Illinois Campus Compact

Illinois Campus Compact (ILCC) is a coalition of colleges and universities that actively engage presidents, faculty, staff and students to promote a renewed vision of higher education – one that supports not only the civic development of students, but also the campus as an active and engaged member of its community. ILCC currently has 43 member campuses. 


The discussions helped the students become more cognizant of their surroundings. At the same time, they grew a bond between each other greater than what was there before. These particular students seemed to enjoy their service events more so, after we started our discussions learning about Civic Reflection.


--Faculty, Wilbur Wright College

Illinois Campus Compact


Thank you for helping me learn to give pause when different perspectives arise before I counter from my own personal experience.


--Participant, Illinois Campus Compact Facilitation Training

Audience Focus

Faculty, staff and students at the higher education institutions who are ILCC members


  1. Build the capacity of ILCC member institutions to delivery quality service-learning programs
  2. Train a cohort of faculty, staff, and students in leading reflective discussions on campus and at service sites
  3. Incorporate reflective discussion in the service, civic engagement and experiential learning activities of ILCC member institutions to build a culture of reflection and talking across difference
  4. Develop students' leadership skills through provided trainings and support for them to initiate, organize and facilitate reflective discussions on campus
  5. Create an infrastructure to sustain the practice of reflective discussion at higher education institutions
Students talk across table at Illinois Campus Compact Training in Year 2

Project Description

In 2010-2012, with support from the McCormick Foundation, the Center for Civic Reflection partnered with Illinois Campus Compact to develop faculty and students’ skills as discussion facilitators, strengthen students’ civic identities, and deepen their commitment to long-term civic engagement. In year one, CCR trained a cadre of 62 facilitators—faculty, staff, and AmeriCorps VISTAs from 21 colleges and universities—to lead discussions with students on their respective campuses. In year two, CCR collaborated with ILCC’s “Students-in-Service” program, and trained 100 students and advisors from 13 campuses across Illinois, who led teams of students in monthly reflective discussions.

Over the course of these two years, students participated in civic reflection in a wide variety of spaces and activities, including classrooms, campus service organizations, mission trips, and public events that convened students, faculty, staff and community partners. These students developed skills such as critical thinking, effective communication, active listening, and leadership. Faculty members who were exposed to civic reflection embraced the practice as an effective inquiry-based pedagogy and a flexible method of reflection. They integrated reflective discussion into multiple environments, both inside and outside the classroom. 

During this project, CCR worked closely with faculty, staff, and students to train, coach and mentor them in facilitation and help them incorporate reflective dialogue into existing activities on campus. CCR also conducted evaluation research to examine how civic reflection impacts the civic identity development of college students. After this two-year engagement, many campuses have fully embraced the activity and aim to take it to the next level at their institutions.


  1. After year 1, 95% of students agreed or strongly agreed that they could communicate their beliefs and values more comfortably to others after participating in civic reflection discussions.
  2. After year 1, 81% of students agreed or strongly agreed that they were more likely to engage in civic work in the future after participating in civic reflection discussions.
  3. After year 1, 95% of students agreed or strongly agreed that they better understand the diverse perspectives of others after participating civic reflection discussions.
  4. 91% of students reported that the facilitation training in year 2 introduced them to valuable new ideas and colleagues for doing civic reflection “to a great extent.”
  5. 100% of students agreed or strongly agreed that the facilitation training in year 2 helped increase their abilities to be active listeners.
  6. 97% of students agreed or strongly agreed that the facilitation training in year 2 increased their confidence to lead reflective conversations
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