Strategic-action-plan-banner

Columbia College ChicagoExplore the whole project ➡

Community Engagement

Community Engagement

Columbia College Chicago
on Oct 27, 2014

CONVERSATION CLOSED

Columbia College Chicago has a rich history of community engagement via community partnerships, experiential learning, and multiple opportunities for students to develop their own perspectives on citizenship, social justice, and personal responsibility. Yet contemporary philosophies in critical pedagogy ask us to recalibrate our efforts toward sophisticated community-engaged work which goes beyond pre-professional training and looks to communities not merely as sites of service, but rather resources of knowledge, crucial to the student learning. Through a series of questions, we will seek your input about ways that Columbia College Chicago can be known as an animating force in our communities, our city, and the world beyond. We anticipate a rich exchange.

A Subcommittee of the Strategic Planning Steering Committee developed the ten questions that will be posed one at a time in this discussion forum from Oct. 30 to Dec. 8. You can see the members of this Subcommittee listed as moderators for this discussion. They will each periodically assume this role. 

The moderator’s role is to facilitate the discussion by adding relevant information (e.g. data, connections to resources, clarifications), providing some additional deep-dive questions to spur more discussion, and assuring a conversational environment that is consistent with the principles of the Civic Commons platform. 

The moderator is not responsible for summarizing anyone’s comments or making any decisions based on the comments provided. All comments will be collected, aggregated and incorporated into the final strategic plan. 

 

Moderators (4)

Participants (76) See All

What do you think?

Anonymous
on 2017-07-22T06:52:27+00:00
Login or Register to contribute to this conversation

Recent Activity

Pegeen Quinn
on Dec 09, 2014
"I received the following submission via email:   My comments: 1. Review Dr. Kim's..."
Sheila Baldwin
on Dec 09, 2014
"I was delighted to hear that students who attended the recent pre-Kwanzaa ceremony comment on the..."
Katie Collins
on Dec 09, 2014
"As an alumni I chose to come to Columbia because of our reputation of putting theory into..."
Kim  Hale
on Dec 09, 2014
"I agree with Jan's comments regarding auditing our communty engagement efforts across campus...."
Dale Chapman
on Dec 09, 2014
"Scott thanks for heralding by proxy."
Dale Chapman
on Dec 09, 2014
"@Nathan Bakkum plus we're right across the street from where he made his historic victory speech...."
Sage Morgan-Hubbard
on Dec 09, 2014
"Thank you for this very important conversation. I must say that my experience with community..."
Joan Hammel
on Dec 08, 2014
"From an alumni standpoint, it would be great to target alumni professionals, businesses and..."
Pegeen Quinn
on Dec 08, 2014
"My name is Emory Brown and I am the Chairman of the Marketing & Media Committee for CAAN..."
Margie Nicholson
on Dec 08, 2014
"Is there a way to create more linkages between our campus resources, curriculum and the..."
Paul Teruel
on Dec 08, 2014
"Columbia College's history is steeped in experiential learning and community partnerships. I..."
Robin Whatley
on Dec 08, 2014
"Forgive me for duplicating this post in both the 21st Century Curriculum and Community Engagement..."
Jacob Watson
on Dec 08, 2014
"Megan, you are correct -- there are many exciting opportunities for partnerships of that nature..."
Jacob Watson
on Dec 08, 2014
"Yes, Jeni! And not only have you learned and grown from your work with CCAP, but your..."
Columbia College Chicago
on Dec 08, 2014
"This and all the other strategic plan conversations will close tonight at 11:59pm. Conversations..."
Jan Chindlund
on Dec 08, 2014
"Perhaps this has been suggested, but in case not, I suggest we "audit" or survey the faculty and..."
Jan Chindlund
on Dec 08, 2014
"Nathan, you are correct, we must look into how we can collaborate on this significant endeavor!"
Nathan Bakkum
on Dec 08, 2014
"I apologize if this has already been discussed, but I just saw the attached article and was..."
Lynne Pace Green
on Dec 08, 2014
"I've been sharing the Civic Commons conversation with several of our partners and colleagues..."
Chicago Pubic Schools
on Dec 07, 2014
"Columbia has been a great partner to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) over the years, especially in..."
Norman Alexandroff
on Dec 07, 2014
"I’ve been following this conversation for the last several weeks and I was particularly struck by..."
Norman Alexandroff
on Dec 07, 2014
"I think it’s important to recognize a vital community engagement initiative that is currently..."
Mindy Faber
on Dec 06, 2014
"Thanks Germania Solorzano. When i cam to CCAP to Director Convergence Academies, becoming a..."
Kate Schaefer
on Dec 05, 2014
"Students love working with existing businesses and organizations as part of course curriculum...."
Raymond Lohne
on Dec 05, 2014
"ok...you asked for it... project garbage steven corey raymond lohne study a suburban..."
Mark Withrow
on Dec 05, 2014
"I feel it is not possible to separate community engagement from a progressive 21st Century..."
Dale Chapman
on Dec 05, 2014
"@Megan Shuchman we're certainly connected to Second City.  Seems like with the right connections..."
Raymond Lohne
on Dec 05, 2014
"as a student of taekwondo...I am wondering why we don't offer this martial art for students? one..."
Suzanne McBride
on Dec 05, 2014
"Formalizing, centralizing and incentivizing this is key. I'd love to see Columbia do this and..."
Suzanne McBride
on Dec 05, 2014
"I would be interested in bringing journalism students to the school; my students who visited..."
Pegeen Quinn
on Dec 09, 2014 - 6:17 am

I received the following submission via email:

 

My comments:1. Review Dr. Kim's presentation on Youtube.com2. Prepare teachers with arts support that will enable them to be recognized and valued in their schools. Arts and music teachers on the elementary level are not valued by students in their schools. Many skilled teachers do not receive the endorsement from Columbia College Chicago. Degrees do not indicate major concentration of areas.3. Provide strategies for teachers to be endorsed prior to graduation via the Illinois State Board of Education as a potential partner.4. Provide paid internships to Seniors for college loan forgiveness via career-based learning employment if they volunteer in the arts.5. Assist in degree areas through teacher education programs.6. Know who the education partners are and continue the open civic engagement of ideas and decision-making opportunities with the Alumni Board.7. To include career opportunities for first year students via technology connections at Columbia College Chicago.8. Partner with Liberal Arts colleges, universities or organizations that offer architecture, engineering, entrepreneurship, and skilled labor employment credits that will transfer through Columbia College Chicago.9. For Columbia College Chicago students to be successful, they must know the language of arts-focused careers and its relationship to the real world by offering arts and technology.10. Spend money on updated equipment that students can operate in Chicago rather than Los Angeles. Interview,  hire teachers in Chicago that are Alumni.11. Expand the subject areas through arts integration in Chicago Public Schools for elementary and high schools.Submitted by Doris M. RollandChicago Alumni Board MemberChicago Public Schools Certified Teacher

 
Katie Collins
on Dec 09, 2014 - 12:56 am

As an alumni I chose to come to Columbia because of our reputation of putting theory into practice and our deep connections to the community of Chicago through the Center for Community Arts Partnerships.

CCAP in partnership with the Business and Entrepreneurship department used to co-run a graduate concentration called Arts in Youth and Community Development (AYCD). This was the only graduate program like this in the country at the time and reason I came to Columbia as a student. This program offered an 18 month paid practicum working directly with the Executive Director and staff of one of CCAP's partnering organizations. Students learned everything that goes into running a non-profit organization from the ground up; from administration to curriculum development to fundraising and financial health. As a practicing artist interested in starting my own non-profit this is exactly the type of experience I was looking for in a graduate program. When I got to Columbia the college had terminated this concentration without telling any of the students that had been accepted into this program. This is a shame to say the very least. I as well as others in my cohort were counting on this experience and this additional help with tuition. Thankfully CCAP worked with all of the students in my cohort to help place us in internships and job opportunities that gave us the experiential learning we came to Columbia for. No other college or university offers a program quite like this and I think it would be smart for us to reallocate funding and resources to bring this concentration back.

 

CCAP has become an international model demonstrating how an urban arts and media college can collaborate with the community to create sustainable arts programming and real life practical learning experiences for our students. Many colleges and universities look to Columbia as a model in this field. The AYCD concentration is known nationwide and is a great draw for the graduate program.

 
Kim  Hale
on Dec 09, 2014 - 12:52 am

I agree with Jan's comments regarding auditing our communty engagement efforts across campus. This would allow us to look at current trends, identify partners for grant writing support and to pool resources more efficiently.

 
Sage Morgan-Hubbard
on Dec 09, 2014 - 12:15 am

Thank you for this very important conversation. I must say that my experience with community engagement in my undergraduate instutituion deeply affected all of my studies and development as a young adult (socially, academically and beyond). Having a student engagement center I could go to on campus and work out of was key as well as having student fellowships that helped support my work was essential. Some structures that were at place at Brown Unversity that I particularly enjoyed were academic advisors and advisee groups for students like myself who came into college with a history and passion for community engagement. I no longer believe that this particular program exists but we formed an interdisciplinary creative posse and support group through our work together and we learned about the structures and opporunities of the college through our excellent staff advisors. I believe something like this could be done at CCAP or equivilent spaces. Brown's Swearer Center also has other interesting models and structures that might be effective at Columbia, dispite their vastly different populations, both campus cultures have a strong student centered and initiated feel. http://brown.edu/academics/college/special-programs/public-service/social-innovation-initiative/home

I believe some of the best work emerges from our students own passions and they should be nurtured and supported throughout their careers, not only with awards at the end. I might not have made it through college had I not had the consistent support of adult mentors who would sit down and listen to my ideas and help me form them into realistic and tangible community engagement projects from studying Afro-Peruvian music and culture in Lima to facilitating local poetry workshops with women in prison. Columbia is uniquely positioned in downtown Chicago with a large Chicago-based population and I know the more we can find ways to support these students in programing and projects they are passionate about and involved in through classes and mini-fellowships (such as Art in Activism) the better. Perhaps we can:

  • Create student engagement mini-grants/ fellowships connected to their research or programing
  • Make every student to have a student engagement requirement
  • Have more student engagement programs beyond Big Art that older students (beyond first year) could easily connect to
  • Strongly encourage all students to participate in internships
  • Strongly encourage/ incentivize co-curricular programing on campus that involves other communities and visiting artists
  • Encourage student groups to have student engagement components
  • Develop richer relationships/ partnerships with CCC advanced courses and CPS, The Park District and The Cultural Center so that our top students learn to be teaching artists throughout the city of Chicago
  • Create public art with the Wabash Arts Cooridor (creative partners and South loop residences) 
  • Have continuing education classes 
 
Pegeen Quinn
on Dec 08, 2014 - 11:15 pm

My name is Emory Brown and I am the Chairman of the Marketing & Media Committee for CAAN Chicago. We as a group would like to submit a proposal we have to create an Alumni Resource Center.  We have affectionately named it the "We CAAN Center" and would like to have our idea submitted for the "Aligning Resources With Goals" and "Community Engagement" conversations.We believe that a "We CAAN Center" is the place needed to light a new light in alumni who may have lost their way due to life's ups and downs and lack of resources. A place where our artists can continue to contribute to the development of others and themselves while helping Columbia launch the best and brightest ideas in the world of arts. Feel free to contact us if you or the Strategic Planning Team have any questions in regards to the "We CAAN Center." I've cc'd Margi Cole, President of CAAN Chicago, Marty Kane, Vice President of CAAN Chicago and Joan Hammel, President of ​​CAAN National on this e-mail as well. Looking forward to the future of Columbia College Chicago. Have a great week. Regards, Emory BrownChairman Marketing & Media CommitteeCAAN Chicagoebrown318@gmail.com

 
Margie Nicholson
on Dec 08, 2014 - 10:17 pm

Is there a way to create more linkages between our campus resources, curriculum and the community? For example, could we encourage the Museum of Contemporary Photography to mount an exhibition of portraits of arts leaders? Could faculty and students be involved in generating, curating, and promoting those images? Could we then invite the arts leaders featured in the exhibition to participate in the opening and in panels on arts leadership that could be open to faculty, students and the community? A collaborative activity like this could be very fundable and promotable while showcasing our faculty, curriculum and facilities and benefitting the students and community.

Another thought: several years ago when I was on the board of Literacy Chicago, a group of public relations students from Columbia College created a PR plan for our nonprofit as part of their course requirements. They met and interacted with staff, board members, and clients and did a great job! In more recent years, it seems that we have established an expectation that students take on experiential learning opportunities within the College rather than out in the community. While I can understand that there may be logistical and economic benefits from this new approach, I think the students are missing an opportunitiy to develop their skills and social capital while engaging with the wider community.

 
Paul Teruel
on Dec 08, 2014 - 9:30 pm

Columbia College's history is steeped in experiential learning and community partnerships. I agree with Jan Chindlund, we have to survey the college to see what who our community partners are, and the depths of those relationships. As the Director of Community Partnerships at CCAP, I am always pleasantly surprised to meet faculty and staff that are already working in this capacity. Our community partners offer us shared pedagogy, internships placements, job opportunities (for students, alumni, and part-time faculty), real connections to social, political, and environmental issues, cultural competence, and community space.

A good example of an experiential course that embodies these qualities is the Decision Making course in the Fashion Studies department. Students worked together with True Star Foundation on their magazine to develop and implement a six page (pages 25 through 30) fashion spread for their spring 2014 issue. Student responsibilities included identifying a theme, casting models, location scouting, communicating with the photographer. True Star has supervised Columbia interns, hired recent graduates, and was co-founded in 2004 by Colum/Alum Na-Tae Thompson. I am interested in learning about the partnerships and connections faculty and staff have facilitated with community partners.

 

Responses(1)

Sheila Baldwin
on Dec 09, 2014

I was delighted to hear that students who attended the recent pre-Kwanzaa ceremony comment on the number of partnerships that were established to make the ceremony successful.  They liked the African dancing and the drumming; but they really admired how the ceremony brought together all generations—from K-12 students, to college students and the elders.  They commented on how the elders were given the ultimate respect and that the elders had to grant permission for the ceremony to begin.  While the students were aware that certain collaborations took place it was the number of partnerships that led them to experience a familial feeling that apparently struck them as being unique. 

 

The pre-Kwanzaa ceremony was a true community event where collaborations were established both inside the college and outside the college.  Without CCAP, the Department of Dance, the generosity of Dr. Charles Cannon and the Multicultural Affairs Office, the event would not have been as successful if the Department of English were to sponsor it alone. The success of the ceremony depends heavily on the outside connections also from the purchase of gifts to the bountiful harvest.

 

The student’s comments were reminiscent of the outreach programs that I had been involved with during my tenure at the college.  Having served as the director of several such programs over the years, to introduce students to another culture, to introduce them to a new experience—something completely unexpected to them is an awesome and rewarding feeling.  It also is an exemplary qualitative educational opportunity.  Columbia offers a wide variety of arts-based programs, but we should continue to establish more connections within the college and definitely with the outside community.

 

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Dec 08, 2014 - 7:54 pm

This and all the other strategic plan conversations will close tonight at 11:59pm. Conversations and the comments made within them can still be viewed after this time, but any comments made after 11:59pm will not be included in the final report. Thank you for all your great participation!

 
Jan Chindlund
on Dec 08, 2014 - 5:53 pm

Perhaps this has been suggested, but in case not, I suggest we "audit" or survey the faculty and staff and alum and students to determine what community organizations we've collaborated with in the past on projects, via volunteering, or serving on the board, etc. I think we would find some ideas for future community engagement by building on relationships and past successes. To paraphrase an old expression: "If Columbia College Chicago only knew what Columbia College Chicago knows." We are deeply connected in so many ways that could be used to expand our students' experiences. We just don't know about all of the rich connectivity that already exists.

 
Nathan Bakkum
on Dec 08, 2014 - 5:35 pm

I apologize if this has already been discussed, but I just saw the attached article and was surprised that Columbia College isn't listed among the partner institutions for the UChicago proposal for the Obama library. The kinds of collaboration and community outreach projects being proposed by other Chicago universities (see the bottom of the attached article) are really exciting, and I would think that we would be able to contribute to this partnership in really unique ways.

 

Responses(2)

Jan Chindlund
on Dec 08, 2014

Nathan, you are correct, we must look into how we can collaborate on this significant endeavor!

 
Dale Chapman
on Dec 09, 2014

@Nathan Bakkum plus we're right across the street from where he made his historic victory speech.  NU and U of C can't say that.

 
Expand This Thread
Lynne Pace Green
on Dec 08, 2014 - 2:05 pm

I've been sharing the Civic Commons conversation with several of our partners and colleagues around the city and they have been interested not only in the dialogue but in the effort CCC is putting towards the principle of Community Engagement. My colleague at CAPE (Chicago Arts Partners in Education), Scott Sikema attempted to post a comment but had difficulty in logging on so asked me to post the following comment:

I am not on staff at CCC, though I do co-teach (with Michelle Kranicke of Zephyr Dance) the Teaching Artist Development Studio.  Through both TAD, and my own work at another organization which partners teaching artists with classroom teachers, I am familiar with CCAP and its exemplary work in the field.  Both CCAP and MoCP have clear leadership positions in any dialogue around community engagement, not just at the college, but in the city as a whole.  The staff at CCAP and the education and curatorial staff at MoCP have quietly and strongly been directly collaborating with different communities for some time now, and the nature of those collaborations have been nuanced in relation to their contexts.  A quality of quiet often engenders growth.  But perhaps at this juncture these efforts warrant heralding.

 

Responses(1)

Dale Chapman
on Dec 09, 2014

Scott thanks for heralding by proxy.

 
Expand This Thread
Norman Alexandroff
on Dec 07, 2014 - 11:16 am

I’ve been following this conversation for the last several weeks and I was particularly struck by two comments:

From Eric Booth on November 18: “CCC has more action and instruction going on around community engagement than any other university in the U.S.--but the parts don't add up to more than separate parts.  You have more teaching artistry happening distributed across your campus than any higher ed institution in the U.S., maybe in the world, but you don't pull the pieces together, you don't align what it there and give it a higher profile.”

 

 From Ames Hawkins on November 4: The most important question to me has to do with institutional desire. I've heard a lot of rhetoric to date, but no clear sense of what we institutionally believe to be the point of such work, no talk of how it is this work will be recognized and supported by the administration…I don't get a clear sense of is how this fits in with the mission, with curricular goals. To date, the approach has been a kind of "it's really nice, this community engagement thing," but it hasn't been central to any kind of core values. What I've seen of late, is less, rather than more, when it comes to a regard for an educational experience and institutional environment that believes in, supports AND manifests contributions to citizenship/social justice/community.

 

As others have noted throughout this discussion, there is compelling evidence the community engagement helps students achieve greater success in college and in life. There is no question that the notion of the artist in human service has been central to our ethos and identity, and was historically weaved into our educational fabric.

As we look to redefine our greatness as an institution, we have an opportunity to renew our commitment to community engagement as a core value of Columbia College. But how can we take what is now a fractured narrative and turn it into something much more compelling? How can weave together all of the individual community engagement parts from around the college into a compelling narrative.

CCAP seems to be the logical point of departure for a more comprehensive initiative. Is there sufficient interest in repositioning CCAP to be more central to our curriculum, and in building the Columbia College brand? Are there specific outcomes that can be achieved if we all pulled together in the same direction, like a drop in crime rates or better graduation rates in the communities we serve? Can our institutional effectiveness support our fundraising and graduation rates?

 

 
Raymond Lohne
on Dec 05, 2014 - 5:14 pm

ok...you asked for it...

project garbage

steven corey raymond lohne

study a suburban landscape from space

historically

environmentally

with a person who has been on scene 17 years

observing the transformation

need ARC GIS for 25 plus laptops wired into EOSDIS

have plenty of eager brilliant students of urban history every semester

I need to reclaim a federally-protected wetland that I and my fellow-homeowners have been polluting...via our re-cycle efforts

so community engage means the entire village of Round Lake Heights

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

NASA

Columbia

Waste Management

and the students...

plan of the project...

study the 40 year enviro-impact on a single village and hope to extrapolate...

teach students ARCGIS and EOSDIS

design a better recycle system...

dig out 13 years worth of garbage in a wetland that is home to everything from foxes to falcons, and where deer walk around freely...

and hopefully...

re-design the garbage lid for the Illinois wind...

and make Columbia students even more famous than they already are...

ok

that's what I'd like to do...

but...

no money for ARCGIS software...

no computers for 25 heavy downloaders at once...

no uplink capabilty to hit even USGS or NASA freebies...

raymond lohne, Ph.D.

