Calvin College

CALVIN - Minds in the Making

Strengthening Liberal Arts Education by Embracing Place and Particularity

Case Study

Transforming a nursing department by emphasizing place and partnership

Suggestions for Other Departments

There is tremendous potential when a whole department is supportive and united in their approach to community engagement.  It can deepen student learning, increase faculty scholarship opportunities, open doors for collaboration within and outside of the college, and significantly impact the community. 

Faculty who have been including a service-learning component into a single course or have been involved in some level of community engagement may want to consider a conversation with their department regarding the future of those experiences.  Could the present engagement increase in breadth and depth?  Are there ways that community needs should be shaping faculty scholarship, student activities, or the curriculum?  Are there other issues in the surrounding community that the department could address collectively?

Dialogue is at least a starting point to increase faculty buy-in, discuss benefits and barriers, and work towards being united.  The potential is great, there just needs to be someone to take a leadership role in drawing it out.   


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