Institutions of higher education have increasingly come to understand their crucial role of educating students to be actively engaged in their communities and the body politic. Having students come to an understanding of their individual roles as members of a democratic society is essential both as a form of active learning with its pedagogical benefits and as fulfilling an obligation to the community to use education to create an engaged citizenry. As part of this trend toward increasing civic engagement among students, many schools have made it a graduation requirement or woven it into the fabric of curricular design. Kingsborough Community College has a long legacy of commitment to the community. It is in this spirit and in view of the benefit to our students that the civic engagement graduation requirement was pursued and eventually adopted.
Defining Civic Engagement at Kingsborough Community College
Kingsborough accepts as a fundamental principle that education requires social awareness, an acceptance of social responsibility and active participation in meeting the challenges of a modern society. Through civic engagement, we recognize our mutual responsibility to care for each other in the college, in our communities, and on our planet. This responsibility may be accomplished through political activity, community service, engagement in leadership roles, advocacy or becoming informed about issues that relate to social change. Therefore, civic engagement at Kingsborough seeks to foster civic awareness while providing the skills needed for our students to actively participate in their communities.
How Students Will Satisfy the Civic Engagement Requirement
Students entering Kingsborough in Fall 2013 or students who change their major are required to have a minimum of TWO civic engagement experiences before graduation. The two experiences can be satisfied in one of three ways:
- CERTIFIED CE COURSE. By nature and/or content, certain courses include civic engagement as essential and integral to their learning outcomes. In such a course, a student must pass the course to satisfy one of their CE experiences. Please see the current list of Certified CE courses.
- COMPONENT CE COURSE. A portion of some courses’ content—particular topics, chapters, activities, field trips—is devoted to civic engagement. Such a course offers students an opportunity to link academic concepts and a commitment to the community. Similar to an Honors component or a Service Learning component, the civic engagement component of the course is not a requirement to pass the course. This option will require approval from the Center for Civic Engagement.
- NON-COURSE-RELATED EXPERIENCE. Students who wish to satisfy a civic engagement experience independent of a KCC course should get approval from the Center for Civic Engagement for volunteering in the community. This option will require a follow-up reaction project to be approved by the Center for Civic Engagement.