 

 

 
Suzanne McBride
on Dec 05, 2014 - 11:54 am

When we talk about engaging community, I'm wondering which community/communities we have in mind? Certainly, we're a part of the South Loop neighborhood, and Manifest is a good way to celebrate our role. Besides looking for ways to engage our immediate neighbors throughout the year, not just in May, what other communities are we a part of or could/should be engaging with?

 

Responses(2)

Mark Withrow
on Dec 05, 2014

I feel it is not possible to separate community engagement from a progressive 21st Century education. Manifest is wonderful example of celebrating student accomplishments, while being a good neighbor in the South Loop. The newer WAC Crawl is another exciting way we are engaging with the community in ways that can be brought back to the classroom, even as we reach beyond it. When we showcase our experienced students’ talent and knowledge, we inspire and motivate our newer students. Making innovative use of our South Loop campus, and the larger Chicago-community, can serve a sense of belonging that fosters retention. Just as Manifest has grown into an important annual showcase of exceptional student work, I’d like to see the WAC Crawl developed into a key element of how the academic year takes flight.

 
Chicago Pubic Schools
on Dec 07, 2014

Columbia has been a great partner to Chicago Public Schools (CPS) over the years, especially in terms of partnering around the arts, arts integration, and technology through the Center for Community Arts Partnerships as well as teacher supports through their Education Department.  Through these collaborations the district has been able to create learning labs at our schools to explore innovative practice and try out new approaches to impact student learning outcomes in new and different ways. From my perspective there's  a real opportunity for Columbia and CPS to lock arms, to codify the work, and engage in a new cycle of inquiry around what a true 21st century education looks like, perhaps even a 22nd century look ahead. The collective impact of this kind of partnership could open new doors for both our PreK-12th grade students as well as Columbia's college age and adult students.  As I imagine this potential collaboration, I wonder what specific topics we could engage in as a community of learners.  Is it digital media, 1:1 technology, contemporary dance and choreography, disciplinary literacy across content areas, social practice, and/or the classroom of the future?

-Mario Rossero, CPS Chief of Core Curriculum

 
Expand This Thread
Jeni Crone
on Dec 04, 2014 - 4:54 pm

CCAP is one of Columbia’s greatest assets, and it is what has made my time here worthwhile.

Beginning in my teenage years, nonprofit arts and education organizations have been central in directing my personal growth, and academic and career goals. I spent six summers working with the ArtWorks summer program in Cincinnati beginning the age of 14, and teaching artists became some of my most influential role models. I moved to Chicago in 2006 to pursue a degree in art education at SAIC, though I eventually opted to give myself some time to focus on my own education before transitioning to a full-time career in teaching. During my senior year at SAIC I interned at 826CHI, a nonprofit creative writing and tutoring center in Wicker Park, where I have since volunteered over 1000 hours working with students from all over Chicago through programs on-site at 826CHI and in schools. When it was time to go to grad school, I was looking for a program that would complement my background. Columbia was the only school I applied to because of its reputation with community arts engagement. However, in my experience in the MAT program I have been surprised at the level of disconnect between the Education Department and Columbia's community initiatives. All of my programs are at night, and I’m a grad student. I feel generally disconnected from the Columbia Community, but rooted in the work I’ve already been doing with students across Chicago. Working at CCAP ended up being the link that took me out to schools in Lawndale, Chinatown, and Portage Park, doing work relevant to my field while also representing Columbia.

I started grad school job-less. And it was hard trying to find something that would work with my schedule. The way the MAT program is advertised, it suggests that the schedule of evening classes leaves room to hold down a job during the day. By November I had nearly given up home on finding a job that I could balance with classes, homework, and observation hours. But then I ended up at Columbia's Nonprofit Career Fair, and at the CCAP table. A few weeks later I had a job. In looking back at what has been required of me in the MAT program, I can't imagine a job that would have been a better fit. I wish someone had pointed me towards opportunities at CCAP as soon as I accepted my spot in the MAT program.

Working at CCAP has been the most valuable opportunity that came from my time at Columbia. A lot of teachers in Chicago Public Schools don't even know that Columbia has an Education program. CCAP, however, has an established reputation in the Education and Nonprofit circles in Chicago. Meanwhile, staff and faculty across various departments at Columbia don't seem to have a clear idea about CCAP, all of the work it is doing and the opportunities available to students. Graduate students, especially need to be made aware of professional opportunities with CCAP. I'm not sure that anyone in my department would have pointed me here, though eventually due to Student Engagement efforts at CCAP, employment opportunities seem to be reaching more students. These opportunities should be integrated into degree programs.

During my time at CCAP, working with TEAM (Transforming Education through Arts and Media) I have had the opportunity to visit 7th and 8th grade classrooms, assisting teaching artists, observing collaboration between teaching artists and classroom teachers, and seeing the process of an arts integrated unit unfold. My schedule has been flexible, and all CCAP staff I have worked with have accommodated and respected my needs as a full-time student. Beyond what CCAP was able to offer me, I was able to offer them the knowledge I was gaining in my program related to curriculum design. There is this awkward ground between what it means to be a teaching artist, compared to choosing to be a certified art educator and I think that has caused some education in establishing a strong partnership between CCAP and the MAT programs. But, CCAP and the MAT program have the same goal in mind—education students in Chicago Public Schools. Columbia’s grad students should be in the field, collaborating, partnering and engaging with the community. I’ve been spending far too many hours in windowless classrooms on the 4th floor of 33 E. Congress. My program was promoted as being very “hands-on.” CCAP is where I’ve been hands-on.

I would like to see more promotion of CCAP within academic departments, and the creation of service learning opportunities.

 

Responses(2)

Dale Chapman
on Dec 05, 2014

@Jeni Crone great, informative testimonial. 

 
Jacob Watson
on Dec 08, 2014

Yes, Jeni! And not only have you learned and grown from your work with CCAP, but your contributions and skills have further developed CCAP as a center, providing a thoughtful, critical student voice and perspective. Partnerships within CCC that connect students to staff within our center are critical if we are going to remain relevant and connected to the College. 

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Dec 03, 2014 - 6:49 pm

What extra-curricular and co-curricular community engagement activities have we neglected to imagine and/or implement thus far?

 

Responses(4)

Marcelo Caplan
on Dec 04, 2014

We have a theatre dep, a music dep, but we do not promote the work of our students in open to the publics concerts or productions. I suggest to promote more concerts, and productions of our students or collaboration with other institutions to use our artistics venues (theater, auditoriums, etc). as well as the spaces for fine arts expositions. Many other schools e.g. Northwestern, have tons of concerts from their own students or in collaboration with other institutions

 
Dale Chapman
on Dec 04, 2014

@Marcelo Caplan I really like the idea of CCC artistic ambassadors.  I wonder how much of this is already being done.  Anyone know?

 
Sylvester Briggs
on Dec 04, 2014

I believe that one of the most underserved and potentially profitable areas is the House of Worship segment. I feel that opportunities exist to form a mutually beneficial relationship in more than one area. The most obvious and, I believe, pressing need is Sound Reinforcement. Many HOW’s have audio systems that have been pieced together over the years with volunteer sound techs doing the best they can with little or no training. There are also acoustic issues present in almost every HOW I have been in, whether large or small.

I feel this is an opportunity to tailor a course of study to that segment and market it as such. I believe many HOW’s would gladly pay to enroll members of their sound teams in a course or courses designed specifically for their unique needs. These could include everything from basic live sound to system design and installation; from principles of acoustics to acoustic treatment design and installation.

This could also branch off into Lighting Design, Video Design, and other areas. Additionally, this could provide our students with opportunities for hands-on real world training.

 
Raymond Lohne
on Dec 05, 2014

as a student of taekwondo...I am wondering why we don't offer this martial art for students? one of my former students...sue jo...is a Korean American with an Emmy Award for student journalism...she is in the mainstream media now...and would serve as a natural link to this vibrant ethnic community...

I've attached a Youtube video she did...Master Cheon would be interested in teaching both taekwondo and the business of martial arts entreprises...as as 7th degree black belt who was recognized by the President of South Korea, I believe his skills would benefit both our students...and our great institution...

 
Expand This Thread
Pegeen Reichert Powell
From the Moderator: Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Dec 02, 2014 - 7:24 am

In light of this week's question, I wonder if we might revisit Manifest as an opportunity for community engagement. Is there a way for that event to more deliberately engage the community (rather than simply take place in the community)? I know someone earlier suggested more mini-manifests throughout the year--is this an idea worth pursuing?

And obviously, if there are other extra- and co-curricular ideas people want to highlight in this conversation, please do!

 

Responses(1)

Norman Alexandroff
on Dec 07, 2014

I think it’s important to recognize a vital community engagement initiative that is currently taking shape on our South Loop campus. It’s called the Wabash Arts Corridor (WAC) initiative, and it’s designed to use the creativity of Columbia College’s classrooms to transform our South Loop campus into a dynamic Chicago neighborhood.

The brick walls, parking garages, and non-descript storefronts around campus have historically made it a challenge to create a sense of a vibrant community that increases foot traffic and engages neighbors and tourists. That has all started to change in the last couple of years as evident by the giant murals, large-scale photographs, and papermaker’s garden that we pass by every day.

  • The giant Moose Bubblegum Bubble on 33 E. Congress, and the Tornado image on 72 E. 11th Street were created by Columbia College students. Those images were vetted by the faculty/staff Wabash Arts Corridor Advisory Committee that meets regularly to plan future initiatives.
  • Large-scale photographs now bring to life the exterior of the Hilton Chicago. Those images were produced by a fashion photography class working in partnership with the Global Design Services Team of Hilton Worldwide.
  • ShopColumbia, and other art projects, are coming to the Hilton Chicago this spring.
  • The mural on the Artist Café is a partnership between the Photography Department and the Hyde Park Art Center.
  • The other large-scale images that have begun to appear on Wabash Avenue are a result of a partnership between the college and the Lollapalooza Music Festival.
  • The Papermaker’s Garden is a year-round classroom resource and performance and exhibition space managed by the Center for Book and Paper Arts.
  • The sculptural objects exhibition on the fence surrounding the Papermaker’s Garden was produced by Christine Rojek’s Art + Design students.
  • The mural on George’s Lounge was produced by alum Nino Rodriguez
  • Columbia College Music Department students and alumni have a regular music series at Buddy Guys Legends and Brasserie by LM on Michigan Ave.
  • The Harrison Gateway, the images and haikus on the El Track support beams on Harrison Ave., was a partnership between the college and the Chicago Transit Authority.The Wabash Arts Corridor Crawl in September, is now an annual event that celebrates all of creative assets in our neighborhood, including programs by the Auditorium Theater, the Joffrey Ballet, the Harold Washington Library, the Fine Arts Building, Buddy Guy’s Legends, the Jazz Showcase, Merle Reskin Theater, the Spertus Museum, the Blackstone Hotel, Hilton Chicago, and DePaul, Roosevelt, East-West, Robert Morris, and Jones College Prep.

This is just the tip of the iceberg of what is possible if we unleashed the collective potential of Columbia College to transform our campus and community.  Consider all of the parking structures, empty walls and storefronts that are living canvasses that cry out for some creative content.

Imagine every block presenting opportunities for soundscapes, artistic light poles, bike racks, newspaper boxes, pop-up galleries, multimedia projects, image projection, chalk art, art furniture, art bus stop shelters, and on and on

 

Additionally, several other spaces in the neighborhood have offered to host regular music series, but resources are limited.

We have also made very little effort to invite our neighbors to share in the cultural and educational life of the college.

 

If we focused collectively on transforming the South Loop, this could be a destination neighborhood in five years. Imagine the positive impact this might have on retention, graduation, marketing and fundraising.

 

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 30, 2014 - 8:21 pm

What extra-curricular and co-curricular community engagement activities should we continue to support at Columbia? Are there any practices that we should discontinue or radically alter?

 

Responses(4)

Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Dec 01, 2014

I hope faculty will encourage students to participate in this conversation this week, especially in response to this question!

 
Petra Probstner
on Dec 04, 2014

First of all, thanks for getting us all involved in this discussion. 

I teach Interior Architecture in the A+D department. I found there is an increased need for community engagement both from the students and the professional community. In my experience real life clients and design + build projects take a large chunk of time to get off ground and pose a scheduling/ administrative/ communication and budgetary challenge for the faculty involved. I feel we need support incentives for faculty to take advantage of the arising opportunities. Because of the lack of flexibility in our curricular framework I have pursued one-off opportunities outside the classroom framework. This year we are working with Association House to redesign an unused 5000 sq ft space that they are raising funds for. CCAP has been very useful in lining up community connections for us and funding events and giving a "third party" validation to community engagement initiatives. It has been an amazing experience for all involved.

I hope CCC will continue to provide the support and will provide further incentives (curricular acknowledgement etc) to pursue these life changing experiences.

 
Charette_teaser
Petra Probstner
on Dec 04, 2014

First of all, thanks for getting us all involved in this discussion. 

I teach Interior Architecture in the A+D department. I found there is an increased need for community engagement both from the students and the professional community. In my experience real life clients and design + build projects take a large chunk of time to get off ground and pose a scheduling/ administrative/ communication and budgetary challenge for the faculty involved. I feel we need support incentives for faculty to take advantage of the arising opportunities. Because of the lack of flexibility in our curricular framework I have pursued one-off opportunities outside the classroom framework. This year we are working with Association House to redesign an unused 5000 sq ft space that they are raising funds for. CCAP has been very useful in lining up community connections for us and funding events and giving a "third party" validation to community engagement initiatives. It has been an amazing experience for all involved.

I hope CCC will continue to provide the support and will provide further incentives (curricular acknowledgement etc) to pursue these life changing experiences.

 
Charette_teaser
Emilio G. Robles
on Dec 04, 2014

As many people have echoed, I think CCAP (and all of its programming along with its rich resources and relationships of artists, teachers, administrators and community members of all kinds) remains a vital conduit in which CCC can engage and make an impact on the Chicago community.

In terms of thinking "outside of the box" a bit, I wonder how CCC can expand the type of work it does with CCAP (and other departments that interface with the greater community at large), in ways that invite more diverse community members "in and around campus". Sort of making campus facilities, programming, resources " a second home" if you will. Not in ways that compete with our own students and educators, but in ways that enrich and encourage reciprocity of different kinds.

I think about the type of work colleage Michael Rohd is starting over at Lookingglass through his initiative of artists (and others) in the service of Civic organizations and Civic practice and using the talents of the "Lookingglass Community" to meet the goals or social service organizations or strategic planning initiatives.

I think CCC could become a forerunner in thius type of work as well.

 
Expand This Thread
Mahalia Jackson Elementary
on Nov 28, 2014 - 10:45 pm

Are there ways for community members to have access to the Columbia College resources to increase engagement? Perhaps elementary and/or high school students can come weekly to campus to engage in classes to increase their interest in the arts and get tutoring services from current students. For adults (community members), perhaps having job training opportunities, art skill builiding classes or classes for parents and their children monthly can increase engagement. 

 

Responses(3)

Peter Carpenter
on Nov 30, 2014

I'm grateful for this question from Mahalia Jackson Elementary and interested in exploring ways that Columbia could contribute via community-focused classes, job training, tutoring, etc.  I wonder if any CCC faculty, students or staff could weigh in on how any of these models could benefit students and/or thoughts about the sustainability of these kinds of projects.  

 
Suzanne McBride
on Dec 05, 2014

I would be interested in bringing journalism students to the school; my students who visited Jackson a few years back learned a great deal and would have been interested in building on that first visit. (That visit was coordinated by CCAP.)

 
Robin Whatley
on Dec 08, 2014

Forgive me for duplicating this post in both the 21st Century Curriculum and Community Engagement portals, but it seems germane to both topics. Today a new initiative to support and build on computer science education in K-12 schools was announced by President Obama (see link below). The Chicago Public School system will be one of the largest participating school districts in the country. Funding, teacher training, partnerships with NSF, and a focus on involving minorities and women are some of the commitments that are being promoted. Could Columbia become an active and integral partner in this initiative? We are already engaged in community partnerships with the CPS through the Science and Math led Science Institute programs. Could we open a window to the immersive creative/cutting edge side of computer science education through teacher training in programming and/or game design, for example? Our students, staff and faculty who are already learning and working in innovative computer science and technology fields could be important mentors and role models for CPS students, staff and teachers. A partnership like this would also provide immediate and tangible educational benefits to CCC teachers and students through opportunities for community engagement, internships and portfolio projects, and could forge future relationships in the form of potential students and collaborations down the road. 

And, if it is true (as this initiative claims) that by 2020 greater than 50% of all jobs in science, math, technology and engineering will be in computer science-related fields, we should find ways to integrate computer science training and practice into many more aspects of our own curriculum and degrees... Computer programming and other related training should be made easily accessible to our students, and also to our own faculty... http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2014/12/08/celebrating-computer-science-education-week-kids-code-white-house

 
Expand This Thread
Peter Carpenter
From the Moderator: Peter Carpenter
on Nov 27, 2014 - 12:23 am

This attached report hits on a number of points we've raised here, so I'm placing it outside of a thread.  

I wanted to offer this report by the Educational Advisory Board on Community Engagement Practicies.  The institutions profiled for the report have some similarities in their operations, a couple that I'd like to especially highlight.  First, they offer small grants to support faculty-driven initiatives ($2,000-$10,000--which I know CCC does also, but there are some interesting models in the report).  Second, they "track community partnerships through requests for partnerships (RFP), grant applications and faculty databases" (p. 4--not something we've been able to centralize and/or operationalize). Third, at least one of the profiled institutions sent community engagement staff members to review and offer customized support to department-specific initiatives.  There's much more in the report, but these three recommendations felt especially germane to the conversation emerging on this site and in the roundtable discussion.  I'm curious to read what others have to say.  

 

Responses(2)

David Flatley
on Dec 01, 2014

Thanks for sharing this informative and interesting report, Peter.

 
Suzanne McBride
on Dec 05, 2014

Formalizing, centralizing and incentivizing this is key. I'd love to see Columbia do this and would like to be involved.

 
Expand This Thread
Neil Pagano
on Nov 25, 2014 - 5:02 pm

While the numbers and logistics present any number of challenges, more than 1,800 new freshmen come to our campus every Fall, and it would be fasinating to work on ways we could mobilize and connect our students to the City of Chicago in meaningful ways. Perhaps this might be a re-envisioning of the First Year Seminar (or maybe just some selected sections). But if the City is truly our campus (a claim that is frequently made), we should explore real, significant ways our students can be connected to Chicago. 

 

Responses(4)

Peter Carpenter
on Nov 27, 2014

Neil, thanks for this.  I've heard interest from various sectors about tying in engagement in the community with First Year Seminar, but have heard little specific information about what that might look like.  What do other people think?  

 
Megan  Shuchman
on Dec 05, 2014

I wonder how a place like Steppenwolf - that offers a lot of professional development for teaching artists - could help students to SEE firsthand what training and professional development looks like out in the field. I confess I don't know all of what is happening at CCAP (though I am huge fan) so this is perhaps already part of the curriculum with other community partners (?) but perhaps seeing/meeting/hearing from our teaching artists working in the field would be of interest to undergraduate students who are exploring the path of teaching artistry. Excited to learn/talk more about this.

 
Dale Chapman
on Dec 05, 2014

@Megan Shuchman we're certainly connected to Second City.  Seems like with the right connections we could be connected to other established institutions as well.

 
Jacob Watson
on Dec 08, 2014

Megan, you are correct -- there are many exciting opportunities for partnerships of that nature with places like Steppenwolf, much of which is currently happening through CCAP's Urban Missions program. We are also a member of the Hive Chicago network, as you might know, which seems to me an under-utilized resource currently within the College. Given other programs for emerging teaching artists at CCAP like the TAD Studio, developing a civic engagement component to the First Year Seminar seems to make a lot of sense. 

