The Office of Academic Community Engagement proposes the creation of an Academic Community Engagement attribute (ACOM) that would be applied at the individual class level. This attribute is essential for the following reasons:
- It completes one step in the broader Strategic Plan goal of moving Siena into “National Significance” with regard to its service programs.
- It is essential to Siena to track our students academically linked service work for assessment including Middle States; classifications and national recognitions like the Carnegie Endowment for Higher Education Classification for University-Community Engagement and the President’s National Service Honor Role.
- It is a foundational component of our ability to build towards a more complete Community Engagement transcript and e-portfolio for Siena students.
- It creates a more uniform campus standard and vocabulary around academic service learning courses.
- It will bring Siena into alignment with established best-practice in assessing, tracking, and reporting on academic community engagement curricula.
Criterion for evaluating if a course may hold the ACOM attribute:
- COMMUNITY DRIVEN – The course involves engagement in the life of a community beyond the classroom, and ideally outside of the academic community, on a problem/project/challenge identified as important by the community and/or a community partner agency;
- REFLECTION – The course involves structured reflection that provides students with the opportunity to explore the academic, personal, and civic value of the community engagement experience. Best practice in structured reflection includes the use of chronicle reflection, analytic reflection, and integrative reflection assignments;
- SUSTAINABILITY – The course involves some examination of the systemic roots of community challenges and active student/faculty participation in sustainably addressing the expressed community need.
- ACADEMIC RIGOR – The course/instructor utilizes academic community engagement pedagogy as a primary means of accomplishing at least some of the course learning objectives through application of academic skills and competencies to community challenges.
- PUBLIC DISSEMINATION – The product of the class is returned to the public in a meaningful way.
Process for adding ACOM course attribute to course:
Faculty requesting an ACOM course attribute submit the following to the Director of Academic Community Engagement for review:
- Syllabus: Syllabus clearly demonstrates implementation of assignments and experiences designed to meet the five evaluation criterion above.
- Partner: Evidence of community partnership
- Goals: Identify how the class works toward a minimum of two (2) ACOM learning goals