Growing Citizens Inside and Out: Pilot Project with New England Campus Compact

New England Campus Compact is the regional arm of Campus Compact, a national coalition of more than 1,100 college and university presidents—representing some 6 million students—who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education. 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 and staff seeking to integrate civic and community-based learning.

Audience Focus

Faculty, staff and students from 6 New England Campus Compact states including Rhode Island, Connecticut, Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, as well as Pennsylvania.

Goals

  1. Foster and deepen civic engagement among college students
  2. Measure the impact—both in process and outcomes—of humanities-based, reflective discussion on students’ understanding of service, citizenship and democracy
  3. Develop a cadre of facilitators to lead reflective discussions in a wide variety of settings -- from residence halls to classrooms.
New England Campus Compact poster with the names of participating states

Project Description

In 2009, as part of a shared learning agreement with the Kettering Foundation, CCR engaged in a pilot project with the state offices of Campus Compact in New England and Pennsylvania to implement and evaluate civic reflection discussions for students, faculty, and staff at their member institutions. CCR trained 24 facilitators in a customized training -- 3 from each state -- who then went on to lead discussions with students in a variety of settings, both in and out of the classroom. CCR provided evaluation support and a follow-up convening of Campus Compact directors to review the findings.

Impact

  1. The majority of students moved from a relatively superficial and conventional understanding of service to a more complex and internalized perspective
  2. 77% of respondents reported thinking differently about themselves as volunteers and/or engaged citizens in ways that impacted their commitment
  3. 64% of respondents reported thinking differently about service
  4. The majority of participants emerged from these discussions more committed to service and expressing a desire to continue it in a more thoughtful or intentional way.
  5. The majority of participants reported increased personal growth as a result of learning more about one another's differing experiences and perspectives.
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