 
Expand This Thread
Melissa Mitchell
on Nov 25, 2014 - 3:52 pm

I have worked primarily with the Center for Community Arts Partnerships. The way in which the Center connects to the communities in which it provides programs and support, I think, could offer one model for how other Centers and academic departments might engage. In my experience, the connections among Columbia students, artists, the community and the school create pathways to both share Columbia College resources and expertise with communities and to enable the community (students, families, other partners) to share their experiences in expertise in ways that enhance Columbia students' learning experiences. In many cases these are long term College/ community partnerships that transcend funding changes -- I think that the longeivty is an important part of effective and embedded engagement.

 

Responses(3)

Peter Carpenter
on Nov 27, 2014

Melissa, thanks for your contribution.  I appreciate the clarity with which your articulate a value on reciprocity and sustained engagement.  I'm curious to hear about any examples you (or others) could provide about "long term College/community partnerships that transcend funding changes."  Could you provide more information on that?  

 
Roy Fluhrer
on Nov 30, 2014

In 2004, in Greenville, SC, through a DOE grant, we contracted with the forerunner of CCAP, CAPE, to work with us to build a community of artists and teachers to jointly deliver content in the classrooms of a Title I middle and elementary school. To us, at the time, it was new, an opportunity to replace the guest artist model--the guest artist who only sometimes worked closely with the classroom teacher, and the classroom teacher who only sometimes remained in the classroom while the artist "taught." Results exceeded expectations and, now, a decade later, the project is led by our community arts organization who raise--easily--nearly a million dollars each year to support the project.  Major corporations support this initiative with dollars and volunteers.  Relates to this how?  I cannot imagine a better entry into a community than through transforming classrooms and energizing teachers and artists and engaging students.  Partnerships--connections--with corporations, foundations, and individual donors whose focus is on improving educational opportunities led by an institution with the cache of Columbia College through CCAP would/could have a significant impact in classrooms and communities.  I had the good fortune a few years of ago of visiting CC as part of national convention of specialized arts schools, Arts Schools Network, and came away highly impressed with the programs and faculty. Much to do in Chicago but you have so many entry points--I've just discussed one. 

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 30, 2014

Roy, thank you for joining the conversation.  You're referring to your work at the Fine Arts Center in Greenville, yes?  I'm excited by the way you've been able to position partnerships with middle and elementary schools to be of reciprical benefit to the Center and the schools, while also improving relationships with individual and corporate donors.  

 
Expand This Thread
Julia deBettencourt
on Nov 24, 2014 - 12:40 pm

The organization I'm affiliated with - Snow City Arts - very much enjoys our community partnership with Columbia College Chicago.  We are grateful for the wonderful interns that are placed with us.  I think an impotant focus for Columbia College students could be on maintaining the connections made in these community-based placements and extending the relationship further.  We often have interns whom we never hear from after they complete their semester. This could be about building networking skills or anything else that centers around advocating for oneself. This is a skill students will need in whatever field he or she enters. 

 

Responses(6)

Jacob Watson
on Nov 24, 2014

This is a great idea, Julia. There are some courses in teaching artistry already at Columbia, but these partnerships give us a real opportunity to expand the offerings and take advantage of the experiential learning in which students are already engaging.

For example, what if there were courses for students who wanted to deepen their community engagement experience by envisioning new or expanding upon previous work with a particular community-based organization? Perhaps a student would make a connection during an internship and pursue a more independent course of study that would allow them to forge their own path as a civically-engaged artist, but still under the guidance of experienced faculty and staff mentors. 

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 25, 2014

Julia, I'm glad to hear that you're happy with Columbia as a partner institution.  I also appreciate your feedback on developing longer-lasting, individual relationships, and Jacob's thoughts about codifying those developments through independent project credits.

 
Lisa DiFranza
on Nov 26, 2014

I agree that it would be great to deepen and expand the pathwawys we have by creating opportunities for independent civic engagment.

Over the past few years, I've used the Undergraduate Reearch Mentorship Initiative (URMI) in L.A.S. three times, to allow students who are doing a great deal of independent research and hands-on work to be able to carve out time (by getting credit) to stay fully involved in The Living News Project.

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 30, 2014

Thank you, Lisa.  I'm not sure if everyone here is familiar with URMI, so I'm posting a link here.  

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 30, 2014

Also related to Lisa's post, I'm posting a link that describes The Living News Project.  

 
Megan  Shuchman
on Dec 05, 2014

Thanks for these links, Peter!

 

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 23, 2014 - 7:50 pm

Are there other ways that our curriculum could position Columbia College Chicago as an animating force in our city/community that we haven’t offered?

 

Responses(1)

Peter Carpenter
on Nov 24, 2014

I'm curious to hear from people on this.  I know that there's been a lot of discussion around what does not exist in terms of infrastructure, specifically with regard to knowing what kind of projects are underway in various corners of our campus.  Since there seems to be broad agreement that there's a lack of knowledge about everything that's happening, let's give ourselves permission to dream about what could be, EVEN if we risk dreaming about something that someone on campus is already doing.  I see no harm in this potential redundancy.  So, let us know, what further curricular initiatives should be implemented to bolster our role in community? 

 
Expand This Thread
Sarah Odishoo
on Nov 22, 2014 - 11:41 am

I am surprised that in all the suggestions made under all categories, I haven't seen any recommendations for online classes, Utube as a poster child (especially given our visual/audial majors), and online degrees.

As a college whose reputation is connected to both the visual & performing arts, CCC is uniquely prepared for a multimedit/multimodal education online. 

I have worked with collaborators,  but the incentives do not seem to be there. Perhaps this "online " discussion will be a deciding factor.

 

Responses(1)

Peter Carpenter
on Nov 22, 2014

Sarah, thanks for your post.  Though it's commonplace to discuss "virtual communities," I know that many of us think about community engagement in terms of face-to-face interactions.  Are there thoughts you have about virtual community engagement activities?  

 
Expand This Thread
Germania Solorzano
on Nov 21, 2014 - 12:09 pm

I think there are two networks Columbia College Chicago should get involved in: Hive Chicago, a network of youth serving organizations (I believe CCAP and Convergence Academies are involved, but the College as a whole should look to see what's going on in the city) and Thrive which is working to shape the educational landscape of the city as a change network.  As an educational institution, we should be working others in the city.

http://hivechicago.org http://www.strivetogether.org/sites/default/files/images/Thrive%20Chicago_Overview.pdf

 

 

 

Responses(4)

Peter Carpenter
on Nov 21, 2014

Thank you for these links, Germania.  Everything I've seen in this thread and heard in conversation tells me that Columbia is involved in many areas of the city, though our institution's name does seem conspicuously absent from Strive Together's list of partners.  Do you have a relationship with that project, and can you tell us a bit about why you think it's a particularly good fit?  

 
Jacob Watson
on Nov 24, 2014

I agree, Germania, and you are correct: CCAP (Center for Community Arts Partnerships) is already a member of Hive, and regularly works with other Hive member organizations to build Columbia's network in the community. This also allows students to see a broader spectrum of career possibilities within the city. 

 
Germania Solorzano
on Dec 04, 2014

Hive Chicago is part of an ongoing effort to get orgs to work together to solve complex problems.  Their over arching goal to promote connected learning in the city:  in-school and out-of-school learning.  Their focus is youth.  If you look at their website you can see all the orgs that are current members.  In addition, many orgs and individuals work with Hive without membership.

 

Thrive is an initiative from the mayor's office.  This is a change network and they are focused on education in the city.  I've gone to Thrive meetings but I'm not completely connected.  As for Hive, yes, I'm involved through my other job (I'm part-time faculty at Columbia).  

 

I think Columbia is doing work in the community, but I don't know how much the college actually values that work.  Convergence Academy is good stuff.  We need more of it.

 
Mindy Faber
on Dec 06, 2014

Thanks Germania Solorzano. When i cam to CCAP to Director Convergence Academies, becoming a member of HIVE and the Chicago Youth Voices Network was a first priority. i just reached out to Thrive and am eager to connect Convergence to the collective impact movement as well.

 

 
Expand This Thread
Donn Harris
on Nov 20, 2014 - 4:11 pm

Columbia College of Chicago is a unique and special place. As a Director of an Arts High School I recommend your school often. It is a high-quality environment that is more open and risk-taking than most colleges. Faculty and staff seem inspired and in agreement about the vision. I am looking forward to seeing the results of this process and the strategic plan.

 

Responses(1)

Peter Carpenter
on Nov 21, 2014

Donn, that's wonderful feedback to hear.  While a process like this certainly highlights the areas of improvement, I think it's important for us to look at ourselves holistically--strengths included.  I'm glad you're here and part of this process.

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 19, 2014 - 6:09 pm

Are there any questions we haven’t asked that you wish we had asked?

 

Responses(6)

Peter Carpenter
on Nov 20, 2014

During the roundtable discussion a number of speakers questioned our assumptions around key words.  Among these was the word "community."  I think this word has different meanings for different people, and many of us experience the differences of meaning to be politically (and emotionally?) charged.  It made me wish that we had started off this entire conversation with the question, "What does the word 'community' mean to you?" And/or, "What does the phrase 'community engagement' mean to you?"  

Feel free to address these questions and/or use this thread to bring up other questions you wish we were asking.  

 
Jacob Watson
on Nov 24, 2014

Peter, this is definitely a phrase I have heard used in many different ways, and one which begs conversation. I think, historically, "community engagement" has been perceived as outreach: as "giving back" to folks who may not have access to the same opportunities or resources we do.

As public perception of this work has evolved and become more nuanced, we can begin to point more explicitly toward reciprocal relationships as an ideal form of community engagement (or "civic engagement" -- which, to me, seems to look beyond specific groups of people to include larger stuctures & systems). This is something we talk a lot about at CCAP. It's not just about us providing a service or offering a helping hand; it's about both parties bringing a unique set of skills and knowledge, learning from one another through shared pursuit of a common goal. 

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 25, 2014

Jacob, thanks for jumping in on this thread.  The theme of reciprocity has come up throughout this conversation, but I think it warrants continued reinforcement. It occurs to me that pursuing a common goal requires both parties to be clear about their goals, missions, needs.  I don't know if Columbia has always been that clear about those goals for itself.  I'm curious to hear other perspectives on this.  

 
David Flatley
on Nov 25, 2014

Yes, thanks Jacob...for jumping in on this.  I think JeeYeun may have attached a document here within Civic Commons that artculates well how we have broken down the relational approach to our building partnerships within CCAP. 

I find it ironic, in a way, that reciprocity has long been a mantra of our work withing CCAP and how we partner...but that we have had as hard a time having that idea assimilate or be thoroughly understood by the larger Columbia community.  I think this underscores further the lack of cohesiveness around this work overall at the college, as well as the lack of very intentional prioritization (excuse the word, please!) for this work by leadership in the past. 

In other words, CCAP has been very clear about at least this piece of our work (reciprocal partnership).  And yet, nearly seventeen years later...some folks are only now realizing that this is the way in which we have operated.  That is, of course, the nature of an institution at times.  Evolution is a fascinating thing!  And this process is and has been, if nothing else, a great opportunity for us to intentionally look around, investigate, share, pry, push, and inquire.  I suspect it will leave us richer, at minimum, due to this larger collective exploration.

 
JeeYeun Lee
on Nov 25, 2014

Attached is a document that came out of a meeting at CCAP where we put together our principles for partnership.  I think it might be interesting to folks - it articulates a lot of the values that people have expressed so far about reciprocity, mutually shared goals. 

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 25, 2014

The attachment is helpful and does reinforce ideas that have circulated in the conversation thus far.  Thank you for posting, JeeYeun!

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 19, 2014 - 6:08 pm

What curricular opportunities currently exist to position Columbia College Chicago as an animating force in our city and community? What should we continue to support? Are we currently supporting community-focused curricula that we should discontinue or radically alter in the future?

 

Responses(18)

Patricia McNair
on Nov 19, 2014

As I mentioned in another post, the fiction writing program has a course in Practice Teaching: Classroom, that teaches our students to teach writing to a wide variety of populations. As part of the class work, students (undergraduate and graduate right now, although our new graduate director has indicated that she does not want graduate students to have this opportunity, despite a majority of the graduate faculty saying they should) go into classrooms in the public schools, in a variety of organizations in the city and suburbs. These student are taught pedagogical principles, classroom dynamics, research skills, and create a manual of documentation. Students who have been through this program teach all over the college now, as well as work in CCAP, in the CITE, with After School Matters, and in community arts organizations in many parts of the Midwest. They (the student teachers) are not just providing simple writing prompts for writing students to scribble about, but are helping students develop creative problem solving skills, become better communicators, and learn ways of expression that are both artful and effective.

This program is one that needs support and further building. The MA in the teaching of writing is no longer offered (a victim of prioritization and regime change), but we can develop new programs out of this curriculum that can engage teachers from high schools and grade schools, working with our students in partnership. Short summer workshops, weekend one-day classes. There are a lot of ways we can offer the years of research and practice that are the backbone of the long-standing fiction writing program,

 

 

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 20, 2014

Patricia,  thanks for starting off the responses to this question.  I'm really grateful to have faculty (you and a number of others) weighing in on issues of community engagement.  Faculty participation in the forum seems especially important as we consider curricular opportunities and implications.  

One theme that came up repeatedly at the roundtable discussion on November 11th was that we don't have a great sense of what other departments, programs, individuals and centers are currently doing and that we need to gather this information.  Some attendees suggested a survey, which I think is a great idea.  However, in the meantime, I would like to suggest that we use this forum as a chance to introduce the work that's already happening.  Many have done this already, and I think all of us on the Community Engagement subcommittee have learned a ton about community engagement activities that we didn't know were happening.  

Soooo.... how are we connecting curriculum to community, and how are these initiatives/projects/activities contributing to our students' education?  Maybe we could consider this an informal survey of sorts.... I look forward to learning more.  

 

 

 
Lott Hill
on Nov 20, 2014

As mentioned at the November 11 roundtable, the College was awarded the 2010 Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 

The Carnegie Community Engagement Classification defines community engagement as “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.” This is the only elective classification offered by Carnegie and Columbia College Chicago joined a cohort of 115 institutions recognized that year.

The Carnegie Foundation said of our materials: “Your application documented excellent alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources, and practices that support dynamic and noteworthy community engagement, and you were able to respond to the classification framework with both descriptions and examples of exemplary institutionalized practices of community engagement.”

This Classification is a national acknowledgement that Columbia College Chicago was a solid model of a civically engaged institution making a positive impact on our community.

I’m attaching the final draft of the application to the Carnegie Foundation here in the hopes that it can help us remember what we already know and do well and inform the strategic planning process as we look to reengage that part of our mission that states: “Columbia Conducts education in close relationship to a vital urban reality and serves important civic purpose by active engagement in the life and culture of the city of Chicago.” 

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 20, 2014

Lott, thank you for this attachment.   I look forward to looking at the application narrative.

 
Lott Hill
on Nov 20, 2014

Thank you, Patty, for mentioning Practice Teaching in this forum.

The Practice Teaching course in the Fiction Writing Department was one of the most important classes that I took as a graduate student at Columbia. To say this course (and the questions it raised) was foundational to my pedagogy and career as an instructor and faculty developer would be a gross understatement. I would literally not have pursued this career path nor would I have continued the scholarship and practice that have enabled me to lead the Center for Innovation in Teaching Excellence.

The majority of research available reveals that most instructors in higher education have little to no formal training in pedagogical or instructional practice before they enter the classroom. At best, some of us may have served as teaching assistants or been paired with faculty mentors, but our preparation is nothing compared to the credentials and certifications necessary to teach at the K – 12 level.

Practice Teaching forced me to confront who I am as a teacher, helped me understand and articulate what I hoped to achieve in the classroom, and opened my mind up to civic engagement, community engagement, student engagement, and ultimately provided me with the vocabulary and motivation to talk about teaching with others.

I could go on describing the lasting impact this course had on me personally, but it was a model of true innovation in the preparation of teachers of writing. No mater what anyone believes about the Story Workshop approach to the teaching of writing, Practice Teaching was a unique and distinctive offering at Columbia College Chicago because it provided what very few other institutions offer their students: a chance to practice teaching before they became responsible for their own classrooms and students.

 
Donn Harris
on Nov 20, 2014

Are there any relationships with local public schools? How many CPS grads choose Columbia? There may be some curricular opportunties there.

 
Suzanne McBride
on Nov 20, 2014

CCAP has relationships with many CPS schools, including one at Tilden High School in the Back of the Yards neighborhood that I'm involved with along with other full- and part-time faculty members. The ability to do digital media work with the students both in class and during special after-school programing has enriched my teaching at Columbia. I'd like to find ways to more formally involve the undergraduate and graduate students i teach in Journalism - and to expand into other schools as well.

 
Patricia McNair
on Nov 21, 2014

In working with After School Matters (formally Gallery 37) our students, ft faculty, and adjuncts have had exposure to hundreds of Chicago high school students, and many of them have come to Columbia as a response to their work with highly trained (see the notes on Practice Teaching above)Fiction Writing faculty. 

It is a pity that an experience like Lott's will no longer be available to our Fiction Writing graduate students because the nontenured director of the program has decided to dismiss the effectiveness of such training, and has--without consultation of the senior members of the graduate faculty (the folks who built the program)--decided it won't be offered to graduate students. 

 
Patricia McNair
on Nov 21, 2014

Further, she has done so with the support of the Interim Chair and the Interim Dean. A top-down decision. 

And yet, we soldier on. Our undergraduates are teaching in public schools across the city. We have students and alumni teaching in prisons and community organizations. And they are doing it well. 

I developed a curriculum for Gallery 37/After School Matters in the 1990s, and our Fiction Writing adjuncts are still part of this very important program. We work with Story Catchers, we have a number of alumni who direct and coordinate programs with the Chicago Teachers Center, we teach in adult arts programs like Interlochen College of the Creative Arts and others.

We are not just writers who teach; we are writers who study teaching in order to teach better. And it is our goal to prepare our students to do the same--even if it isn't the goal of our current interim departmental administration.

 

 
Patricia McNair
on Nov 21, 2014

Thanks, Lott, for such a thoughtful response.

 
Marcelo Caplan
on Nov 21, 2014

We developed out of school time programs (OST) with after school matters, the College Center for Access and Success (the new name of CTC). Also we have a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to develop and implement these kind of programs. In all these programs we try to include MAT students from the Education department and undergrad students. It is the "natural" way to promote internships so out studnets will have a taste what is to be a teacher before they are. The connection between the community engagement activities and the CCC academic programs is at maximum "informal' and non commited, then it is difficult to have an effective action plan, when you do not have a clear count of what "human resources " can you count on board!!!

 
Katie Collins
on Nov 21, 2014

Urban Missions is CCAP’s flagship program that connects Columbia to our communities at large through experiential courses and community based projects. As the Urban Missions coordinator it is my responsibility to make sure that we connect with the faculty who reach out to CCAP for assistance with developing experiential opportunities for them in the classroom and to provide them with solid connections to non-profit organizations and community-based partners. Historically this has been the most difficult area to fund at CCAP. At its core Urban Missions is all about being an animating force within Chicago’s communities, by developing reciprocal partnerships with many of our cities youth arts organizations and faculty members that have an inclination to develop these opportunities within their courses. Community-focused curriculum has never been supported as a college wide initiative, and I hope that with Dr. Kims interest in moving towards having more experiential courses throughout our institution, that we could develop better platforms for faculty members and students to find support, training, and the courses themselves on Columbia’s web-site. I think a good place for us to “radically alter” the way we support college wide community-focused curriculum would be to make it easier for our students to find these courses and opportunities on our course catalogue through a designated icon or symbol. Honors courses are recognizable by a “HN” appended to the course number so why not have something like this for community-focused / experiential courses.

An experiential course provides students the opportunity to put theory into practice, and demonstrates what they are learning at Columba can be applied to non-profit and community-arts sectors. These courses allows them to add to their professional portfolio and resume while still in college and also broadens their opportunities and areas to gain employment after graduation.

