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Intercollege Minor in Civic and Community Engagement

The Civic and Community Engagement minor provides an opportunity for students to extend their education beyond the classroom through engagement in socially meaningful public scholarship in both pre-existing and newly developing community projects. This minor entails situated as well as experiential learning.  Students apply, test, analyze and re-formulate academic material in the context of public issues and community settings.  Engaging in “learning-by-doing” allows students to communicate across differences, fulfill civic responsibilities, gain insight into personal values and world-views, develop civic skills including observation and listening, and further develop career interests and professional goals.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR: 18 credits

1. CAS 222/CIVCM 211 (3 credits)

Students intending to complete the Intercollege minor in Civic and Community Engagement should schedule CAS 222/CIVCM 211 as early as possible in their college program. First-year students welcome.

2. Supporting Courses and Related Areas (15 credits)

A. Supervised Field Experience (SFE) (minimum 3 credits)

SFE courses must be selected in consultation with your Minor advisor.

A Supervised Field Experience may be credited through a course or independent study providing

  • sustained involvement in teaching and research related to important issues in the lives of people both within the campus environment and beyond
  • structured opportunities for student reflection and deliberative assessment
  • regular contact with a faculty member to facilitate the integration of academic content with the fieldwork experience

B. Public Issues and Democracy (PI&D) Courses (3-6 credits)

These credits may be selected from the Program List of public scholarship courses or may be equivalents selected in consultation with your Minor adviser.

Public Issues and Democracy Courses investigate how academic disciplines may contribute to public debate and participation in civic issues and community problem-solving. Through the lens of specific academic disciplines and the examination of their civic meaning and public purpose, these courses contribute to student understanding of problems in and of democracy and the reciprocal relationships between academic and democratic practices.  The purpose of these courses is to demonstrate how students may apply disciplinary knowledge in real-world contexts. Additionally, these courses promote civic and leadership skills through class deliberation and debate, as well as other classroom activities and assignments.

C. Related Areas (3-6 credits)

These credits are to be selected in consultation with your Minor adviser to meet your learning goals for the minor.

D. Public Scholarship Capstone (PSC) (Semester 7-8; 3 400-level credits)

The PSC may be fulfilled through a 400-level course or a supervised independent study.

A Public Scholarship Capstone requires students to integrate the coursework, fieldwork, and research they have completed as undergraduates. Students are asked to demonstrate reflective analysis and substantial synthesis of their academic and field experiences in the Intercollege Civic and Community Engagement Minor and to relate their work to the broader context of public scholarship and relevant societal issues. These goals are achieved through further consideration of the principles provided by the CIVCM foundations course and deliberation concerning the role of the student’s discipline in society. The required capstone project may be a thesis, annotated portfolio, or other original scholarly or creative work, which includes reflective thinking from a substantial out-of-the-classroom-walls learning experience. Public presentation of the capstone project is also required; this requirement might be fulfilled by a poster at the Undergraduate Exhibition, an online portfolio, a class presentation, or some other presentation suitable to a student’s field of study.

Capstone projects must be approved by and completed under the supervision of a faculty adviser, who must be a full-time, academic faculty member. Written notification of the selection of a capstone adviser and a brief description of the proposed project must be submitted in advance of the project and approved by the minor adviser (if different). A completed capstone project requires the approval and signature of the capstone adviser.

Questions: contact the Director of the Intercollege Minor in Civic and Community Engagement, Rosa A. Eberly, rhosa@psu.edu.

For more information visit civcm.psu.edu