The state Campus Compact offices in New England hosted two day-long conferences on June 9-10 earlier this summer.
Day 1: Community Engagement Leaders’ Retreat at Amherst College
Designed to offer civic and community engagement and service-learning leaders an opportunity to further develop as reflective practitioners through a focus on mindfulness and how it impacts professional and personal pursuits. In addition, the retreat offered time for leaders to connect with others in similar roles across New England and with Campus Compact leadership. Participants included faculty, service-learning coordinators, vice presidents, deans, and others in leadership roles throughout higher education.
The morning featured networking and a keynote address by Campus Compact President, Andrew Selighson, who spoke on the difference between civic engagement and community engagement and provided an exploration of the history of Campus Compact as an organization and as a leader in the field of civic engagement within higher education. Access more remarks by the dynamic Campus Compact President at his blog, Public Purpose.
The afternoon of the retreat focused participants’ minds on wellness and professional purpose. Led by facilitators, Ann Hopkins Gross, Dean of Students at Southern Vermont College, and later by Vermont Campus Compact, over fifty participants worked through stress management and mindfulness tactics within the workplace and revisited personal and professional passions in order to better “work on purpose.”
Day Two: Scholarly Symposium on Engagement: Partnerships for Success — Bridging the K-12 Higher Education Pipeline through Civic Engagement at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst
Over seventy higher education staff, faculty, and leaders gathered for a day-long conference on a highly relevant topic: engagement of K-12 as partners in education. With a keynote address delivered by the Ehrlich Award Winner, Dr. Leda Cooks, the day took off with questions around our “educational ecosystem” and dependencies and opportunities in PK-20 partnerships. Concurrent breakout sessions offered participants specific trainings in the following areas:
- K-16 Collaboration Models: Professors, Teachers, and Students Learning Together – Five College Consortium
- Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics (STEM) Collaborations – Maine Campus Compact
- Emerging to Transformative: Assessing Partnerships with the PFS Partnership Rubric – Rhode Island Campus Compact & Providence Public Schools
The day advanced with a lunchtime panel that explored the recent policy changes in Massachusetts concerning civic learning competencies in public education. John Reiff and David Roach facilitated the co-construction of civic learning outcomes and presented on state findings of civic learning captured in the recently released report, “Preparing Citizens: Report on Civic Learning and Engagement.”
In conclusion, a packed ballroom saw the exchange of ideas, challenges, and collaborative problem-solving as participants were invited into open space technology. Topics of interest that emerged throughout the day formed the basis for approximately eight table conversations, allowing for additional networking, resource-sharing, and celebration of contextual successes.
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