A good example of an Urban Missions experiential program that allows for this type of reciprocal partnership is our Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) partnership with ElevArte Community Studio based in Pilsen. ElevArte was founded thirty six years ago and focuses on arts education and youth development through their own studio and external partnerships with Chicago Public Schools and other non-profits. We have been partnering with their Day of the Dead celebration and programs for five years. In that time we have worked within the Music Department, Television Department and First Year Seminar, we have also assisted in the hiring of faculty and students from the Art & Design Department to work in ElevArte’s after-school programs. Delaney Morris, a Live and Performance Arts Management major at Columbia, has been involved with the Day of the Dead event since her freshman year though our collaboration with the Music Department’s Percussion Ensemble course. This past year we hired Delaney to be the Assistant Project Manager for this year’s event. Here is a short video of the November 1st event produced by Columbia’s Frequency TV featuring Delaney Morris and Columbia Alumni Lizette Garza.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7nR1FMJyds

 
Patricia McNair
on Nov 21, 2014

These are exciting programs our colleagues are talking about. As I read about them, it occurs to me once again that we are ignoring what we are already doing in order to make a new plan. I wonder if our administration knows about any of this, or more importantly, do they know about ALL of it? This hardly seems the forum for disseminating information and transparency. There is simply too much to learn--for all of us to learn about what we already do and already do well--to put in just these little boxes. And to share with the couple of hundred folks who are engage in the conversation. 

Keep up the good work, colleagues. And please, administrators, consider putting resources behind existing effective programming!

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 21, 2014

I'm grateful for Donn's question and the response it has generated concerning CCC's engagement with CPS.  I know there are numerous programs with various sites in CPS, and I would appreciate hearing success stories and/or lessons learned from additional voices.

I also appreciate Katie's extremely thoughtful post, particularly the part where she advocates for making it easier for students to find experiential learning activities.  A course designation makes good sense to me.  For the sake of ease of discussion and dreaming together let's say we could designate experiential learning courses with an "EL" designation and that an "EL" course was required for graduation from Columbia.  (I'm sure many people will tell me why this is a horrible idea on this forum, and I welcome this critique!)  What would the learning outcomes of this hypothetical "EL" course be, and what kind of student experiences could be included in this?  

I'm also recognizing--in this thread, in the roundtable discussion, and in other venues--a widespread desire to calibrate of our efforts.  I'm consistently getting a picture of a complex web of community engagement activites that are rewarding but difficult to find if you don't already know about them.  

 
David Flatley
on Nov 21, 2014

Thanks for getting the link up there, Katie....for the Day of the Dead Celebration.  That's such a great example of our CCC community coming together and merging with a neighborhood celebration led by one of our strong community partners.  It exemplifies the power of this kind of collaboration.  I hope folks check out the video!

 
Melissa Mitchell
on Nov 25, 2014

One thing that I think is important to note is the role that longevity of partnerships plays in sustained engagement. CCAP is, in my experience, a leader in College/ community engagment, and part of their ability to create mutually beneficial partnrships that maximize both College and community expertise is the fact that CCAP has worked in and with several communities for quite a number of years -- i think that is an important note for the College as it seeks to deepend, strengthen and expand community engagement.  

 
Germania Solorzano
on Dec 04, 2014

I have to say that I find this format of communication dizzying.  It's great to see people talking about their programs, but I shudder to think that this may be the only opportunity.  How does the college connect to it's own community?  This online forum is not enough.  The few scheduled listening forums are not enough.  It seems the fact that certain programs exist is not enough for people to know that they exist.  This feels like the scene in Horton Hears a Who where we are all desperately trying to make our existences known.  Am I wrong?

 
Dale Chapman
on Dec 05, 2014

@Germania Solorzano agree.  This can all be overwhelming.  I have a bit of feedback fatigue myself.  Ideally I guess channels stay open and the conversation continues.

 
Expand This Thread
Susan Lyons
on Nov 19, 2014 - 3:50 pm

Interested to learn more about how CCC will leverage the MOCP for furthering community engagement efforts. 

 

Responses(2)

Dale Chapman
on Nov 19, 2014

@Susan Lyons how ideally would you like to see the museum used as a community engagement resource?  And I too would like to see more ideas on the MOCP. 

 
Susan Lyons
on Nov 20, 2014

The MOCP should be leveraged as an existing resource for CCC as it explores best practices and new possibilities for community engagement. 

The museum collaborates with many cultural and educational organizations for programming and publications and also serves students among and beyond the CCC community via its on site and online collections and education workshops.     

 
Expand This Thread
Dale Chapman
From the Moderator: Dale Chapman
on Nov 19, 2014 - 1:53 pm

One more thing I'd like to throw out there before I pass my moderator hat back to Peter...

Should we broaden the discussion on engagement?    Should we incorporate more discussion about engagement with the industries are students will potentially enter?  I'd be interested to hear more thoughts and examples of these kinds of partnerships and programs.

 

Responses(6)

David Flatley
on Nov 19, 2014

I think there's value in this, Dale.  As Dr. Kim articulates, community engagement writ large should refer to our entire set of relationships and engagement with the community outside the college.  That said, there are distinctions, of course, that can be made between corporate entities who populate industries we are keen on partnering with, having students intern with, etc. and the many community partners we engage with that are not for profit, including the public school system that also contribute to the expanded learning landscape for our students (and faculty).  The ways in which we develop those reciprical relationships will differ to some extent depending on the type; at the very least, our ability to leverage outside funding--as in contributed support, such as grants--to help make this work possible will be connected to that work we do with the schools and non-profits.  I wonder about whether the college's internal support systems that help bring these partnerships into being should be structured separately.  As it stands currently, much is disparate.  To some extent this makes sense, given the nature of the parnterships.  But it raises some interesting new questions, as we think about any potential structural shifts that will help us make the president's vision manifest; in which community engagement is embraced in a more holistic way.

 
Suzanne McBride
on Nov 20, 2014

There are some wonderful collaborations/parternships that faculty have with outside groups; how do we better communicate across the college - and beyond our institution what's being done? This would help 1) deepen the work already being done by getting others involved, especially across department and school lines, and 2) expand what we're doing to others in other parts of the city.

I spend a great deal of time in the Austin neighborhood (because of my work with AustinTalks.org) and frequently have groups and even every day residents wanting to know more about Columbia and how we can partner with them in various ways. How can they - beyond what I think of - build a relationship/connection with Columbia? We need a more coordinated, centralized way to build on what's already being done and make it clear to the college at large that this work is valued.

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 21, 2014

The call for more centralized support and coordination is loud and clear.  I'm curious to hear from David, Suzanne, and others, if there are any cautionary notes to add to this discourse on centralization.  If we were to centralize and calibrate our efforts, are there any pitfalls we should look out for?  

 
David Flatley
on Nov 21, 2014

Hard to answer that, Peter.  This kind of work--at this level anyway--isn't super common within higher education (that is NOT to suggest that great civic engagement does not happen elsewhere; just talking about the large coordination piece).  We should perhaps consider a visit to the Univeristy of Pennsylvania (see my other post--and April Langworthy's--about the Netter Center).

My intuitive sense, though, is that it simply needs to be well thought out, and carefully structured.  I think this is something...should we move in that direction, that we'd certainly do.  To avoid hastily combined, or collapsed, or merging of different programmatic pieces.  That's probably stating the obvious.  But the devil does live in the details after all.  Resourcing, more effective communication platforms, faculty wide buy-in and Provost leadership around the ways in which engagement contributes to students' body of work and credit toward graduation...all of these need investment as we explore the centralized support/coordination piece.  But I agree...I hear this loud and clear as well.  I hope that whatever emerges, there is also a leadership spot at the Provost's table, so to speak, if we are keen on taking this to the level it sounds like the larger community--not to mention Dr. Kim's white paper--is clamoring for.   

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 22, 2014

David, thanks for taking a stab at my question.  I agree that it's a lot to imagine in the abstract.  I definitely want to spend more time looking at the University of Pennsylvania model.  

 
Joan Hammel
on Dec 08, 2014

From an alumni standpoint, it would be great to target alumni professionals, businesses and organizations as they already have a tie to Columbia.  It is important to first ask why we would want the relationship with them or any partners- what is our end wish for students?  Internships?  Jobs?  Experiences? Awareness of Columbia?  Manifest and other major campus events are a great time to invite potential partners to campus.  With so many wonderful personal and professional relationships that staff and faculty already have in the community in a variety of ways, it is important to be sensitive to what is already working and not step on or push them aside.  I wonder how you could really centrally audit collegwide what exists, what has been done in the past and what could be done. Utilizing online participation could also allow for a different kind of community engagement, whether it is broadcast of campus events, creating work together, building a virtual library or other ways to participate. 

 
Expand This Thread
Frank Baiocchi
on Nov 18, 2014 - 2:51 pm

First, I want to say that I agree with everything Eric Booth just wrote.  CCC can and should lead the teaching artist movement in Chicago and across the nation. It seems to me it's at the core of the mission and CCC is unique in its scope and depth of teaching artistry. 

CCAP, in particular, helps move CCC far beyond community engagement into authentic community education and enlightenment.  CCAP is a local and national leader in developing sophisticated, effective arts education programs that impact entire schools and communities in addition to influencing individual teachers, students and artists. Its partnership with the CPS Office of Arts Education to receive a highly competitive, multi-year grant from the US Department of Education is a model for how a school district can collaborate with higher education institutions.   It has been my pleasure to learn alongside CCC and CCAP as they pilot innovative programs in schools that have limited resources, always encouraging students and teachers to stretch their intellectual and creative muscles.  I am continuously impressed with CCC's strong partnerships and CCAP's ongoing commitment to bring what it learns to the wider arts education community.

I am hopeful that CCC continues to strengthen its efforts to connect meaningfully with community members from impoverished Chicago neighborhoods, learn with and from them, and help them expand their creative capital.  This work informs and aligns with (at least) two of the main priorities of the current Chicago Cultural Plan: "foster arts education and lifelong learning" and "elevate and expand neighborhood cultural assets."  I look forward to contiuning to learn from your efforts and hope you continue to leverage the exceptional talent and skills of CCC staff and students to help others identify and cultivate their inner artists.

 

Responses(3)

Dale Chapman
on Nov 18, 2014

Glad to hear from some outside voices.  Thanks.

 
Eric Booth
on Nov 23, 2014

I just finished attending the national conference of the National Guild for Community Arts Education.  Throughout the conference there was talk of the need for trained teaching artists, and asking why young artists come out of training programs without those skills they are going to need to make fully rounded, fully contributing careers.  There were scattered mentions of university teaching artist programs, all good but modest in scope and institutional commitment.  Not a single mention of CCC when you have more teaching artist activity under your umbrella than any other school in the U.S/world.  (I did speak up for you twice.) Capitalize on this remarkable accomplishment right under your noses!

 
Dale Chapman
on Nov 23, 2014

@Eric Booth thanks for carrying the banner for CCC.

 
Expand This Thread
Eric Booth
on Nov 18, 2014 - 2:31 pm

I am a longtime friend and admirer of CCC--I brag about you without your even knowing it.  One thing about CCC frustrates me.  I have been in conversations with leadership on occasion about it over the years, and dealt with faculty and students.  CCC has more action and instruction going on around community engagement than any other university in the U.S.--but the parts don't add up to more than separate parts.  You have more teaching artistry happening distributed across your campus than any higher ed institution in the U.S., maybe in the world, but you don't pull the pieces together, your don't align what it there and give it a higher profile.    And you have CCAP, which is this remarkable resource, nationally respected, which could be leading an organization wide alignment of resources.  This would be powerful. 

Becoming the national center for teaching artistry is in your reach--all the pieces are there.  And since the field of teaching artistry is burgeoning, and community engagement is now big business and not just a buzzword, I urge you align these strengths.

 

Responses(4)

Donn Harris
on Nov 20, 2014

Love how all the great minds are engaged with this. When Eric Booth talks we listen. I too see CCC as one of the most responsive and fluid institutions in the country. You guys seem nimble and street smart. Sometimes with that comes what Eric described: a little less strategic than you might be. The trick is to keep that spontaneous spirit and build in effective structure that doesn't weigh you down. No small task. By the way we are seeing more kids here in Oakland, Ca. looking into CCC. 

 
Harris_photo
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 21, 2014

Eric, I really appreciate the urgency in your post--Columbia does such great work in community, but it's a bit of a secret, even to those of us who are at Columbia!  I'm curious to know how faculty and staff respond to the idea of CCC becoming "a national center for teaching artistry."  

 
David Flatley
on Nov 21, 2014

So great to have Eric chiming in here, given his lens nationally and internationally.  To hear someone with his background say that we are a teaching artist institution with such depth, it may come as a surprise to folks.  I see it not only as something that infuses much of what we do with CCAP programming, but the very structure of the college with the size of PFAC, as working professionals (artists) who teach...it is, in fact, a big piece of who we are.  We can leverage so much more out of this.  The Teaching Artist Minor is but one, albeit important, example of how we can build this further.  Thank you, Eric!

 
Megan  Shuchman
on Dec 05, 2014

These are really helpful 'nudges' to get to know more about the work of CCAP, especially as I help run a community partner program in Chicago and manage many teaching artists who have worked with TAD or are interested in doing so. thanks, Eric, for the nudge to ensure I get to fully understand all of what CCAP is doing and how I can help/participate as an arts partner. 

 
Expand This Thread
Marcelo Caplan
on Nov 17, 2014 - 10:07 am

If you want to have a feling of one kind of community engagement outside of the colege bounderies, follow @SFTinitiative in twitter. Almost every week, something that move communities take place.

 

Responses(1)

Dale Chapman
on Nov 17, 2014

@Marcelo Caplan thanks for the resource.  Any initiatives mentioned by that account seem like they could be incorporated at CCC?

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 16, 2014 - 8:01 pm

Are there alternative models to engaging with community partners that Columbia College Chicago doesn’t currently offer? What are they?

 

Responses(6)

David Flatley
on Nov 17, 2014

With CCAP Columbia College Chicago can boast of having one of the stronger Centers nationally that supports such work.  That said, there are some models out there that would be good to look at deeper, especially those that have successfully integrated that work more systemically across all corners of the institution.  One that sticks out in this regard is the University of Pennsylvania with their Center for Community Partnerships, now called the Netter Center (https://www.nettercenter.upenn.edu/).  Another I would point to, in terms of doing some fairly simliar programming to what you find here at Columbia/CCAP is the Center for Art and Public Life at Califronia College of the Arts (http://center.cca.edu/).  The Center at CCA was part of a consortium of higher education partners can did some work and learning together in the early years of CCAP (and, of which, CCAP was a part). 

 
David Flatley
on Nov 17, 2014

Also want draw folks' attention to a couple of national organizations that support this kind of work with their mission.  Imagining America is worth a look for those interested in the scholarship piece to this work.  Their Vision: Publicly engaged artists, designers, scholars, and community activists working toward the democratic transformation of higher education and civic life. 

Their Mission: Imagining America creates democratic spaces to foster and advance publicly engaged scholarship that draws on arts, humanities, and design. We catalyze change in campus practices, structures, and policies that enables artists and scholars to thrive and contribute to community action and revitalization.

Campus Compact, on the other hand, is directly and all about civic engagement.  They are a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents who are committed to fulfilling the public purpose of higher education. As the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact promotes public and community service that develops students’ citizenship skills, helps campuses forge effective community partnerships, and provides resources and training for faculty seeking to integrate civic and community-based learning into the curriculum. Campus Compact’s membership includes public, private, two- and four-year institutions across the spectrum of higher education.

We have been engaged with these folks in different ways over the years; as have our good colleagues within CiTE.  These organizations may prove useful as resources as we continue this exploration.

 
Dale Chapman
on Nov 17, 2014

Thanks @David Flatley.  I think these are exactly the kinds of things we're looking for.

 
Bethany Brownholtz
on Nov 19, 2014

I would like to share an experience I had when I was a student at DePaul that was life changing and involved community engagement. We did an oral history interviewing project and turned the interviews into a book and a play about youth violence in Chicago. Through a grant, DePaul was able to publish and give these books to the local Chicago community for free. Could Columbia pursue a similar project with community partners? 

 
Dale Chapman
on Nov 19, 2014

Thanks @Bethany Brownholtz.  These kinds of personal experiences are a great contribution to this forum.

 
Suzanne McBride
on Nov 20, 2014

I believe Erin McCarthy here at Columbia has being doing oral history projects with students and outside groups for many years now. I worked with more than 30 undergraduate and graduate students all of 2013 to produce dozens of stories about how violence was affecting various people across the city. Some of the work was published by the Chicago Sun-Times and aired on Chicago Public Radio, in addition to our college-created online news sites, ChicagoTalks and AustinTalks. The work was even featured on WGN in June 2013. I'm sure there are others throughout the college doing these kind of community-centered, experiential projects.

 
Expand This Thread
Dale Chapman
From the Moderator: Dale Chapman
on Nov 14, 2014 - 9:59 am

Here are some random thoughts from the moderator:

Manifest came up in our subcommittee as one of the avenues for community engagement at CCC.  Should there be more mini-Manifests?  Should Manifest be expanded?  What are thoughts on Manifest and community engagement?

During the roundtable forum some people mentioned engagement programs that had an impact on them as students.  I'd be interested in seeing more examples of those or hearing from students who participated in programs that influenced them profoundly.

I'd also be interested in hearing from our partners on what it is like to participate in programs with CCC. 

 

Responses(1)

Robert Tenges
on Nov 17, 2014

Manifest is a really terrific event, and I love that it is centered around student work. My impression, though, is that it is an internal event that doesn't really engage the community outside of Columbia College Chicago. There may be some small programmatic aspects that bring in outsiders--beyond families--but they are the exception.

It would be interesting if Manifest could retain its focus on our students and still be an event that brings in the public. When I was Program Director at the Old Town School of Folk Music, we produced the annual Folk & Roots Festival, which brought in many thousands of visitors to the Old Town School "campus." The event was absolutely mission-driven, but it also expanded our audience, increased enrollment and built awareness of the Old Town School brand. It also generated net revenue.

At Sherwood, we are pretty engaged with the South Loop neighborhood. This geographic area could use an annual festival along the lines of Folk & Roots. Further, as the largest cultural entity in the South Loop, perhaps it should be our role to provide such an event. Further still, a bigger, more outward-facing event would likely serve our students even more.

And BEER. If we want to bring in the public (and generate revenue) we need to serve beer.

I'm aware that there are no doubt challenges with some or all of the above, and I am NOT criticizing the amazing folks that curate and support Manifest because I think they're awesome. I just think there is an opportunity here.

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 12, 2014 - 7:47 pm

Columbia College Chicago currently maintains partnerships with a variety of institutions including Illinois K-12 public schools, community-based organizations, cultural agencies and institutions, and other institutions of higher education. What current community engagement practices should Columbia College Chicago continue to support? Are we currently supporting models of community partnerships that we should discontinue or radically alter in the future?

 

Responses(7)

Marcelo Caplan
on Nov 13, 2014

In my point of view this is a crucial question

Models are structures designed to be tested and if the results of these tested models  are providing the desired outcomes to the provided/existent  situation, then the models can be replicated for similar situations with the expectation in mind that they will produce a similar outcome. 

I understand that in the first question, "practices" also is referring to a model that CCC should continue to support.

Regarding community engagement we were witness in the last forum 11-11-2014 that there is a lot of initiatives, and many of them are based in  logical models, that guides its implementation. 

if we would like to determine which models are conductive to enhance the CCC community engagement (CCC CE) mission, then we will need to define in an uniquivocal way: what are the mission, the goals, the objectives, the audiences and the resources availables to develop a successfull CCC CE, and only then, test the existing models and take the decision if we should continue or discontinue them. It is possible that also we will need to develop new models that will provide the desired CCC CE outcomes.

