C1 Civic Responsibility Resources for Faculty

The Office of Civic Engagement & Action has compiled resources to support C1 Civic Responsibility General Education courses. Not sure where to start? Connect with your Experiential Education Coordinator or Alicia Vignali Henry.

C1 – Civic Knowledge and Responsibilities: Preparing students to be involved citizens and active community members and professionals is an important component of the General Education Program. The Civic Knowledge and Responsibilities Learning Outcome (C1) encourages students to participate in civic discourse and activities of personal and public concern that benefit both individuals and the community as a whole. Distributed uniformly among all course levels, students have the opportunity to develop civic-mindedness through meaningful interactions on campus and within the surrounding community throughout their academic career.

“Critical reflection is a process specifically structured to help examine the frameworks that we use to interpret experience; critical reflection pushes us to step outside the old and familiar and to reframe our questions and our conclusions in innovative and more effective terms.” (Eyler, Giles, Schmiede, 1996)

Cultivate your ability to reflect!

C1 Course Best Practices

  1. Review your course and C1 learning objectives. What are your needs and goals for learning and engagement? How many hours of in and out of class learning are you able to dedicate to this project?
  2. How might you be able to incorporate community engaged learning experiences into the course that address the needs and goals in #1?
  3. Consider the different types of service and what opportunities fit best with you and/or your class. Service can be categorized into one or more of the following broad types: Indirect, Direct, and Advocacy. Check out the Terms & Definitions section of the Community Engaged Learning page for faculty.
  4. Pause and take a breath. Not sure where to go from here? Take a look at the project ideas (a couple tabs over) or connect with Alicia Vignali Henry to brainstorm ideas and next steps. Thinking big often requires starting small.
  5. Looking to develop a community partnership? Connect with Alicia Vignali Henry, or check out community partners and opportunities on the Volunteer Resource Center powered by United Way RI.
  6. When partnering with a community agency, share your course needs and expectations with the partner and discuss how your learning needs and goals might overlap with the needs and areas of expertise of the partner. A common misconception is that those providing the service are the only ones with knowledge or resources to share. Quality partnerships are reciprocal, and civic engagement requires reciprocity, collaboration, and interdisciplinary learning.
  7. Utilize our Critical Reflection Module! Find all our Professional Development Modules on the CCEE website. This self paced module will introduce the concept of reflection to your students and walk them through activities to help them get the most out of their experiential education opportunities both in and outside of the classroom.
  8. Review our compiled list of Important Logistical Information that you should be aware of prior to beginning an experiential engagement project.
  9. Utilize the URI C1 Civic Knowledge & Responsibility General Education Rubric.

C1 Course Project Ideas & Activities

Title/ ThemeDetails
Careers for the Common GoodHeld every Fall semester, this fair is a great way for students (and faculty) to meet and connect with local community partners! Check out Fall 2022 CCG Fair on Handshake!
Case StudiesInvite a community partner to come into your classroom to introduce their agency and work. If possible, have the partner provide a case study scenario and ask the student teams to brainstorm solutions. Have student teams present their recommendations and findings to the partner.
Civic Based ResearchResearch how grassroots organizations form in order to tackle local issues. Discuss ways they interact with and engage community members and utilize communication strategies to further their mission.
Collaborate with a community partnerFor example: Volunteer with South County Habitat for Humanity on a build project. Teams of students can actively participate through volunteering on a build site while other teams research the causes of housing inequity and ways to engage local politicians to address larger systemic issues perpetuating housing insecurity.
Community Problem SolvingInvite students to select a self-identified community problem to focus on for the class. First, engage the class in a series of reflections on their previous experiences related to that community issue. What have they learned and why did they select this problem? Students can begin formulating a communication plan for proposing a solution to this problem. Students can research, and possibly connect with, organizations they have worked with whose work is related to this problem. Students can 1. Present persuasive arguments for why and how the community should be engaged to help solve this problem, 2. Gain feedback from presentation, 3. Reflect on feedback and presentation, 4. Adjust communication plan, 5. Present a final presentation. Final reflection on the process and how they will continue to apply what they have learned - in future experiences or specifically related to how they will continue to work towards positively impacting and/or eradicating the problem they identified.
Deliberative DialoguesThere are a variety of programs and resources dedicated to holding engaged civic discourse, including the following: National Issues Forums, Project Pericles, A Starting Point, and The Civically Engaged Reader.
Helping, Fixing, Serving - Reading & ReflectionProvide students the following article to read: Helping, Fixing, or Serving? by Rachel Naomi Remen, then facilitate a reflection focused on personal experiences of being on the giving and receiving ends helping, fixing, and serving.
Learning CommunitiesIs your course part of a Learning Community? Connect with other faculty members and/or review the other course learning objectives to see if there is a possible overlapping idea that could be explored deeper through a civic project and critical reflection. Make it relevant by drawing intentional connections between different disciplines showing students the importance of addressing community issues from diverse and interdisciplinary perspectives.
Select a ThemeConnect your class and deepen the common learning experience by selecting one theme for the class and allow smaller teams to then select a sub-focus.
Share what you loveDo you have a community or public cause for which you are passionate and/or with which you are already engaged? Invite your students to learn more about that cause (and you in the process). Invite representatives from the agency or agencies related to the cause into your class to speak. Assign research on the cause and/or organization prior to the meeting and ask for questions to be submitted ahead of time. Brainstorm how teams might work together to support, further the mission of, educate for, fundraise for, etc., the organization or cause. 
Speaker SeriesInvite community partners to sit on a panel and share their experiences and particularly how they utilize a particular course skill or theme (like communication for COM 100) to further their mission.

Upcoming Civic & Community Engagement Events