Civic engagement is acting upon a heightened sense of responsibility to one’s communities. Civic engagement encompasses the notions of global citizenship and interdependence. Through civic engagement, individuals—as citizens of their communities, their nations, and the world—are empowered as agents of positive social change for a more democratic world.
Civic engagement involves one or more of the following:
- Learning from others, self, and environment to develop informed perspectives on social issues
- Valuing diversity and building bridges across difference
- Behaving, and working through controversy, with civility [and honesty]
- Taking an active role in the political process
- Participating actively in public life and public problem solving
- Assuming leadership and membership roles in organizations
- Developing empathy, ethics, values, and sense of social responsibility
- Promoting social justice locally and globally
(Coalition for Civic Engagement and Leadership, 2005)
Civic engagement at Southwestern University
- Volunteerism / Days of Service
- Co-Curricular Service
- Community-Engaged Research
- Community-Engaged Learning
The OCE challenges Southwestern students to recognize that they are not only members of the college campus, but also active participants within Georgetown and the greater community.
Such participation requires students to:
- Increase awareness of the greater community
- Connect their education to prominent community issues
- Partner with appropriate nonprofits and social agencies
Students may work with local organizations that address issues of education, housing, heath, poverty, and aging.
Students are encouraged to extend their passions and liberal arts education in the pursuit of social justice. Such a focus promotes social change in institutions or political structures, works to respond to long-term needs, and is directed at the root causes of social problems. By combining theoretical considerations with direct service within the community, SU students are well positioned to move towards truly active citizenship that aims to effect change.
CEL is a course-based teaching and learning method in which students engage in structured service and action that allows them to apply what they are learning to community-based issues and problems. Students learn while serving, and grow through reflection on their contributions.
Southwestern University CEL courses:
- Doing Good and Doing it Well
- General Chemistry
- Paideia cohorts
- Sociology of Childhood
- Spanish III
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Check out the OCE’s Bulletin Board in the Commons to join the discussion!
Idealist.org is a valuable resource for those who would like to find employment in the non-profit sector after graduation. Search based on target issue or location.
Volunteer Match is a great resource to search for your dream volunteer opportunity. Get in touch with organizations and personalize the searching process.
Mobilize.org offers tools that equip youth to take action for a wide range of social issues.