Until we will not have well defined the CCC CE parameters we will have a very difficult time to answer this question

 
David Flatley
on Nov 13, 2014

I believe it’s always good business practice to consider the criteria by which you decide to take on projects, work, and partnerships.  At CCAP, by design we have been forced to do this because we must articulate in our grant proposals the needs we are addressing with the work we propose, as well as why the college is well suited to undertake the work; and how it supports our mission.  And so this question comes back to the whys around the work we do (so we can also determine if there is work we should not be doing). 

Fortunately, there are multiple answers to the why around this work that speaks to the value add for the institution: first and foremost, this work extends the learning environment for students and faculty here at Columbia by providing real world engagement, deepening the relevance for students beyond what they are learning from the curriculum and in the classroom; further, it also helps students learn to navigate within that real world, learning…teaching them about the teaching artist field, or the other kinds of jobs that support this kind of programming (thereby providing some level of career readiness); still further, it provides actual work opportunities—not that all students are paid…some are, but all students are building their portfolio and resumes thru such engagement.

On the other side, this work exposes younger students to the world and expertise of Columbia (providing a real college readiness element, and potential pipeline for us); and finally, and not to be underestimated, the work directly supports the civic engagement commitment of the institution—a critical piece of what the accreditation team reviews during reaccreditation time.

The point being…there are many reasons why, and many added value elements.   But then, Dr. Kim has already articulated eloquently the big why around such engagement, and the desire for the college to be an animating force in the community.  To look at our collective work, and how resources should be invested to make that vision fully manifest…is the critical task at hand.  I would venture to say that we have many elements at the college that are fully supporting this big vision.  What we don’t have is a cohesive, well-designed structure that maximizes our ability to leverage all of this.  Nor do we have (or rather, have we had) a current mandate that might help support a whole range of low hanging fruit that can begin to strengthen the foundation before any additional resourcing is even considered.  To think that these discussions, and this process, might help push the institution to a new, more integrative, higher profiled level around this work is invigorating.

 
Natasha  EGAN
on Nov 13, 2014

During the open forum it was clear there is much civic engagement already moving at full throttle around Columbia but the projects could be streamlined better. For example, the MoCP and CCAP and multiple departments use teaching-artists for either after-school programs or in art departments within CPS schools. Each department does this independently rather than with one CCC voice.  For example, several departments have independent relationships with After School Matters. We could redefine what Columbia's relationship is with ASM and then find the best fit.  Does it make sense that the MoCP is teaching photography courses in CPS schools when we have a photography department that has participated in ASM programs in the past and we have CCAP dedicated to working with CPS in the visual arts?  Perhaps the MoCP could play a unique role in reaching many more teaching-artists to support ASM and other programs in a deeper capacity than we are presently doing. The MoCP currently runs 3 after-school programs in CPS—2 funded through ASM and the other funded by foundation and government grants.

 
Dale Chapman
on Nov 13, 2014

David, what would your ideal "cohesive, well-designed structure" look like?  Can you also give examples of what you mean by low hanging fruit that would strenthen the foundation?

 
Pangratios Papacosta
on Nov 15, 2014

We should create a Speakers' Bureau where the best of our faculty can offer talks on their expert topics and for free to Commumity Centers throughout the Chicago Area. Perhaps Columbia should reimburse such speakers for their travel expenses.  This use of our best faculty remains an untapped resource that needs to be properly organized and activated. Many of our faculty will be delighted to offer for free few talks per year to such centers. They will be Columbia's Best Ambassadors and the satisfaction of their Community service will be a priceless honor. 

 
Dale Chapman
on Nov 15, 2014

At the roundtable, someone brought up the civic engagement program at UIC.  I believe this is a link to the program that was being referred to:

www.uic.edu/cuppa/ipce/

 
Norma Green
on Nov 26, 2014

Community Media Workshop has been housed at CCC since the 1990s and often partners with various student and professional groups to supplement regular curriculum in the Journalism Department. Its empowering mission dovetails with Columbia's.  Its two co-founders and current director all have taught in the department and Columbia students have interned for its various initiatives. Its presence on this campus should be celebrated and promoted as many other colleges/universities would love to have the long-standing community connections it has garnered.  It tries to help non-profit groups raise their profile and CCC should help to raise the profile of CMW, along with the high school initiative, Columbia Links, which has drawn students to take our courses beyond their initial foray on our campus.       

 
Expand This Thread
Laura Bauknecht
on Nov 12, 2014 - 11:58 am

As mentioned in the forum yesterday, Columbia can support students in pursuing community engagement through further developing partnerships whereby corporations sponsor students' pay for sustained projects or specific events.  Photography works with a handful of generous vendors who donate to scholarships.  These donations begin and end with a check.  An alternative model is to reallocate these donations toward more specific community work that would continue to perpetuate itself.  Mini-grants are intriguing in that students become more invested with support for ongoing work and engagement, as we saw firsthand when Photography awarded a mini-grant to student Dan Wessell for his Cameras for Kids Project (see link).

 

Responses(2)

Dale Chapman
on Nov 12, 2014

Corporate funding sounded good to me too.  Anyone have more suggestions on potential corporate sponsors?

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 12, 2014

It's interesting that the opening line on the Cameras for Kids site is this: "There’s a long story behind how eight fearless Chicago women and myself ended up in the Pine Ridge Native American Reservation in South Dakota in the Summer of 2014." But he decides to focus on what happened when they got there. I'd like to hear that back story, too! It's in that story that we might hear about what we can do moving forward. The issue of corporate funding is interesting, too: does anyone else have experiences with this?

 
Expand This Thread
Lissette Hall
on Nov 11, 2014 - 10:33 pm

It seems this post belongs on this thread...Today's conversation about civic engagement makes it seem to me that CCC is still discovering its niche as a university, so its great that this conversation is happening.  The bottom line for improving community engagement is that first we need to improve accessibility to campus engagement.  As a student here, I spend so much time trying to stay ahead of all the weird bits about CCC that make no sense and are clearly from a different time that I don't feel like I have time to do things I really want to do on campus.  

For example, SFS puts holds on students accounts practically monthly if there is any delay with a Student Tuition bill being paid.  I have had to engage with SFS in my time here and fight with the office about scholarship payments that have been received already.  It seems that the SFS rules of payment are in place to prevent students from graduating without paying bills or taking on more bills they can handle without paying the previous ones.  From a student perspective, that system just makes navigating SFS to get to register for classes and work to do well in those classes more difficult.  

The SFS may seem beyond the scope, but it will come into focus.  SFS is one blaring example of a poorly staffed office on campus that is not run efficiently and with which we all have to interact.  Imagine what some of the other student services are like if a basic service like paying a bill cannot run smoothly.

The standards are problematic.  Perhaps provide incentives to Honors Students to work as tutors or peer educators.  The academic supports have not been useful to me despite their best efforts.  After a couple disappointing experiences, it is difficult to make time to try to move through all the services to find the one that works or the one person who is qualified to assist.  

By no means am I saying that there is nothing positive about the CCC experience but it is clear from my time here that if something like paperwork for a simple financial transaction can become stressful and confusing that it makes sense that the other student services are suffering from inefficient processes and are attempting to be maintained on poor foundations.

I don't believe that the college will know what community and city wide partnerships are most useful until it truly defines itself as a college in the city of Chicago.  We are not SAIC, DePaul, U of C, or Loyola.  Instead of trying to be any of those universities who are already fully established and have been for a long time, CCC is willing to build up, but my question is how willing is the CCC community to completely destruct the faulty infrastructure, burn the whole thing down, and, through the Strategic Planning initiative, rise like the proverbial phoenix, as an efficiently and functionally sound academic institution.

I didn't love the phoenix reference, but I figured I should say something "artistic" since that seems to be the current focus.  I don't know that CCC believes it can be arts based and academic.  And it doesn't have to flippant about it like I was here but marrying the arts focus and an environment of true academia would do well for the campus, community, and city.

 

Responses(5)

Lissette Hall
on Nov 11, 2014

Q2.  In response to the opportunity for students to create their own courses- this is a great idea!  It should also be available as an option in the Honors college because work that is of Honors caliber is not limited to engagement with other Honors students and can be done indepdently.

 

This is a great interface for communication, but it is not always easy to tell where I am posting on here.

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 12, 2014

Lissette, I so appreciate hearing from a student! I wonder if you might be able to say a little more about what you mean by "accessibility to campus engagement." Earlier in this conversation, some participants were talking about community engagement initiatives that were located on campus. I'm wondering if there is a connection there, or if you're talking about something different.

 
Jeff Sanderson
on Nov 12, 2014

Amen, Lissette!  I regularly find that events I know about are not listed on the events page, and it's never been clear to me why that would be.  A student I worked with has invited me to the Take 1 film fest tonight, for instance.  But a few weeks ago, when he told me about his accomplishment, Take 1 was not listed as an event.  It's listed now, but at the time in late October when I spoke to Dominic, it wasn't.  Pageen, that's what I would say when talking about 'access' to campus engagement!

 
Lissette Hall
on Nov 12, 2014

Thanks, Pegeen and Jeff.  Yes, Jeff!  This is exactly the type of thing I am talking about.  There are often discrepencies among information found online, in the Tally Ho (which is only available in the elevators?), and actually attending the events.  Regarding the Tally Ho, it seems to be the most accurate, but, again, can only be accessed in the elevators from my understanding.  Furthermore, Pegeen, I also mean that some campus services and/or ways to be engaged on campus through activities as Jeff noted are not readily accessible and require extra legwork to attend that often times delimits my interest in putting forth effort towards an extracurricular or a campus support service.

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 12, 2014

Great input. So this seems to me to be another instance of communication--or lack thereof. It's not coincidental that communication and community share the same root word.

 
Expand This Thread
JeeYeun Lee
on Nov 11, 2014 - 2:22 pm

I found the forum just now very heartening. I heard a lot of shared values and a shared desire for institutional mechanisms, as Dr. Bargar phrased it. I see a lot of common ground for moving forward.

Shared values and desires:

  • Community partnerships should be reciprocal and sustained, not one-time engagements.
  • Terms and concepts around community/civic engagement need to be discussed and defined.
  • Relationships and information should be shared across departments at the college. 

A deep-felt cry for coordination:

  • A survey of community engagement work happening across the college.
  • A centralized location where those activities are listed and shared. 
  • A centralized location for sharing the opportunities and requests coming in from the community.
  • A way to designate experiential learning and community-engaged courses in the catalog, along with criteria for what gets that designation.
  • Learning outcomes for students and the college.

Also, in response to your comment, Peter, about how no one answered the questions about what practices should be discontinued: many of the people in the room are folks who are doing community engagement work, and if something hasn't been working, we've stopped doing it because we can't afford to keep doing anything that's not working. In my experience, Columbia folks aren't shy about pointing out what's not working, so if there are no responses, perhaps there's nothing to talk about ...

 

Responses(5)

Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 11, 2014

Thank you for this very helpful summary of the forum! I also appreciate your thoughts about why people aren't identifying the types of programs that aren't working. I'm embarrassed to say that this explanation hadn't crossed my mind.

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 11, 2014

First of all, I just want to say how grateful I am for today's roundtable forum. I found the discourse quite rich, and I appreciate Robin and JeeYeun's summaries.

JeeYeun,  Thanks for addressing my observation from earlier today.  You identified a theme from today's conversation that community engagement should be sustained and reciprical.  I think there was broad buy-in for those values in the room, and read similar remarks on this online venue. From where you sit, do you think that all of Columbia College's community engagement are reciprical and sustained relationships?  

 
Dale Chapman
on Nov 12, 2014

For those of you directly involved with community engagement, I'd be interested to see a dream list of partners--entities you'd love to see the college involved with, but we currently aren't.  I'd be interested in possibilities that are local, national, and international. 

 
JeeYeun Lee
on Nov 12, 2014

I don't really know enough about all of Columbia's community engagement to say whether it's all reciprocal and sustained. But I do think that it's not realistic to expect that all partnerships and efforts will be sustained - sometimes things are just one-time projects, or a partnership doesn't work out, or the partner goes out of business (we've had several community-based organization partners that have had to close for various reasons). I would hope that we approach most community engagement efforts with the goal that they be sustained or long-term, and I would be interested in seeing if we could develop criteria for how we decide to enter partnerships or projects that seem likely to NOT be sustained.

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 12, 2014

JeeYeun (and all), Robert Tenges' post today offers some criteria we might use before we enter into projects. Is that what you had in mind?

 
Expand This Thread
Robin Bargar
on Nov 11, 2014 - 12:58 pm

The online streamed discussion of the strategic planning forum is very helpful for those of us who cannot be at the venue. Thank you!

In terms of the discussion of civic engagement, at this point in the live conversation there are two mixed threads, one having to do with institutional mechanisms for engagement and the other having to do with topic areas that are associated with desired outcomes of specific civic projects. I suggest that these two spheres, equally relevant, be recognized as structurally distinct even as they naturally overlap in specific projects.

The consideration of institutional mechanisms addresses the desired goal of sustainable civic engagement. I suggest that we consider ways that the primary activity of credit-bearing student instruction can be leveraged as a first-level nexus for civic engagement. Where this is possible the college can leverage the existing instructional structure in terms that directly embed experiential design in the students' credit-bearing learning activities. This implicates the development of financial models for the costs of civic activities and defining connections to these activities in terms of the learning outcomes assessment that is required for degree-granting activities. Many civic engagement structures are described as secondary models of activity due to the degrees of separation between a proposed activity and (1) assessed learning outcomes for credit-bearing activity, and (2) the resource-generating models that are linked to #1, that are the primary source of resources to manage in the college.

 
Precious Davis
on Nov 11, 2014 - 12:20 pm

What would it look like for us to partner with Chicago instituions and organizations that are change agents here in our city? Change agents that are the authors of the fabric of  social change in our city. We must colloborate and hold community based programming in Englewood on the south side, Center on Halsted in Boystown, Corazon on the West side and etc.  Through such investment in the community we will gain credibility as an institution that sees art practice as social justice and therefore will develop relationships in a grassroot fashion that links us to the greater Chicago community. 

 

Responses(4)

Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 11, 2014

I have learned so much in this conversation about initiatives going on that I was never aware of, that I'm compelled to ask whether some CCC faculty, staff, and students are already involved with the kind of programming you describe, Precious? As I noted elsewhere in the conversation, perhaps we need to do a better job of making these kinds of initiatives more visible?

 
Paul Teruel
on Nov 13, 2014

Precious, i agree that we should have deep partnerships with community based organizations that are change agents. Forming reciprocal, long term, partnerships will allow all partners to truly benefit. These intersections offers the opportunity for our students to gain knowledge and insight from Chicago's communities and change agents in a way that is authentic. It also provides these organizations a way to gain knowledge and understanding of Columbia College and the various opportunities for partnership. 

CCAP hosts a monthly forum in Englewood for community organizations, educational institutions and residents to come together on a monthly basis (2nd Wednesday's) to network, share information and plan programming. The forum is called The Englewood Community Cultural Planning Council (EC3). We host the meeting with the Egan Urban Center from DePaul University and the Chicago Park District. It is an open forum, I invite anyone who is interested to attend. 

 
Dale Chapman
on Nov 13, 2014

Paul, thanks for the information.  I heard from a lots of people after the roundtable coming away saying they had no idea how much was being done under the banner of community engagement.  Maybe the role of self-promotion should be added to the discussion.

 
Sandra Kumorowski
on Nov 22, 2014

Pegeen, I regularly engage with different entities in Chicago through my classes. I believe it's beneficial both for the students and for Columbia's image. For example, my Branded Entertainent Practicum class that I co-teach with Mat Rappaport from TV Department produces branded entertainment videos for small/medium businesses and charities in Chicago (our clients: Share Your Soles, Argo Tea, Heritage Bicycles, The Great Lake Alliance, The Southport Grocery, etc.). Similarly, my Developing a Marketing Plan class has done projects for the Chicago Lighthouse, Chicago Tribune, Walter E. Smithe Furniture, etc. and most recently for Undercover Colors - a new start-up that developed a product to prevent sexual assaults. Please see the article in the Chronicle about that.

 
Expand This Thread
Amy  Mooney
on Nov 10, 2014 - 4:47 pm

Hello Colleagues!  

I am very appreciative of the discourse in play here and look forward to our "in person" conversation tomorrow.  I, too, feel that the arts are a central component to our civic life and try to bring this into all aspects of my teaching and scholarship.  As many of you may know, Neysa Page-Lieberman and I curated an exhibition last year that looked at the interdependent role that empathy and risk play in social practice art.  We invited 12 Chicago artists to launch a variety of projects and events that shared their conception of "community" and what it means to be engaged. I am attaching the catalog from the show--so many students contributed to the projects as they unfolded and I had the pleasure of working with class that crafted a loose skein of guiding principles that reflected their concerns:

<!--[if !supportLists]-->      <!--[endif]-->Any community based project, must continually interrogate the power dynamics of its roles and objectives, negotiating the disjuncture between an outside institution’s perceived needs of a community and the very real risks that communities face when opening themselves to a social art project.

<!--[if !supportLists]-->      <!--[endif]--> Art can be in service to the social, not replace critical role of health care workers, social workers, teachers and counselors. We must continue to be mindful of advocating for these essential components of our citizenry.

<!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:WordDocument> <w:View>Normal</w:View> <w:Zoom>0</w:Zoom> <w:TrackMoves/> <w:TrackFormatting/> <w:PunctuationKerning/> <w:ValidateAgainstSchemas/> <w:SaveIfXMLInvalid>false</w:SaveIfXMLInvalid> <w:IgnoreMixedContent>false</w:IgnoreMixedContent> <w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText>false</w:AlwaysShowPlaceholderText> <w:DoNotPromoteQF/> <w:LidThemeOther>EN-US</w:LidThemeOther> <w:LidThemeAsian>JA</w:LidThemeAsian> <w:LidThemeComplexScript>X-NONE</w:LidThemeComplexScript> <w:Compatibility> <w:BreakWrappedTables/> <w:SnapToGridInCell/> <w:WrapTextWithPunct/> <w:UseAsianBreakRules/> <w:DontGrowAutofit/> <w:SplitPgBreakAndParaMark/> <w:EnableOpenTypeKerning/> <w:DontFlipMirrorIndents/> <w:OverrideTableStyleHps/> </w:Compatibility> <m:mathPr> <m:mathFont m:val="Cambria Math"/> <m:brkBin m:val="before"/> <m:brkBinSub m:val="--"/> <m:smallFrac m:val="off"/> <m:dispDef/> <m:lMargin m:val="0"/> <m:rMargin m:val="0"/> <m:defJc m:val="centerGroup"/> <m:wrapIndent m:val="1440"/> <m:intLim m:val="subSup"/> <m:naryLim m:val="undOvr"/> </m:mathPr></w:WordDocument> </xml><![endif]--><!--[if gte mso 9]><xml> <w:LatentStyles DefLockedState="false" DefUnhideWhenUsed="true" DefSemiHidden="true" DefQFormat="false" DefPriority="99" LatentStyleCount="276"> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="0" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Normal"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="heading 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 7"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 8"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="9" QFormat="true" Name="heading 9"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 7"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 8"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" Name="toc 9"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="35" QFormat="true" Name="caption"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="0" Name="endnote reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="0" Name="endnote text"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="10" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" Name="Default Paragraph Font"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="11" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtitle"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="22" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Strong"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="20" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="59" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Table Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Placeholder Text"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="1" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="No Spacing"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Revision"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="34" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="List Paragraph"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="29" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Quote"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="30" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Quote"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 1"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 2"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 3"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 4"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 5"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="60" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="61" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="62" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Light Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="63" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="64" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Shading 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="65" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="66" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium List 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="67" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 1 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="68" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 2 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="69" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Medium Grid 3 Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="70" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Dark List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="71" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Shading Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="72" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful List Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="73" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" Name="Colorful Grid Accent 6"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="19" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="21" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Emphasis"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="31" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Subtle Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="32" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Intense Reference"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="33" SemiHidden="false" UnhideWhenUsed="false" QFormat="true" Name="Book Title"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="37" Name="Bibliography"/> <w:LsdException Locked="false" Priority="39" QFormat="true" Name="TOC Heading"/> </w:LatentStyles> </xml><![endif]--> <!--[if gte mso 10]> <style> /* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable {mso-style-name:"Table Normal"; mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0; mso-tstyle-colband-size:0; mso-style-noshow:yes; mso-style-priority:99; mso-style-parent:""; mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt; mso-para-margin:0in; mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt; font-family:Arial; color:black;} </style> <![endif]--> <!--StartFragment--> <!--EndFragment-->

<!--[if !supportLists]-->      <!--[endif]-->Though some theoreticians (Habermas) promote the public sphere as a realm within social life in which public opinion can be formed and which is accessible to all, we cannot be blind to the impact of socio-economic positions. The public sphere may be a product of democracy, but does not necessarily generate equality.

