Criteria for Applied Civic Engagement Course Designation
The Applied Civic Engagement (ACE) course designation will help students identify courses that include applied community-focused experiences and help the College assess and compare our civic engagement efforts to incoming student expectations and other institutions.
The ACE course designation will be given to courses that meet either the Service-Learning (SL) Course Definition or the Community-Based Research (CBR) Course Definition and will allow appropriate courses to be flagged in the Master Course Schedule. Faculty members may apply to have their courses designated as ACE by submitting the appropriate application form and the required documentation.
Why Apply for the Designation?
Identifying courses that meet ACE criteria in the schedule of classes:
- allows students with an interest in civic engagement to identify courses that will offer them this opportunity;
- allows students to know that they are enrolling in such a course in the registration process and begins to educate them about the terminology before they have the service-learning or community-based research experience;
- brings greater visibility to the practice of service-learning and community-based research on the Skidmore campus and allows us to better document the benefits of this pedagogy to students, the community, and faculty;
- allows us to track such courses and the faculty and students who engage in this meaningful practice for reporting purposes.
The Skidmore definition of Community-Based Research is as follows:
Community-based research is scholarship involving collaboration of faculty and/or students with community partners that is directed toward investigating, assessing, and addressing behavioral, social, educational, cultural, and environmental problems.
Although many courses may incorporate civic learning, civic skill development, and community service, to meet Skidmore’s criteria for designation, Community-Based Research Courses will be assessed by the following criteria:
- Integration. The civic engagement project must be relevant to course content.
- Benefit. The civic engagement project must seek to offer benefits beyond the class members. Projects should respond to behavioral, social, educational, cultural, and/or environmental problems.
- Substantive Commitment. A significant portion of the course should be committed to the civic engagement project through class discussion, direct service, and/or research design, and/or data collection, analysis, and reporting.
- Community Partnership. Where appropriate, community partners should be actively involved in the conceptualization and/or implementation of the civic engagement project.
- Reflection. Intentional examination and assessment of the research project, course content, and student learning.
The Skidmore Definition for Service-Learning Course is as follows:
Service learning is a credit-bearing educational experience that integrates meaningful community service with guided reflection to improve student learning of course content, student sense of social, artistic and environmental responsibility, and responds to an identified community need.
Although many courses may incorporate civic learning, civic skill development, and community service, to meet Skidmore’s criteria for designation, service-learning courses should be assessed by the following criteria:
- Integration: The service project must be relevant to course content.
- Benefit: The service project must seek to offer benefits beyond the class members. Projects should respond to behavioral, social, educational, cultural, and/or environmental problems.
- Substantive Commitment: A significant portion of the course should be committed to the service project through class discussion, research, and/or direct service.
- Community Partnership: Where appropriate, community partners should be actively involved in the conceptualization and/or implementation of the service project.
- Reflection: Intentional examination and assessment of the service project, course content, and student learning.
Review of Applications: Applications will be reviewed by members of the Subcommittee on Responsible Citizenship. Recommendations will be approved by the Curriculum Committee.
Please submit your application through this link.