The CI Center for Community Engagement (CCE) calls for faculty, community partners, and students to submit descriptions of service-learning projects to be considered for Best Practices in Service-Learning Recognition. The CCE’s Best Practices in Service-Learning Recognition is designed to highlight and honor projects by making important contributions to our community while generating valuable student learning – thereby exemplifying CSUCI’s commitments to innovation and excellence. Projects selected for Best Practices recognition will collectively spotlight a wide variety of successful practices and projects that will inspire and promote deeper engagement with service-learning throughout the extended CI community.
What is service-learning?
Service-learning is a teaching and learning method that links course content to "real-life" experiences that centers around a community need or issue. Service-learning projects can be designed to provide direct services (e.g., serving food to the needy) or indirect service (e.g., assessing community nutrition needs). Projects can also take the form of community-based research in which the outcome is the delivery of a report designed to assist a community partner. Recognition will be extended to all types of service-learning projects that illustrate examples of best practices.
What are best practices?
At the most general level, best practices represent any component of a project that shows evidence of notable success in offering a rich educational experience for students and addressing a significant community need. That may represent the application of best practices already identified in the service-learning research, or innovations that have not been previously identified that prove to be particularly promising. Examples of best practices include: notable community outcomes associated with projects; reciprocal and sustainable partnerships between the university and community in the design and implementation of projects; creative ways to cultivate structured student reflection; linking classroom materials with the service experience in effective ways. For materials that identify and explain recognized best practices, contact the CCE, and we would be happy to deliver those materials to you. It is important to underscore that any list of best practices is provisional, since innovative and successful practices are constantly being developed. In fact, one of the goals of the CCE recognition program is to constantly promote innovations that will expand our list of best practices.
Benefits of recognition
Earning CCE Best Practices Recognition will include a formal congratulatory letter from the Center for Community Engagement; an invitation (and expectation) to present the project at the annual CCE Celebration of Service poster session at the end of spring semester and the listing of a description of the project in the annual CCE Awards and Recognition publication. (PDF, 5.3MB)
To submit your project for consideration
For additional information, please contact Pilar Pacheco, CCE Managing Director(firstname.lastname@example.org), or Dennis Downey, CCE Faculty Director (email@example.com). The deadline for 2015-16 projects is Friday, April 29 – but we strongly encourage you to submit your application as early as possible, especially for projects completed during the fall semester. Given the deadline, it is understood that descriptions for spring projects will focus on expected outcomes rather than documented outcomes.
Selection of best practices projects
The Center for Community Engagement Advisory Board (including representatives of CI faculty, community partners, students, and staff) will review all submissions annually to determine which merit best practices recognition.