 

The course was a special topics in art history, called "The Art of Civic Engagement" and I hope that we can give more thought to formalizing such courses, perhaps offering a minor in social practice art. It would pair well with Art and Activism!

 

Responses(4)

Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 10, 2014

I'm not exactly sure what happened to Amy's post, but I urge everyone to download the file she attached--awesome! Amy, I would love, love, love to hear more about your ideas for "formalizing such courses." A minor is one way of formalizing them, and so might be a designation system, in which a course is vetted and marked as "social practice" or something like that (like a writing intensive course, or honors). Can you articulate what makes these courses different than, for example, traditional "service learning" courses? 

 
Amy  Mooney
on Nov 13, 2014

Hello All!  My apologies for the garble--so much for cut and paste.  I was trying to include the criteria for social practice that students' generated during our Art of Civic Engagement course. During the forum, many colleagues suggested that we come up with a designation for such courses.  For me, one difference to keep in mind would be center around the student experience.  I think that it's critical that students have the opporunity to generate relationships that fit with their own goals of creative practice.  Because the exhibition was so diverse, students could try out many different ways of engagement and then adapt some of those experience for their own final projects. So often, with service learning, the determinants and relationships are pre-set. Another critical part is the opportunity to become conscious of the histories the place and people that you work with--frequently that part of the experience can be overlooked. I am attaching my syllabus and a short piece that I wrote for Critical Inquiry that reflects on the work of RISK and what we might work toward.

 
Amy  Mooney
on Nov 13, 2014

Here is the Critical Inquiry piece:

 
Dale Chapman
on Nov 13, 2014

Amy, great example.  Thank you. 

 
Expand This Thread
Allan Johnston
on Nov 10, 2014 - 3:47 pm

Columbia should strive to become sustainable through recycling, power generation, and other strategies.

 
Hilary Sarat-St Peter
on Nov 10, 2014 - 3:15 pm

I would like to see us re-imagine the role of infrastructure in CE.  Effective community engagement seems to depend on a well honed network of pre-existing relationships between the campus and the surrounding community.  Without this infrastructure in place, faculty, staff and students who wish to work with community organizations have to build their own projects from scratch.  (Who has time?) 

However, as the college forges community partnerships, conversations about community engagement can lose sight of their overarching purpose and devolve into talk about "structures and strategies" (DiFranza, below).  Or worse: faculty may shy away from doing community engagement projects because they perceive flaws in the existing infrastructure.  The moment we feel we are really building something, we start to run out of steam.  

So how can we build the infrastructure to support community engagement without getting trapped in it? One potentially fruitful way forward is to start thinking about community engagement in terms of matters of concern (Latour).  Matters of concern are problems that press immanently on our community (however construed): these problems bring together assemblages of people, tools, facts and artifacts for the purposes of problem-solving.  In my discipline -- technical communication -- we want our students to understand, construct and intervene in emerging matters of concern.  Looking at community engagement through this lens, we can begin to ask: 

1.  How can faculty, staff and students tap into CCC's fund of knowledge about artistic practice to present matters of concern to the public (however construed) for the purpose of deliberation? 

2.  How can faculty coordinate projects across several community organizations for the purpose of addressing a larger problem (i.e., matter of concern)? 

3.  How can we draw on CCAP's resources to help students start their own community organizations, in which they raise and address matterns of concern using an arts integration approach? 

4.  What matters of concern are we not addressing, that we need to address, in order to heighten faculty involvement and student morale? 

Working with community partners demands a mental balancing act between the possibility of meaningful engagement and the reality of our flawed human institutions.  Thinking in terms of matters of concern is just one habit of mind that helps me size up our existing resources without limiting myself to them.  

 

Responses(2)

Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 10, 2014

Ah, leave it to Hilary to hit the nail on the head! (Since she has arrived at Columbia, she has weilded her super power hammer to hit nails all over the place.) This is such a key quesiton: "So how can we build the infrastructure to support community engagement without getting trapped in it?" This notion of "matters of concern" seems like such a fruitful way forward!

 
Marcelo Caplan
on Nov 13, 2014

AS you said, development of effective CE depends in a well honed network of pre-existing relationships between the campus and the surrounding community" .

CCAP has it, I developed my own, and as you said also take a lot of efforts. But it is done and available. I recruit students grad and undergrad to work in the communities. I prepare and mentoring them. Many of them received community awards or have being hired instantly after graduation in job related with science education.

The point is how to make an isolated initiative a common path to promote more students to explore the community engagement as an imprtant stem in their professional grow

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 09, 2014 - 11:08 pm

What new ways do you imagine Columbia College Chicago supporting faculty, staff and students in pursuing community engagement activities?

 

Responses(2)

Lillian Elliott
on Nov 12, 2014

Coming from a High School where I played 2 sports each year, I have learned that organized sports really bring people together. It is great to feel apart of something and having to work together to achieve an ultimate goal. I have noticed that sports are some what judged upon at Columbia but they have so many positive effects. Physical activity, teamwork, social enhancement, and coming together as a community. We go to concerts, art exhibits, etc to support our classmates but it is a whole new empowering feeling to cheer on your school in a game and take pride in what you as a school represent. Maybe not even making sports teams, but coming together with a neighboring school, could increase student’s happiness. I strongly believe that school spirit is important. 

 

 
Kate Schaefer
on Dec 05, 2014

Students love working with existing businesses and organizations as part of course curriculum. Rather than using fictitious scnerios, students are able to network and apply coursework to provide business solutions or new perspectives. This also helps them as they seek out internships and part-time as well as full-time jobs. CCAP needs to a larger presence as they offer really valuable services.

 
Expand This Thread
Pegeen Reichert Powell
From the Moderator: Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 09, 2014 - 6:04 pm

Hi all! Great conversation this week and I'm learning a lot about initiatives that I honestly didn't know were happening. This is inspiring! We'll be getting another question tomorrow, so before we go in a slightly different direction, I'd like to make another call to address the part of the last question that asked for input about programs/support that should be discontinued or significantly altered. Even if we don't want to (or can't) name specific programs, are there types of initiatives that are less productive or successful at achieving our  goals?

 

Responses(4)

Robert Tenges
on Nov 12, 2014

A few quick thoughts from the Sherwood community:

This call for input was met with deafening silence at yesterday's roundtable, likely because too many attendees had a vested interest in not discontinuing community engagement initiatives that Columbia College Chicago is currently undertaking...and we write this with tremendous respect for those who have worked hard to embrace and support such programs.

Truly, it doesn't escape us that there is wonderful work being done within the numerous centers at this institution.

However, we believe that every one of the college's community engagement projects need to be first and foremost viewed first through the lens of student experience, and what these initiatives buy our degree-seeking kids. Secondly, and no less important, Columbia must seriously ask itself how each community engagement project supports the academic departments, new student recruitment, and/or alumni employment. Thirdly, if the program is grant/foundation funded, the college must ask itself how the program will be sustained when the money runs out.

Finally, we believe that the academic departments themselves (chairs and deans, in particular) need to be central to every conversation surrounding potential community engagement programs before they are launched, and we don't believe this is always the case.

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 12, 2014

Robert, what I see you offering here is criteria that we might use to evaluate projects before we enter them. That's very helpful! And like in all teaching endeavors, our criteria must reflect our values or goals, and you seem sensitive to that here, too. Can you elaborate on that last point, that chairs and deans should be central to every conversation. This seems connected to your first couple of criteria, right? But maybe you could say more about what role you see them playing?

 
Robert Tenges
on Nov 12, 2014

Thanks for this, Pegeen. We think that the Deans and Chairs need to play a central role, since they are in charge of our institution's academic content.

Our feeling is that when a community engagement opportunity arises––on or offsite––we should a) immediately evaluate it at the Provost level to ensure that it is on mission, and if it is, b) actually defer to the people in charge of the curricuum--which to us means the Department Chairs and Deans--to ensure that it represents an authentic Columbia College Chicago experience.

What is important to us (and I am again writing on behalf of the Sherwood family, and, I believe, many others) is that our community platform accurately reflects the mission and values of Columbia College Chicago...and we don't even begin to get there without engaging the academic departments.

Our academic leadership should be able to speak with passionate advocacy about our work in and for the community, and this is simply not happening right now.

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 15, 2014

Thanks! The connections to curriculum are crucial.

 
Expand This Thread
Paul Teruel
on Nov 08, 2014 - 4:18 pm

I am heartened by the fact that Community Engagement is one of the focal points in our Strategic Planning process. We at CCAP acknowledge that community based work has various reciprocal benefits for all parties involved. CCAP has been around for 16 years, reflecting Columbia College's strong commitment to civic engagement. Our Urban Missions program was created with the notion of bringing together Columbia College students, faculty and staff with community arts organizations and Chicago Public Schools for the purposes of partnering with experiential courses, community-based projects, and engaged internships. 

Last Year, 2013/2014 CCAP

  • Engaged over 750 Columbia students and over 70 faculty members
  • Engaged over 5,600 youth throughout Chicagoland
  • Served approxiatley 535 parents
  • Engaged with 25 CCC courses and 30 community based projects

In order to create mutually beneficial partnerships, Urban Missions has created a cohort of partners within Columbia College and Chicago's Community Based Organizations (CBO's). We partner with over 30 CCC Departments, Centers, and Offices (Theater, TV, CiTE, Columbia Works...) and over 30 CBO's (Young Chicago Authors, Snow City Arts, Lupe Fiasco Foundation...) please click here for a list of our partners. 

I realize we are not the only place for community engagement at Columbia, and that is a good thing. It is important for our students to see community engagement living in various areas around Columbia. Areas such as CiTE, The Learning Studio, Portfolio Center, Multi-Cultural Affairs, and Arts & Activism have aspects of community engagement. We also have a rich history of faculty who have been workingexperientiall with community, Dawoud Bey, Ames Hawkins, Brian Shaw, Larry Minsky, Jeff Spitz, Hope Daniels, and Suzanne McBride are a few. 

At CCAP we are always looking to bolster our capacity and deepen aspects of community engagement within Columbia. I look forward to the ongoing discussion regarding the power of community engagement.

 
Lisa DiFranza
on Nov 08, 2014 - 2:45 pm

It's exciting to read the history of Columbia's institutional offerings - thanks to David and Ames, and hard to hear, Patty, of opportunities being erased. My own experience is less institutional and more projects-based, finding ways to engage students and faculty, while operating outside of the institution. And I realize I'm not alone -  a lot of members of this community are doing work of this sort.

I like working with a model of creative civic collaboration that looks something like this: You bring your cool stuff (talents, ideas, etc.) and I'll bring my cool stuff -- everybody will bring their cool stuff and we will collaborate to create something that is greater than the sum of the parts. In this kind of work, there's an organic erosion of traditional boundaries of age, difference, power. All kinds of experiences and talents are valued. 

Of course, creative collaboration takes leadership and expertise, but paradoxically it also requires the willingness to relinquish expertise,  to not have  control over where it will go.  This work can be terrifying,unpredictable, and, in my experience, humbling, and energizing. The process is not linear and controlled but sprawling and messy. Process and product are often braided. Of course, these collaborations are long term - they take a lot of time and care. Even though they are project-based, they are not "one-offs," they build relationships.

I've witnessed as Columbia students, and all of us who engage in this sort of collaboration, grow to take agency, and deepen our awareness of the ways our lives are intertwined with the community inside and outside of the College. 

I love this gangly sloppy work, and would be excited to find more ways to support various iterations of it. This conversation is giving me some ideas about how - keep it coming, everyone.  Thank you Ames Hawkins David Flatley Patricia McNair 

 

 

Responses(10)

Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 09, 2014

Lisa, if the kind of "gangly sloppy work" you describe (great phrase!) operates outside of the institution, and happens in ways that aren't controlled, then is there a need for institutional structures of support? Or would those kinds of structures undermine the work you describe? What is the relationship between this kind of work and the work that David describes, which requires a "push from top leadership"?

 
JeeYeun Lee
on Nov 10, 2014

I think that we need both. In an institution full of creative people and a history of individual uncoordinated initiatives (not necessarily a bad thing), it would be hard to stop the work that operates outside of formal structures. I think that's great, and that's where a lot of the innovative work that pushes the boundaries of campus-community engagement happens. In addition, I think it would be great to see some of the formal institutional structures be created and/or strengthened - more systematic ways to connect students to experiential learning opportunities, more direct support (financial and personnel) for faculty and staff to create and engage in collaborative community-engaged projects, etc. I can't see a scenario where having structures would undermine the more innovative work, unless we were saying that all projects/ideas have to go through a central vetting process, which seems highly unlikely. 

 
Fereshteh Toosi
on Nov 10, 2014

There are ways to support faculty and student work outside of the institution without undermining it. It may be a matter of reconsidering how the school acknowledges and supports faculty and student "research". For example, does a community engagement project count towards tenure? How can engaged scholarship be considered as part of a faculty member's contributions to the school, even when it happens without the formal support of the institution? We are already a member of Campus Compact so maybe we should review some of their recommendations. Unfortunately, their outline of best practices only addresses research universities. The question about how the school can best use its resources to support community engagement may also be connected to the way our institution defines the relationship between scholarship and teaching.

As a Lecturer, the question of tenure is not applicable to me, so I'll share another example of how the institution can support community engagement without being a direct partner to such a project. I do socially-engaged art work, and often I'm in need of facilities or supplies that Columbia has. However, since my program does not have its own resources and facilities (recording studios, lighting kits, laser cutters, woodshop, etc), I must I must go elsewhere to access these resources at great cost to my community partners. Which is to say that even though I'm a full-time faculty member, I don't have permission to use the campus resources for my community based projects.  It's really a shame because this would be an easy way for the school to support community-based projects in an informal way. I understand why we should prioritize our resources for students, but having faculty in and around the campus working on their own creative and community projects is an important function of an arts and media college. 

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 10, 2014

Fereshteh, This is such a persuasive recommendation for how the College can support this work, and I find it persuasive in part because it seems so tangible and doable. When you say that you don't have permission, I'm just curious about where such permission is granted or denied? Or maybe it's better to ask about a process or structure that could work in stiuations like this, but that doesn't already? (Also, thanks for the links! Very helpful!)

 
Lisa DiFranza
on Nov 11, 2014

Pegeen, 

I have thought for a while about how to respond to your question, because I have come to believe that it is just plain easier to operate outside of the institution, and to spend the energy directly on the work. 

A couple of notable recent events that have influenced this opinion:

1. I taught an intensive J-Term class that went really well - it got students out in the field, creating, collaborating, grappling with civic questions through a staged reading of their own work. It was exciting, and I was never able to teach it again -- offering it exclusively as a 48 prefix course (First-Year Seminar’s designation) would not allow it to fulfill requirements, and neither of the appropriate departments would agree to cross-list it.  

2. I recently received a grant for a project from the a major foundation, and really needed the money for a project. Columbia College Chicago agreed to be the fiscal agent in order for me to accept the grant, but the College’s  legal requirements were so cumbersome that I lost the grant.

3. A recent project involved Columbia faculty and many students, but I had a really hard time marketing the events on the College’s calendar because they weren’t physically on the campus. If we want students getting out into the community, we need to not get in our own way.

With great things like CCAP in place, it’s clear that the institution wants to support community engagement projects, but sometimes our systems get in the way. Let’s change that.

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 11, 2014

I just want to make sure I'm understanding what you're saying here: it's not that working outside the institution is an inherent feature or value of this kind of work, but that it is sometimes logistically necessary?

 
Fereshteh Toosi
on Nov 11, 2014

In response to Pegeen's earlier question of where permission is granted, it is usually at the department level of who "owns" the facilities, but sometimes at the school level. It's a matter of how we collaborate and maximize our campus resources (a topic that may be addressed on other threads). I want to emphasize that it's not just access to stuff, but whether we are capable of saying "YES and..." to the ambition of our faculty. 

Student groups and clubs can also initiate these kind of projects, but I don't hear as much about student-driven community engagement (where students work on extracurricular and extrainstitutional community-based projects). Are student leaders working on such projects without us? If so, can we support them more? If not, is it because the students are not interested, too busy, or in need of institutional support and guidance?

I was a part of the exhibit that Amy and Neysa curated, and I have some expertise in this area. Joan Giroux and Ames Hawkins have also taught arts and civic engagement courses. Can faculty and staff with complementary scholarship in this area come together to provide the "credit-bearing instruction" that Robin B. mentions above?

At other institutions I have taught special topics courses in arts and civic engagement and I would welcome the opportunity to do so again. But there is no infrastructure for me to do so. I have a dream to get a (subsidized) lease for the long-empty kiosk at the LaSalle Blue Line stop to do a project like The Waffle Shop or Conflict Kitchen, two examples of an art school using an off-campus space to engage the public. These projects, like the Washington Park Arts Incubator, have or once had support from the institution, but they also have a life and identity of their own. These projects can be imperfect, so it's important to identify the terms of engagement.

I look forward to listening to the recording of the discussion from today's forum.

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 11, 2014

These links are great, Fereshteh! (And LaSalle is my stop, so very selfishly, I would love to see something there.) Your response to the "permission" issue suggests that this is a point at which our conversation intersects with the "resources" conversation. It's not just about allocating resources to community engagement efforts, but creating a different understanding of who "owns" the college's resources.

 
Lisa DiFranza
on Nov 12, 2014

HI Pegeen,

Emphatically:  I'd love for the civic engagement work I've been doing to be  integrated with the College. The obstacles are mechanical not idealogical!

Thanks for asking for clarification.

Lisa

 
Patricia McNair
on Nov 19, 2014

Thanks for your ideas, too, Lisa. I think there are many good ideas out there. I hope perhaps resources might be found to support them.

 

 
Expand This Thread
Patricia McNair
on Nov 07, 2014 - 6:57 pm

The former Fiction Writing Department (and now the Fiction Writing Program of the Department of Creative Writing) has forged dozens of community learning programs across the city for many, many years. We work with After School Matters, Gallery 37, CPS, and other young learners' communities. Our students who are engaged in these communities are well-trained in a solid pedagogical approach to the teaching of writing. The hundreds (could be thousands now) of young students (grade school, high school) who have been part of these programs learn valuable skills to bring to all areas of study and professional development. Undergraduate students and graduate students have benefitted from the opportunities presented through this Story Workshop Outreach Program, gaining valuable experience as teachers, writers, and program coordinators. This successful program has always appreciated supoort from Columbia. Until recently. Now our Interim Chair, Interim Dean, and (untenured) new director of graduate programs in Fiction have removed this opportunity for solid training and a unique experience from the graduate curriculum, despite its having been part of the graduate program for decades and having provided opportunities for hundreds of students.

This affects not just our graduate students, and by extension, our undergraduate students, our potential students, and the community around us.

What is unsettling is that choices are being made without transparency, and without faculty consultation. Am I wrong to think that this is happening elsewhere in the college? What was once a vibrant community engagement opportunity is being diminished, and at a time when I think it would only benefit us to grow and to reach out.

 

 

Responses(1)

Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 08, 2014

Thanks, Patty! Perhaps this forum can provide some of the transparency you're calling for.

 
Expand This Thread
David Flatley
on Nov 06, 2014 - 3:49 pm

This question resonates in everything CCAP does, and in the very reason the Center was established in 1998.

Researcher Luis Moll writes about the concept of “funds of knowledge” (Funds of Knowledge: Theorizing practices in households, communities, and classrooms, 2005), a view that CCAP wholly embraces with its work in the community.  The idea is that people bring their own history and culture and lived experience to their learning, and schools should embrace and honor and utilize this as an important element within their pedagogical approach. 

