as some empirical findings at Skidmore.

Service Learning
Service-learning coursework includes community service as an experiential learning technique to deepen students’ understanding of course content, to build their skills in the application of theory to practice, to increase their experiences with diversity, and to develop their interest in and commitment to social action and social problem solving. Service learning is focused on student development, but also provides volunteer and technical resources to communities and strengthens town-gown relations.

Faculty Application for Course Designation
As Service Learning (SL) or Community-Based Research (CBR)