The pilot “Experiential and Community-Based Learning Faculty Support Program” supports AUCA faculty members to integrate experiential and community-based learning into their coursework. Participating faculty members will have the opportunity to work with CCE staff to jointly design a 2 to 3 hour community project for one of their courses, followed in the next class period by a facilitated discussion on how learnings from the project relate to the broader themes and content of their course. CCE staff will organize and manage the community project and post-project discussion, with faculty members encouraged to attend and participate.
The Benefits of Experiential and Community-Based Learning
Experiential and community-based learning - i.e. methods to bring students out of the classroom to learn through hands-on, real world experiences - has been recognized to improve students’ critical thinking and creative problem-solving (Carlisle et. al. 2014); increase volunteerism and life skills (Astin & Sax 1998); and, when such learning experiences are developed collaboratively by community partners and university members, to enhance the relationship between universities and their surroundings (Maurrasse 2002). For university faculty, these benefits can translate into a more engaged and reflective student body, greater opportunities to access and partner with the public, and an enhanced professional network beyond the university campus.
Through the “Experiential and Community-Based Learning Faculty Support Program”, AUCA professors can access these benefits - for themselves, their students, and their communities - while the Center for Civic Engagement takes care of technical aspects such as logistics and budgeting, as well as the generation of class-appropriate activities in partnership with each faculty member. In the longer term, professors who engage in this program may have early access to CCE support for semester-long community-based learning classes (i.e. where the engagement project is ongoing and sustained over the full course) and research partnerships to assess the dynamics that influence community-based learning in the Kyrgyz Republic.
How the Process Works
Starting in Spring 2022, up to 5 AUCA faculty members will take part in the pilot “Experiential and Community-Based Learning Faculty Support Program”. Interested professors can email firstname.lastname@example.org at any point prior to September 10, 2021 to express their interest (up to 5 classes will be included in the pilot program, with participants selected on a first-come, first-served basis).
CCE staff will meet with you in the early fall to learn about your teaching objectives, desired course outcomes, and possible “free” class periods that could be dedicated to community based projects and reflection sessions. Based on these conversations, CCE leadership will develop a targeted community event or project with you and identify a reading list to help students see the connections between the planned project and your course objectives. You may recommend a project or CSO partner to work with, or CCE staff may leverage its group of external partners to develop a meaningful experience for your students.
CCE staff will visit your class 1 week before the intended community-based project to share logistical information and the reading list with your students, and to gather contact information so that we can ensure their safety during the project (taking approximately 10 minutes of class time). We will remind students of where and when to meet for the community project on the evening before it occurs. CCE staff will facilitate the community-based project - including taking care of all logistics, funding, and on-site monitoring during the event - and in the following class period will lead a discussion with your students to connect the activities they completed with the course overall. Professors are strongly encouraged but not required to attend both the community project and the post-project facilitated discussion.
If you have questions about participating in the Spring 2022 pilot round of the Experiential and Community-Based Learning Faculty Support Program, please email email@example.com to learn more.
If you are an AUCA faculty member and would like to register for the Experiential and Community-Based Learning Faculty Support Program, please email firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief (1 paragraph) description of the course for which you would like to use experiential and community-based learning methods, the estimated number of students, and the class syllabus (if available).
Astin, A., & Sax, L. (1998). How undergraduates are affected by service participation. Journal of College Student Development, 29(3), 251 - 263.
Carlisle, Shauna K. et. al. (2014). Assessing the Impact of Community-Based Learning on Students: The Community Based Learning Impact Scale (CBLIS). Available: journals.sfu.ca/jslhe/index.php/jslhe/article/download/104/48
Maurrasse, D. J. (2002). Higher education - community partnerships: Assessing progress in the field. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 31(1), 131 - 139.