Terms of Engagement
Capstones – Also called a capstone experience, senior exhibition, or senior project, among other terms, a capstone project is a multifaceted assignment that serves as a culminating academic and intellectual experience for students, typically at the end of an academic program. Capstone projects are generally designed to encourage students to think critically, solve challenging problems, and develop skills such as oral communication, public speaking, research skills, media literacy, teamwork, planning, self-sufficiency, or goal setting—i.e., skills that will help prepare them for college, modern careers, and adult life. In a community engaged environment, capstones can be directed to the needs of a specific nonprofit, government or business entity or group of entities with the intention of offering a tangible benefit to that organization(s).
Community Based Learning – Delivers a diverse range of learning opportunities in community venues to all sections of society. Community based learning generally takes place outside of institutions and responds to the notion of community priorities and needs.
Community Engagement – Effective, mutually beneficial collaboration of students, faculty, and staff and our community.
Civic Participation – Involves working with other individuals or groups of people to deal with an issue facing the community (at any level) or school, which increases love and critical thinking about society, and increases patriotism of all levels.
Community Stewardship – A principle that embodies the planning and management of ALL resources (environmental, economic, civic, community, educational etc.). Community stewardship is achieved through specific duties as a member of the community, which ultimately contributes to effective community, societal. Community stewardship collectively recognizes community, engagement, service, and civic participation as integral parts to creating and sustaining a successful community at large.
Critical Reasoning – Supports people to engage in thinking for themselves, which in any area allows individuals to evolve in content based knowledge, societal and ethical consideration, and life skills.
Democratic Ideals – The qualities or standards of government, also applies to university government, which advocates for greater equality, opportunity, public support, human rights, beliefs, and attitudes.
Engagement – An engaged individual is someone who is involved (beyond minimal responsibilities), has an understanding of responsibilities related to the organization’s mission, and an overall feeling of well-being that relates to either directly or indirectly to work satisfaction (i.e. faculty engagement and satisfaction).
Experiential Learning – A learning process of making meaning from direct experience and reflection. Experiential learning is not synonymous to service learning because it is an individual form of learning, rather than a group or community from of learning through experience.
Practicum – A course of study that is supervised and devoted to practical experience and application within a specialized field, often supervised by a licensed professional. Practica are generally offered for academic credit, with the student, faculty supervisor, and workplace supervisor agreeing on job responsibilities that will yield meaningful experiences for students while providing quality employment at the employer. Students are evaluated with input from the employer and are often required to submit reflections, journals, and/or other documentation that connects the work experience to coursework learned in the classroom.
Scholarship of Engagement – Connecting the rich resources of the university to our most pressing social, civic and ethical problems, to our children, to our schools, to our teachers and to our cities. Scholarship of engagement regards service as scholarship when it requires the use of knowledge that results from one's role as a faculty member.--- Ernest Boyer, The Scholarship of Engagement
Service Learning – Service learning is an experiential method of teaching. Collaborative partnerships between faculty, students and community nonprofit organizations create projects that are tightly linked to course content and promote academic learning, while meeting the needs of the community. Reflection activities before, during, and after each experience (project) facilitate critical thinking and problem solving. Community partners become “teachers of context,” by sharing the perspective of constituencies in the community that they represent, thus expanding students’ world views..
Volunteer or Community Service (non-academic) – A non-curriculum, non-fee based community involvement that provides community or societal assistance, ultimately aiming towards community/societal improvement. Generally, students receive no college credit for these activities although exemplary efforts may be recognized through scholarships, awards, recognition, and other rewards.
Ernest Boyer’s, The Scholarship of Engagement – See Figure 1 Below
The scholarship of discovery refers to the pursuit of inquiry and investigation in search of new knowledge. The scholarship of integration consists of making connections across disciplines and advancing knowledge through synthesis.
The scholarship of application asks how knowledge can be applied to the social issues of the times in a dynamic process that generates and tests new theory and knowledge.
The scholarship of teaching includes not only transmitting knowledge, but also transforming and extending it.
The scholarship of engagement connects any of the above dimensions of scholarship to the understanding and solving of pressing social, civic, and ethical problems.
Applied Research – Unlike basic research, applied research aims to address and answer real-world problems.
Collective Impact – Individuals that work together to move and improve outcomes, and advocate for what actually works. Collective impact, commonly mixed up with collaboration, strives to improve outcomes consistently overtime, whereas collaboration is historically based on implementing a new program or an idea.
Respectful Reciprocity – A polite mutual or cooperative interchange of favors or privileges.
Synergy – The interaction of two or more agents or forces so that their combined effect is greater than the sum of their individual effects.
Leadership – A skill that provides any area with guidance, direction, and progressive construction. Individuals, businesses, organizations, schools etc., can all be defined as leaders according to their individual standards.
Change Agents – Anything that acts as a catalyst for change. Change agents are embodied by a clear vision, patience and persistence, continuous inquiry; field related or purpose related knowledge, and the creation of trust.
Metropolitan – Of or constituting a large city or urbanized area, including adjacent suburbs and towns. Metropolitan institutions serve the diverse needs of our local communities and regions and we continue to remain anchors for our greater metropolitan regions.
CUMU – Over two decades ago, leaders of metropolitan and urban universities realized the unique challenges and opportunities of their types of institutions as they looked to the future of higher education.
In 1990, they created the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities in recognition of their shared mission to use the power of their campuses in education, research, and service to enhance the communities in which they are located. Institutions located in metropolitan areas often do not fit the common definition of more traditional colleges and universities.
Members of the Coalition of Urban and Metropolitan Universities are focused on fully understanding the distinctiveness of their mission through conferences, a journal, research projects, creation of a policy agenda and regular networking opportunities.