Network Meetings at Western Carolina and Wayne CC kick off new program year

August 8, 2018

Every August, our summer network meetings convene civic and community engagement administrators to share ideas and preview the year ahead. Last week,  more than 60 representatives from 30 member campuses took part in the two regional gatherings.

Our west region meeting was hosted by Western Carolina University. The day included a welcome by WCU’s interim chancellor Alison Morrison-Shetlar, updates on the progress of Civic Actions Plans submitted to national Campus Compact by Queens University of Charlotte, UNC Charlotte, and Western Carolina University, and a variety of reflection activities that explored our understandings of key terms in the field, including “community,” “social justice,” and “democratic.” Several campuses presented new and emerging “bright spots” in their civic and community engagement work:

  • Central Piedmont Community College partnered with Loaves and Fishes to establish emergency food pantries on all six of CPCC’s campuses in the Charlotte metro area.
  • Appalachian State University’s ACT office (Appalachian and the Community Together) has redesigned its student office worker positions to include “collateral” assignments like social media manager and event planner that enrich programming and help student employees develop professional skills. ACT staff worked to incorporate the NACE career-readiness competencies into these re-designed positions and into the professional reflection and performance evaluation process.
  • Western Carolina University’s bright spots included CURE – the Conference on Undergraduate Regional Engagement – a partnership between the Center for Service Learning and the Honors College that highlights place-based research and engagement by first year students. WCU also shared info about a successful faculty institute for community engagement, a program supported by NC Campus Compact Engaged Faculty Scholar Dr. Beth Wall-Bassett.

Meeting participants also brought non-perishable food items to donate to Homebase, an on-campus agency that serves students who need a helping hand, including students who were formerly in foster care.

Participants at the west region network meeting.

Wayne Community College was the site for our east region meeting. Participants were encouraged to bring small toys and books to stock the prize boxes at a local elementary school that the college will support this year.

In addition to the reflections around community engagement terms, our meeting included Civic Action Plan updates from Davidson County Community College, Elon University, and UNC Wilmington. Bright spots shared at this meeting included:

  • A new partnership between Elon University’s Kernodle Center for Service-Learning and Elon Athletics seeks to help student-athletes meet Elon’s experiential learning requirement through service-learning. Funded in part by an NCAA grant, the project’s first year focused on collecting baseline data and on educating campus and community partners.
  • NC State has a new program — Rural Works — that places students in paid summer internships with public, private, and non-profit employers in NC’s Tier I counties. In its first summer, the program placed 19 students in positions that served communities in 23 counties.
  • Durham Technical Community College spotlighted its new Campus Harvest Food Pantry Cookbook, a collaborative project that grew out of the school’s on-campus food pantry. Partners included student volunteers, pantry customers, community allies, and Durham Tech faculty and staff.
  • ECU shared its new Community-University Partners Academy (CUPA). The academy, a partnership between the Office of Community Engagement and Research and the Center for Leadership and Civic Engagement, consisted of four, day-long, on-campus workshops in May and June designed to assist  community organizations in accessing university-based resources, making data-informed decisions, and generating projects that
    connect community-based student learning with faculty research. Ten community partner representatives were selected to participate.
Participants at the east region network meeting.

View the full summer network meeting agenda and 2018-19 NC Campus Compact program calendar here: Agenda Calendar HANDOUT

NC Campus Compact’s next network meetings will be held on January 3, 2019 at Durham Technical Community College and on January 4, 2019 at Davidson County Community College.