When CCAP works with K-12 students and their schools, we model this in our program design and in how we work with and train teaching artists.  Similarly, and on a larger scale, the community partners we work with—not only schools but an array of community based organizations—each also bring a wealth of knowledge, culture, and value to the communities they reside in…and it is this that we recognize as such a rich learning environment that should be made available as part of the Columbia experience. 

This is how we support faculty and staff and students at Columbia, by providing access to this community through a nurtured network of organizational relationships where we do deep, collaborative work together.  Some of the myriad programs we have built focus directly on supporting our stakeholders in the external community (which goes to Criterion Five of the college’s accreditation) and our CCC students and faculty can connect to that programming through work study, internships, teaching artistry, volunteer work, and more; and other programming is directly connected to and supports CCC student learning via Columbia course curriculum that incorporates experiential learning. 

I understand that the reason Dr. Kim does not favor the terms outreach and “service learning” is because those terms connote a sense of ivory tower elitism; that we are kindly bestowing our good work upon a community in need.  While I have sometimes used the word outreach, I quickly couple it with in-reach.  And CCAP got it right from day one, sixteen years ago, with the serving learning or experiential work that unfolds at Columbia.  I share Dr. Kim’s dislike of the notion that we’re out there with some superior sense of making our contribution to the under-privileged.  It is true CCAP supports and collaborates with those that work with the “under-served”, but we have also long held up reciprocity as a core value in how we collaborate.  We embrace those funds of knowledge that make our city so incredibly rich.  We learn just as much from those we work with and serve as they do from us, and this sense of humility and authenticity—and the nature of our relational and reciprocal approach to building partnerships—is a key reason CCAP is so well-regarded in the Chicago community.

I believe that while CCAP has reached impressive heights, it has only begun the scratch the surface of what it can be for a renewed Columbia College.  CCAP’s connective tissue to the community that supports engaged learning at the college can be utilized more broadly with the proper amount of strategic and structural support.  Columbia already is an animating force in the community, but the commitment that has made it so—CCAP—historically not been as fully embraced as it could by the academy as an asset for student learning, development, and opportunity.

I’ll close this contributing comment by sharing some thoughtful insights by David Scobey, Dean of the New School for Public Engagement, which he offered through a keynote to Imagining America a few years back.  I shared the full text of his keynote with our Provost, but will pull out a few pieces here for the larger community to reflect upon:

If the past quarter century has eroded the taken for granted assumptions, economic stability, and sheer self-confidence of the academy, it has also been an era of remarkable (and unremarked) innovation.  Our “civic turn” is only one broad array of education innovations that have emerged (with striking simultaneity) over the past twenty five years.  Some of these were learning–centered: writing across the curriculum; first year courses that melded thematic seminars; writing pedagogy, and academic advising; course clusters and residential learning communities, undergraduate research programs and capstone requirements, and study abroad programs.

The turn to academic civic engagement was par excellence a strategic and ethical response to the legitimation crisis, an effort to redraw the social compact between the academy and the larger society by committing the work of teaching and learning, the convening of communities of practices committed to knowledge making, and meaning making, to the enrichment of community and public life, and by trusting that such a commitment would in turn enrich teaching and learning and academic life. 

What began in the 1980s as an earnest but often unreflective commitment to community service and service learning—more broad than deep—grew into a mature academic movement, characterized by a broad network of campus based centers and programs and national consortia.  Faculty, staff, students, and community partners have developed models of sustained collaborative projects and courses that are at once academically rigorous and socially transformative.

We need to integrate the pathways of career, liberal learning, and civic education—to see all of them as woven into a single integral process of student development and self-authoring.

 

We at CCAP are proud of what we have been able to build here at Columbia College Chicago; but we are particularly excited about the community-wide dialogue currently underway, given that one core focus is aimed squarely at the work we have been charged to take on from the beginning.

 

Responses(3)

Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 07, 2014

David, This is an exceptionally informative post, not just about CCAP, but about the larger historical trend in the academy toward civic engagement. I'm eager to hear from others who have participated in some of the many initiatives you describe. I wonder if you'd be willing to follow up--or others may, too--about this comment: you say, that "Columbia already is an animating force in the community, but the commitment that has made it so—CCAP—historically not been as fully embraced as it could by the academy as an asset for student learning, development, and opportunity." Are there specific ways you would like to see Columbmia embrace CCAP? What might that embrace look like? (I understand that part of your answer may be more appropriate in the "resources" conversation, but it might be useful here, too.)

 
David Flatley
on Nov 08, 2014

Thank you Pegeen, for your continuing to prod and poke within this important topic.  I say that Columbia already is an animating force in the community because I have evidence from the numerous individuals out there in that community who I speak to, and hear from…who have an extraordinarily positive lens on the impact our various programs have had in pockets across the city for many years.  Of course it is not just CCAP, as others are sharing their important work in this forum as well.  CCAP just happens to be the largest outlet for civically engaged work at the college, and one that was formed for this purpose almost exclusively.  The college has been supportive of CCAP in general, but it has also left it to grow, and navigate within the college for that student engagement piece, on its own.  We benefited from being able to go out and create that laboratory over many years without too many constraints, but as a result it has been done largely with soft money (which is highly restricted in terms of how it is allocated).  This is good on the one hand, but the ratio of grant money to unrestricted support is dangerously high.  Still, the Center has provided rich opportunities for those faculty within the college that have been game to partner with us, and who have understood the potential for their students’ learning.  The challenges that have prevented us from building something still more remarkable and broad—in terms of the layered Columbia student/learning piece—have been to some extent about resourcing, but also about that lack of vision and leadership from the top that lifted up engaged learning as a core value.  The bully pulpit has rarely been utilized to leverage CCAP work from within. 

A greater embrace of this work, and one that would provide a powerful ROI for the institution, might look like a charge from the Provost’s office that makes engaged learning a keystone within First Year Seminar; or perhaps students—within certain majors and/or with an interest in education or management or teaching artistry, for instance—are asked to consider building their capstone experience to include a rich, community engaged component.  Or maybe honors courses embed experiential learning as a component that builds that extra level of rigor.  There are many interesting ideas that can be explored that could leverage the power and reach of CCAP in the community.  While it would likely take some additional structural support to build the capacity of the Center to construct these layers into our programming and grant funded initiatives…I believe it would also require a push from top leadership, and an invitation to help build that strategic platform with input from academic leadership across the institution.

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 08, 2014

David, we might see the "push from top leadership" here, in the fact that community engagement is one of six pillars of the strategic plan, and I hope this conversation might yield some of the ideas we can explore. This is why the participation of you, your CCAP colleagues, and our commuinty partners in this conversation is so important.

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 06, 2014 - 9:42 am

How does Columbia College Chicago currently support its faculty, staff, and students in pursuing community engagement activities? What support should we continue to provide, and what should be discontinued or significantly altered?

 

Responses(7)

Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 06, 2014

Thank you, everyone, for such a rich conversation so far! With respect to this recent question, Lott and Marcelo, for example, have already identified some of the current structures in place that support faculty, staff, and students. I'd be curious to hear from them and others if we as an institution are supporting some activities that they feel we should discontinue? And this would be a good occasion to hear from participants about which specific activities they definitely feel we should continue to support, and why. David Flatley, this would also be a great occasion to loop in your community partners!

 
JeeYeun Lee
on Nov 06, 2014

CCAP supports faculty and students in pursuing community engagement in a number of ways. I'll let my colleagues explain more about each of our strategies, but the main ones are:

For faculty: 1) We partner with CiTE to provide professional development for faculty to develop experiential learning courses. 2) We support faculty as they teach experiential learning courses, particularly by introducing them to and supporting their partnerships with community-based organizations. 3) We just selected 13 Faculty Fellows to engage with our Convergence Academies initiative that is creating a whole school model that integrates media and technology into K-12 curriculum. 

For students: 1) CCAP's Big Art is a program in partnership with New Student Programs for first year students to learn about Chicago's communities and teaching artistry through monthly workshops with CCAP's community partners - both schools and nonprofits. Big Art Fellows was a particular initiative we carried out last year where a cohort of 18 freshman minority/first generation students did arts-based mentoring for middle school students all year long. 2) We provide internships, work-study jobs, and volunteer opportunities with a wide variety of our community partners, including schools and nonprofits. 3) We support students with projects they want to initiate in the community. 

That's a quick snapshot. 

 
David Jones
on Nov 06, 2014

Anchor Graphics had a very rich and robust involvement with the community- We collaborated with others; The City of Chicago, the Art Institute, Marwen, Foundations numerous CPS schools and others.

As the structure of Columbia changed and with that  ideas of what our organization should be and do changed as well, As a result  our outreach efforts were eliminated  at a great loss to the community and the college- 

I don't see the college really supporting community engagement efforts - If the college is behind and encouraging outreach, then those efforts should be publicized.  I believe that these activities will have an impact on enrollment and retention.

 
Lynne Pace Green
on Nov 06, 2014

I am grateful for the opportunity to jump into the conversation at the last hour. One of the inherent values of community engagement that hasn't yet been mentioned is the value it offers to the practice of art making. As we consider preparing young artists to go out into the world to make a difference or create positive impact through their artistic practice, we need to provide them opportunities to engage with their community because quite simply, it makes them better artists. As artists learn to listen to and be informed by their community, they discover new and diverse perspectives that help to inform and shape their practice. They offer value to the community and this in turn broadens, deepens and enriches their art making. Community engagment is not just a value about developing good citizens, it is also about feeding artistic practice by increasing our exposure and impact. At CCAP, we look for and train teaching artists (faculty, students and alumni) who have an active artistic practice and create opportunities for them to go into community settings as active learners, eager to explore ideas and concepts through their art making. Through this process, they enrich the community and discover new intentions that get fed back into their own practice. This infinity loop of learning through artistic practice breeds successful artists who reflect the diverse world in which we live and therefore have the ability to affect change and make a significant impact in society. Isn't that the type of student and artist we want to create at CCC?

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 07, 2014

Lynn, I appreicate you returning to the question of "why" this is important.

 
Mia Gjeldum
on Nov 15, 2014

I really wish I felt more support. I understand the college level is a lot of "doing things on your own" and making your own path, but I don't think students should be left to be doing things solely by themselves, and that's how I feel. I commute, am a double major, and a first semester student and I have never felt more lost and not confident. I wish I felt more support from my teachers and faculty. Since day once, I felt like I didn't know what I was doing or connected really. And maybe it is because I am trying to tackle a double major and because I do commute that I feel this way, but even so, I wish I knew more about getting involved. 

 
Dale Chapman
on Nov 15, 2014

Mia, I think most people feel that way in their first semester anywhere.  I certainly did.  I would directly tell your teachers about feeling disconnected and see if they can point you in directions that would help.

On a side note, my students are always looking for actors.  So if you're interested in acting in short movies, let me know and I'll pass it along to the directors in the spring.

 
Expand This Thread
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Nov 02, 2014 - 11:05 pm

Are there alternative models to developing our students' sense of personal responsibility, citizenship, and social justice that Columbia College Chicago doesn't currently offer?

 

Responses(18)

Peter Carpenter
on Nov 03, 2014

Many of our students engage in off-campus experiential learning opportunities via internships, service learning, ethnography, etc. but as a committee we wanted to see if there were more ideas for developing our students' critical/ethical consciousness. We hoped this question would solicit some new pathways of engagement.  I look forward to hearing from you.

 
Lisa DiFranza
on Nov 03, 2014

It occurs to me that we folded the conversation about purpose too quickly into a conversation about structures and strategies. Prioritizing community engagement is not simply a programmatic adjustment, but a deeper cultural value choice.

In order for students to have a sense of agency (to become “authors of the culture”) it’s important that they find, here, a sense of belonging, a sense of an artistic home. Community breeds confidence, a sense that your voice matters. We are so big and so many students feel lost and voiceless. The idea of a new 24-7 student center is a great emblematic choice. What other choices can we make?

The more we place our attention toward the aspects of student success that value entrepreneurship, marketing savvy and business acumen (all of which are important) the more important it is to balance those skills with placing a value on human connection, citizenship, collaboration and compassion for others. This naturally leads to community engagement programs, but it also affects our day to day work - in and out of the classroom.

 
Stan Wearden
on Nov 03, 2014

Lisa, this is a great contribution. I could not agree more strongly about your comment regarding agency and finding ways to engender that. Students need to feel a deep sense of belonging here (and actually we're pretty good at that already in contrast to some institutions I know). That needs to be fostered by everyone. That feel stems from the most simply things (a smile and a kind word as we walk past a student) all the way up to things like a student center. Student success is everyone's business, regardless of her or his specific job duties.

 
Fereshteh Toosi
on Nov 03, 2014

Community engagement doesn't necessarily happen off-campus. How do we push the notion of engagement beyond the traditional structures of charity or volunteer work?

In response to today's question, some of the most formative experiences develop from when students build their own campus community. It's true that a physical space will help, but I've seen plenty of empty student centers on campuses across the country. Our role as teachers and administrators is important, but sometimes we have to put our ego aside and acknowledge that students have the most to gain from the connections they make with other students. How can we facilitate these connections beyond organizing a festival or one-time event? How can we place the responsibility for successful engagement within the daily lives of the students themselves (actively engaging the agency Lisa refers to above)?

 

At some schools, students have the choice to participate in co-ops, where they share responsiblity for the care and maintenance of their own living areas and/or planning and cooking their own group meals. Students may initially join because of the savings on food or housing costs, but they stay because they are empowered by a sense of self-governance and the camaraderie that's built when you learn the skills to purchase the ingredients from vendors and take the steps to cook a large meal for 60 of your peers.

Student-taught courses are an exciting model that I'd like to see at Columbia (see links to examples below). Both of the models I mention promote student leadership and transferable entrepreneurial skiills in more complex ways than simply having a slick web presence or a lot of software listed on your resume:

 

 
Lisa DiFranza
on Nov 03, 2014

This is great! I look foward to looking at these models. Thanks, Fereshteh.

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 03, 2014

Fereshteh,

You make a great point that community engagement can happen in lots of locations, including our own campus.  I, too, am looking forward to spending some time with the links you provided.  

I wonder if there's a connection here with a part of Raquel's earlier comment (in the previous thread) regarding Columbia clarifying its own identity before moving into community engagement practices?

 
Marcelo Caplan
on Nov 04, 2014

CCC have an extensive set of programs designed to support the community engagement and visibility of the schools in the community at large such as CCAP or the outreach programs of the Dep. of Science and Mathematics. These programs are recognized "outside" of the school, changing the reality of underserved and underepresented groups in chicago one child, one parents at the time. We run enrichment programs for children during the academic year and summer, generating events, conferences and more activities that mobilize hundreds of people. But for the school these activities are not perceived as important, therefore, why the students will perceive these activities as important? 

If we want to our students to develop a sense of personal responsibility, then we need to present community engagement as a relevant mission of the school reflected in "on" and "off" campus activities that support our mission.

We try to recruit as much students as we can to support community engagement activities but there is not a direct line connecting us with the departments, where we can find interested candidates.

If the community engagement will have any concrete weight in the student present and future careers (such as to be part of a class, etc) , we will have the possibility to let students explore  different ways of community engagement  and they can discover (or not) their willingness to join these kind of activities

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 04, 2014

Marcelo, thank you for your post.  I'm wondering if I can get a little clarification on one point.  You write, "We try to recruit as much students as we can to support community engagement activities but there is not a direct line connecting us with the departments, where we can find interested candidates."  Who is the "we" you are referring to?  Do you mean those of you affiliated with the Scientists of Tomorrow program?  

 
Jane Jerardi
on Nov 04, 2014

Jumping off of Fereshteh's comment, I also wonder about students and their schedules and part-time jobs and if this hinders their ability to engage more both on campus and off. I aso wonder about work-study positions - could the school encourage more students to participate in student-led activity (or co-curricular or curricular) activity around community engagement (be it on-campus communities or specific projects with groups in Chicago/off campus) by actually having 'work study' positions.  I mean is the time this takes a barrier for some students?  I know I'm often surprised just how much students are working - many have part-time jobs.  What if their part-time jobs could be somehow more directly linked to their studies and to some efforts towards community engagement?  I know that those who take teaching courses in the dance program have gone on to do independent/directed studies that involve teaching dance in schools and commuity spaces in the city - this has led directly into paying work immediately after graduation - so this is a win, win on many many levels.  I wonder if this was formalized in some way or even advertised as a potential way for students to 'work' while their in school?  Could there be some type of 'co-op' (more like work co-op) where students work while in school and the work could be around community arts, projects, teaching, etc.?

 
Marcelo Caplan
on Nov 05, 2014

The "we" is the people promoting and implementing scientists for tomorrow

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 05, 2014

Marcelo, thanks for the clarification.  Much appreciated.

Jane, thanks for this idea thread.  I appreciate you bringing the economic reality of our students--who face different kinds of challenges in financing their educations than many of us did 20+ years ago--into this matrix.  

 
Lisa DiFranza
on Nov 05, 2014

Stan,  With all respect, I’m not so sure we are good at students feeling a sense of belonging here at Columbia. I see a lot of students getting lost in the urban bigness of the place — and often, these students leave.  While “a smile and a kind word” are nice and good, I wasn’t talking about the warm fuzziness of belonging, but about something much more rock solid and vital - the school serving as an artistic home, so that students feel confident enough to take the big tangible risks necessary for deep civic engagement.   

I’m with Ames about the need to claim Civic Engagement as a cultural value, which would invite students to take ownership of it. Ames wrote “such support and recognition isn't necessary because folks who choose to engage in this work often do so because they want to; because they believe in it. They'll keep doing stuff with or without the college staking a claim on CE as a value.” Yes.  Many years ago, with  Faculty Development Grant support I started a project that has developed into a complex collaboration between Columbia students, faculty, Chicago journalists and artists, and community members. In recent years, the work is mostly separate from the College - and has been fueled by funding through a DCASE grant from the City , the Illinois Humanities Council's Collaborative City and Media Remix initiatives, and 3Arts. CAN-TV aired our most recent event. It would be great if the College could be more connected with this kind of project, and these community resources.

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 06, 2014

Before I put my moderator hat on, I wanted to say that personally and professionally, I am persuaded by Raquel's comment about moving away from a colonialist idea embedded in many service learning courses. I have seen this fail in terms of student experiences (they express a resentment toward the experience and don't see the connection with their coursework) and in terms of the community sites (they get shoddy work from inexperienced or resentful students). Of course, these courses can also be tremendously successful! However, I'm happy to see in this conversation several other understandings of what "engagement" might mean or look like. And I'd like to see us return throughout the conversation to a serious consideration of why we are advocating for particular approaches in the first place: is it good for students? for the college? for the community? and how do we know it's good?

 
Alexios Rosario-Moore
on Nov 06, 2014

I think participatory action research might provide a theoretical model to build on if we are concerned with colonial models of civic engagement.

I don't know any courses in HHS address participatory action research. Similarly, I'm not sure if the education school offers courses on critical pedagogy. But if we are serious about shifting the orientation of our civic engagement, it might be helpful to offer courses that support more progressive models of research and education.

 
April Langworthy
on Nov 06, 2014

Another institution doing great work in this area is the University of Pennsylvania.  I've added a link to the Netter Center.

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 07, 2014

Alexios and April, thank you very much for these very specific suggestions (and the links) about new models. It seems to me that what Alexios offers is an approach that could inform several different initiatives. April, am I right that the Netter Center is more an institutional structure, rather than a single approach? In that respect, these two ideas may be quite compatible. What would we need in place here at Columbia (this is relevant to the resources conversation, as well as the 21st Century Curriculum conversation) to accomplish either of these?

 
April Langworthy
on Nov 10, 2014

Yes, Pegeen.  The Netter Center is an institutional approach, but also embraces several models of partnership development.  Both are definitely compatible.  Supporting development of a more institutional approach is definitely an important step and I believe it's only partially a resource conversation.  We have a vehicle (though CCAP should not be the only place it needs to live) to make it happen.  I think assessing what exists that we can build from and what may need to be created based on our strategic vision will help to answer that question.

It's also, as others have articulated, a values conversation.  We need to create and expand pathways to support experiential learning for students and faculty by articulating an expectation for their integration into curriculum.  We also need to look at the benefits of these opportunities to students that are being articulated in many of the other conversations we are having around student learning (21st Century Skills, Career Development etc.) and help students begin to reflect on their own career readiness and skills before they are in their senior year.  We have many alumni (unfortunately) that come to CCAP after they have graduated (or some in their senior year) who say they wished they had know about the opportunities sooner, or have just started thinking about life after college and think they might want to work with young people or at community based arts organizations. I've constantly wondered how we fix that. How do we work together to have the most collective impact on our students!

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 11, 2014

April, I don't want to oversimplify what you've said here, but you raise an important point that I think should be highlighted: whatever we do in terms of community engagement efforts, we need to also work to communicate these opportunities to students, and do so early enough in their time at Columbia that they can take advantage of them. This in itself calls for some kind of institutional structure inasmuch as it involves a variety of responsible parties (new student office, advising, student life, and so on). Thanks for bringing this up!

 
Expand This Thread
Peter Carpenter
From the Moderator: Peter Carpenter
on Oct 30, 2014 - 11:25 am

Thank you for joining the conversation on community engagement!  As a moderator for this conversation, I'm excited to hear your thoughts about ways that Columbia can contribute to notions of citizenship, social justice and community.  

 
Columbia College Chicago
From the Moderator: Columbia College Chicago
on Oct 29, 2014 - 8:31 pm

 

Why do you think community engagement is important to the future of Columbia College Chicago? What makes a community engagement practice successful in the context of a teaching-focused institution of higher learning?

 

Responses(33)

Peter Carpenter
on Oct 30, 2014

Dr. Kim's whitepaper, Redefining Our Greatness, calls for community engagement practices to figure prominently in Columbia College's future, but the subcommittee thought it made good senese for more voices to weigh in on the subject of why this is beneficial.  I think many of us are deeply invested in community engagement as a cornerstone of Columbia College's identity; here's a chance to articulate why it matters to us.  

 
Marcelo Caplan
on Oct 30, 2014

Community engagement is one way in which Columbia can showcase its values throughout the city and beyond. Through the participation in our civic engagement programs, the Department of Science and Mathematics is reaching the potential future Columbia students and their parents in their own communities when dealing with issues that are important for them. (www.scientistsfortomorrow.org)

Therefore the connection between the college and the community is not only … come to Columbia to be an excellent …, but providing to all the stakeholders in the community opportunities to explore new paths, promoting themselves through an active partnership with the college.

 

Collaborating and generating a positive vibe in the community is not only an excellent recruiting tool, is the right thing to do to improve the quality of life in our city. 

 
Jan Chindlund
on Oct 30, 2014

Community engagement is part of our long history, part of our mission, and part of idenity and DNA. It allows us to activate our ideas in the greater environment, to try them out, to test them, to hone them. And we learn from those with whom we engage. Our ideas and practices collide with theirs to create new ideas and work that could not have happened in isolation.

 
Peter Carpenter
on Oct 30, 2014

Jan, I'm especially interested in your idea, "Our ideas and practices collide with theirs to create new ideas and work that could not have happened in isolation."  I'm curious to hear about specific instances where that has happened.

 
Katie Paciga
on Oct 30, 2014

For Education, community engagement is critically important because we rely on community centers and schools to mentor and host our undergraduate and graduate students as they work toward licensure. I have not yet personally engaged in systematic figuring out of what makes these relationships successful, but a start may include (1) offering the community/schools a service they need (i.e., creating and/or identifying a market); (2) clear goals for entering into and sustaining the relationship; and (3) reliable follow through in terms of delivery from Columbia's end (e.g., paperwork, communication, services).

 
Susan Marcus
on Oct 30, 2014

In answer to the second part of your question - keeping the choices for community engagement focused on what it brings to student learning - the opportunities and doors it opens for students as they explore what it means to be a productive member of the community (local, national and international).   It is imperative that we always have a reciprocal relationship with our community partners.

 
Julie Redmond
on Oct 30, 2014

I think this is a critically important element of the student experience building collaboration and relationships within and outside of Columbia. Considering the social media available to students, balancing it with interaction and engagement in the community is a worthy consideration - even for a required element of the experience at Columbia as it is at many other colleges and universities. This could/should include more international experiences as welll.

 
Peter Carpenter
on Oct 30, 2014

If I can attempt to recap the conversation thus far:  I'm reading from Marcelo that one of the biggest gains for the institution is the recruitment of future students while also making a positive impact in our surrounding communities.  Jan sees community engagement as part of our DNA and a possibility for knowledge creation. Katie, Julie and Susan all focus on different aspects of the student experience:  an important step toward degree completion/licensure (Katie), an pedagogical tool toward the development of the student-citizen (Susan), and as a potent antidote against the isolation that sometimes accompanies our student's increasingly digital/virtual lives (Julie).  All commenters thus far see reciprocity as a key issue, and both Susan and Julie see international experiences as part of this matrix.  

I'm grateful for the richness of these comments and look forward to reading more.  

 

 
Sharon Marie Ross
on Oct 30, 2014

I think one element threading through here (but perhaps not explicitly? though Susan M touches on this) is that we need to instill in our students that part of becoming an adult is thinking beyind your own career aspirations and considering the ways in which you are a "professional citizen" in whatever community you end up in. I know most Columbia teachers stress this in their classes, and it happens in amazing ways across the college in specific endeavors. I would personally like to see this become an element of the core Columbia experience. If we're looking at, for example, LAS and the requirements of U.S. pluralism and Global Awareness, might we be better serving our students and the communities around us if we could find a way to require a class (not nec. in LAS) that had a service component. I feel strongly about this personally--my son is at a CPS school that stresses math, science, ecology, music, art, drama, media--there are untold opportunities here for us to actually connect our students to younger students (hitting both recruitment opps and in my eye more importantly teaching our students about the actual impact of that they are thinking of "doing" post graduation.

 
Dale Chapman
on Oct 30, 2014

A class with a service component is an intriguing idea.  Any thoughts on what it might look like?

 
Peter Carpenter
on Oct 31, 2014

Sharon and Dale, thanks for your comments.  Dale, in response to your question, this essay offers several models for service learning in higher education (see pages 3-4).  http://opensiuc.lib.siu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1160&context=jcwre

 
Stan Wearden
on Oct 31, 2014

Great ideas in this thread! And Peter, thank you for the link. My concern is that we often have great ideas, but what is the structure we need to build ensure that these ideas are continuously actualized?

 
Peter Carpenter
on Oct 31, 2014

Thanks, Stan.  I agree that structure is often in the way of great ideas.  I wonder how these thoughts might relate to the conversation happening in the 21st Century Curriculum conversation--particularly Sharon's thoughts regarding civic engagement practices such as service learning as a component of the core curriculum.

 

 
Lisa DiFranza
on Oct 31, 2014

Here’s a structural idea:

 

 

A Community Project Think Tank (modeled after the University of Vancouver and a variety of other institutions) The Think Tank, composed of, a small cadre of faculty members each year from across the college, would support the development of  faculty-led inter-disciplinary projects that engage directly with the larger community. (This could be as simple as twelve selected faculty who have lunch together every other week.) Ideas cultivated in the think tank would emerge from the sharing of faculty’s creative and scholarly interests, and may develop into projects and/or cross disciplinary courses that would engage our students in active community-based, collaborative work. A specific plan would need to exist to connect the work of the Think Tank to funding sources – Faculty Development Grants?) Perhaps this faculty Think Tank would also serve as a model for a student Community Project Think Tank.

 
Lott Hill
on Oct 31, 2014

There is plenty of evidence out there as to the impact of academic service-learning on students, faculty, institutions, and community. Attached is a wonderful document I've been sharing around our campus for the last 15 years, and it is all still absolutely relevant to the conversations we've having now.

 

Please note (in the attached and elsewhere) that the research around academic service-learning demonstrates that such pedagogical and curricular approaches are likely to help us achieve our goals around Student Success, Diversity and Inclusion, Community Engagement, and the development of a 21st Century Curriculum.

 

Though many of the resources and support for structured civic engagement at Columbia College Chicago have been mostly defunded over the last five years, there are still valuable structures and processes in place within CCAP and the Urban Missions Project and though the CiTE with our Densmore Community Engagement Fellowships (which have been in place and funding and supporting the integration of academic service-learning and civic engagement into courses since 2003).

 

Many of the faculty who have received these fellowships, such as Ames Hawkins, Dana Connell, Hope Daniels, and Larry Minsky, to name a few, are still around and actively engaging students and communities today. In 2010 the College received the Community Engagement Classification by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, and our mission statement makes it clear that deep engagement with our surrounding communities is core the education our students receive: “Columbia conducts education in close relationship to a vital urban reality and serves an important civic purpose by active engagement in the life and culture of the city of Chicago.”

 

I personally don’t believe we need to reinvent the wheel here but to reengage the deep knowledge of partnership building and academic community engagement that is part of our not-so-distant-history and realign the proper resources to support such activities as relevant to the goals of the strategic planning process.

 

 
Peter Carpenter
on Oct 31, 2014

Lott, thanks for the file.  I've seen this before, but am happy to be reacquainted in light of this conversation.

Lisa, do you have any links that you could share to support the University of British Columbia--Vancouver think tank model (or any other institution of higher learning)?  I was looking around on the web and couldn't find what you described.  

 
Louis Silverstein
on Oct 31, 2014

To "author the culture of their times" has been a long-standing integral part of the College's mission statement. I take this to mean that our graduates are to be educated not only to document their times but also work to change their times for the better. In recent times, this has been largely defined as doing service to the larger community, which is quite avialble. However, as Archbishop Camera of Brazil stated, When I seved the poor, they called me a saint. When I asked why there are poor, they called me a communist. 

If our students are to truly be equpped to author the culture of their times, and the times surely need to be re-writtern, they need to acquire the necessary the knowledge and skills to do so. I suggest such courses as Organizing for Social Change, once part of the liberal arts curriculum and taught by community organizerrs, once again be included in the curriculum.

 
Lisa DiFranza
on Oct 31, 2014

Hi Peter  - thanks for asking. 

 I’ve been starting to research interdisciplinary structures, and most of the models are geared more toward research, but here are a few that lend themselves well to the kind of Think Tanks leading to action that I could envision at Columbia College Chicago.

 Lott: Yes, there are so many structures in place (or revivable) for faculty members to go when doing this kind of work! I do not mean to “reinvent the wheel” but rather to consider the idea of providing more long-term incubators that would encourage the cultivation of community-based work in an interdisciplinary context.

 Interdisciplinary Research Incubator for the study of (In) Equality

http://www.du.edu/irise/assistant-provost-message.html

The University of Vancouver’s Interdisciplinary Community of Practice is not exclusively about community-based work, but it is built to encourage grappling with big issues through an interdisciplinary think tank approach.

http://blogs.ubc.ca/ubcmix/ubc-interdisciplinarity/

Duke has the John Hope Franklin Humanities Institute which funds Interdisciplianry working groups, and structured “labs.” 

http://www.fhi.duke.edu/about

 

 
David Flatley
on Oct 31, 2014

We at CCAP, our staff and our partners outside the college who work closely with us, look forward to participating in this particular topic as it is central to what we are all about.  As a start to the conversation, I would say that community engagement that provides real world experience for our students and our college community at large has multiple benefits.  As an institution, we are contributing back to our community through our work and programming; but perhaps more important, because we design this work to be deeply reciprocal in nature...we collectively learn SO much by engaging in the work we do.  The engagement is rich AND enriching.  We have so much more to add, but I wanted to begin by simply putting this out there, and to say that we'll be inviting our many colleagues that we partner with to enter into this dialogue with us over the course of this next month.  I like this site!

 
Peter Carpenter
on Oct 31, 2014

Lisa, thanks for providing those links!  I look forward to digging in.

David, I'm grateful for your support in terms of bringing in the voices of our community partners.  I think their input--along with the input of members of CCAP--will deeply enrich the dialogue.

Louis, I found your comment quite inspiring, and am very interested in looking at engagement from multiple perspectives, including one where privilege is critiqued for its role in maintaining poverty.  Thank you for taking us there.  

 
Raquel Monroe
on Nov 01, 2014

I too am very excited about this conversation and look forward to participating in its' development.  I thnk on some level we must acknowledge that the service-learinging/community engagement models historically represented in academic instutuions reflect colonialist ideas about helping the underserved "other." We have an opportunity to develop new ways of engaging communities that affirm the dignities of all involved parties. Community engagement has to be a part of our identity and thoroughly embedded into the curriculum so that it does not become one off service learning opportunities that make faculty, staff, and students feel good about ourselves, but fails to positively impact the selected community. So that being said, I think the first thing we have to do is establish and become secure in our identity as a college and move from there.

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 01, 2014

Raquel, welcome to the conversation!  I'm seeing a connection between your comment and Louis' in terms bringing crticial awareness to the core values associated with community engagement activities in higher education.

 
Dale Chapman
on Nov 02, 2014

Raquel, point well taken.  I'd like to hear more about how community engagement can be a more organic process.  I'm also interested in ideas about how the college can become more secure in its identity. 

 
Mindy Faber
on Nov 02, 2014

I see community engagement as integral to meaningful, relevant and engaged learning. Through CCAP's Convergence Academies initiative, we are working with our new Convergence Faculty Fellows cohort to author a K-13 continuum in participatory learning practices. This work is rooted in the research of Henry Jenkins at others at USC, especially their work in participatory culture civics. 

We believe that this jointly conducted scholarship will result in a framework that can assist faculty in designing learning experiences that cultivate civic knowledge, skills and dispositons in and across all disciplines.

Foundational courses, internships and capstones are all potential areas for exploration and programs such as CCAP, Portfolio Center and CITE can strategically broker those community partnerships needed for courses and internships to be carried out.  Also take a look at the Spencer Foundation's initiative in The New Civics. How do we intentionally cultivate pathways, pedagogies and experiences that can help lead young people toward "quality civic action?"

This is a fresh and exciting forum for dialogue on an important topic. Glad to be a part of it.

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 03, 2014

Melinda, thanks for the comments. After a quick glance of the participatory culture ethics link (see above), I was interested in two tenets: 1. the unconventional and shifting locations in which community forms and 2. the central role of storytelling to community formation.  I look forward to spending more time with this and the other link you shared.  

 
Ames  Hawkins
on Nov 04, 2014

First, I totally agree with Lisa. The most important question to me has to do with institutional desire. I've heard a lot of rhetoric to date, but no clear sense of whtat we insitutionally believe to be the point of such work, no talk of how it is this work will be recognized and supported by the administration. And, yes, I get it: this is the opportunity for that talk. :)

One of the biggest problems, I think is that such support and recognition isn't necessary because folks who choose to engage in this work often do so because they want to; because they believe in it. They'll keep doing stuff with or without the college staking a claim on CE as a value. Yes, CCC has been supportive of projects I've been involved with in the past. And yes, CCAP exists. But what I don't get a clear sense of is how this fits in with the mission, with curricular goals. To date, the approach has been a kind of "it's really nice, this community engagement thing," but it hasn't been central to any kind of core values. What I've seen of late, is less, rather than more, when it comes to a regard for an educational experience and institutional environment that believes in, supports AND manifests contributions to citizenship/social justice/community.

Things happen, it seems, as they always have: Those who want to, do. Those who don't, don't.

But the thing is, we've got TONS of experience here, and brainpower, and student desire. YES--I'll say it again--STUDENT DESIRE. The millenial generation is more interested than ever in doing work that makes them feel satisfied, in making a difference in the world, in not (necessarily) chasing the all mighty dollar. What they may not realize is where and how they've come to those ideas. Opportunities that invite students to consider not only why they're here to live what they love, but the notion that they want to make a difference with that thing that they love. That they likely already have made a difference somewhere, somehow, but don't have the language for it, or the narrative structures, or the connection to the action as a skill set to see how it is they can have an impact.

I just read Drive, by Daniel Pik, which makes the claim above regarding the millenials (and folks coming behind them as well) and have been thinking about how it is I can reposition the structure of my classes to connect their work to the internal motivaton folks have not just to be great makers, but to be great people. To not just live what they love, but to love the expereince of living--being connected to issues, ideas, communities.  

What makes community engagement practice successful? Risk. Energy. Hard work. Desire. Patience. Collaboration as a PRACTICE not a given. Relationship.

Did I say relationship? Relationship.

And, most importantly RECIPROCITY. Between instructors and students, students and students, classes and communities, and on and on.

Success is happening all over the place in individual classes. And CCAP can point to tons of programs where they reach out as individuals, but since Critical Encounters got disappeared (and I am not saying it was THE answer to everything) I really haven't felt the sense of community I used to feel around here regarding my colleagues--getting to know what they were doing, connecting with each other, trading ideas, keeping each other motivated.

We need a space for connection/recognition regarding this connection. We need to feel recognized not in monetary ways but in ideological ones, in thank yous and simple acknowledgement.

Why is this any of this important to our future? The fact that we have to answer this question is a problem in and of itself. But, in the interest of being a team player:

This is important because a curriculum connected to the communicative arts, so closely connected to big business, has the danger of understanding itself only in terms of capitalist ideals. This would be a mistake because the students themselves--apparently something like 85%, (though I would be totally interested in a survey of our students to see what desire here is), WANT these kinds of opportunities and conversations. They aren't tack-on, ancilary aspects of their existence (I volunteer here or there an hour a week). Citizenship, social justice and community are also what students do and love. These things can be the impetus, the source of inspiration, the location for and of meaning. 

 

 
Peter Carpenter
on Nov 04, 2014

Ames, thank you for the elegant and articulate post.  I wanted to find out a bit more about Daniel Pink's Drive, and I found it on freebooks.com:  http://freebooks-readingonline.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/06/Daniel-H-Pink-Drive-the-Surprising-Truth-about-What-Motivates-Us-html.pdf

I appreciate the way your comment connects (and shows the disconnect between) institutional structures and independent community engagement practices.  I also would like to know more--from you and others--about how Critical Encounters connected our campus internally and engaged external constituents.

 
Lauren Johnson
on Nov 05, 2014

I think that connecting students to the community not only helps foster a sense of place within the greater whole of the creative community around Columbia College Chicago as well as helps students create a network of resources that they can tap into as they move in to their professional careers, but it also helps create a greater sense of empathy within students. Besides just educating our students to become professionally competent, I also see it as our duty to help them become "whole" people - indivduals that are aware of their context in the world, their priviledge, their connection with others, individuals that can be thoughtful, reflective, and compassionate.

As Lott mentioned above, service learning can help that empathy in a way that working in an isolated, individual structure just cannot. I teach two classes in the Interactive Arts & Media department that have a service learning component, and I have utilized CCAP to help connect me with partner organizations for my students to create work for within the learning enviroment of the specific class. The work that the students create in these  courses is amazing, which yields great pieces for their portfolio. Students have used the connections they formed in these courses to get internships and jobs outside of the class.

I see community outreach as a wonderful way to introduce students to working with an external client, without having the baggage of "working for the man" attached to it - something that many students at a private art college are inherently wary of.

 
Mindy Faber
on Nov 06, 2014

I agree Lauren. Capstone courses are a perfect place to marry community, civic practice, entrepreneurialism and personal creative portfolio development.

 
Mindy Faber
on Nov 06, 2014

Marrying Fereshteh and Alexios's ideas - how can we use PAR to engage students in building stronger civic communities on campus? Columbia as a site for community building becomes the inquiry question driving curriculum.... and then they implement their own ideas - love it.

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 07, 2014

Mindy, I love how you brought these two threads together!

 
Alexios Rosario-Moore
on Nov 11, 2014

I think a course or program that applied PAR within the campus community before engaging in the larger community might strengthen intra-community relationships while building the skill set to engage and stregthen inter-community relationships. Students might design PAR projects to engage the campus community before designing projects to engage the larger community. Perhaps a spring course that moves towards a summer grant-funded project for those students whose projects are viable?

 
Pegeen Reichert Powell
on Nov 11, 2014

Love this idea, Alexios!

 
Expand This Thread