Civic Engagement at Kingsborough Community College

Background 

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.

Civic Engagement Learning Outcomes

Civic Engagement consists of three domains – Political Knowledge, Civic Knowledge, and Social Responsibility.  Below are the definitions for each domain and their accompanying Course Embedded Learning Outcomes: 

Civic Engagement Domain

Definition

Course Embedded Learning Outcomes

 

 

Political Knowledge

 

Fundamental understanding of the structures and processes by which laws and policies are created

  1. Demonstrates understanding of how the process, principles, and structure of governments and political institutions affect individuals in society.
  2. Examines the importance of key historical struggles and social movements that sought/seek to encourage change

 

 

 

 

 

Civic Knowledge

 

Understanding of the diverse forces that shape political systems and civic life

  1. Connects knowledge from one’s own academic study/field/  discipline to civic engagement
  2. Analyze and discuss the role that race, ethnicity, class, gender, language, sexual orientation, belief or other forms of social differentiation play in world culture or societies.

 

 

 

 

 

Social Responsibility

 

Framework of obligations and actions by individuals or organizations in the interest of working towards an equitable society

  1. Recognizes that different attitudes and beliefs are as valuable as one’s own. 
  2. Examines the importance of behaving ethically and with due sensitivity towards social, cultural, economic, environmental, and academic issues.
  3. Understands the individual’s role in working towards equity.


Civic Engagement Assessment

The common assessment measure for all civic engagement experiences is a reflective essay containing the following questions. 

  1. Briefly describe how your class/activity addressed political knowledge, civic knowledge, and/or social responsibility. You may reference an assignment, class discussion, and/or project in your answer.
  2. Explain how the course/activity expanded your understanding of political knowledge, civic knowledge, and/or social responsibility.
  1. Thinking about your course/activity and the information presented about political knowledge, civic knowledge and/or social responsibility, how could you use this information to improve your community, address social problems, or promote equity?

A rubric has been developed to assess civic engagement through the common reflective essay.

Question

Limited

Acceptable

Proficient

Briefly describe how your class/activity addressed political knowledge, civic knowledge, and/or social responsibility. You may reference an assignment, class discussion, and/or project in your answer.

Lack of clarity articulating how the course/activity addressed the CE domain(s) (refer to CE Rubric for course embedded learning outcomes)

Was able to adequately describe how the course/activity addressed the CE domain(s) (refer to CE Rubric for course embedded learning outcomes)

Was able to clearly describe how the course/activity addressed the CE domain(s) (refer to CE Rubric for course embedded learning outcomes)

Explain how the course/activity expanded your understanding of political knowledge, civic knowledge, and/or social responsibility.

Based on the how the course/activity addressed the CE domain(s) (refer to CE Rubric for course embedded learning outcomes), lack of clarity articulating how their understanding of the CE domain(s) was further developed

Based on the how the course/activity addressed the CE domain(s) (refer to CE Rubric for course embedded learning outcomes), was able to adequately articulate how their understanding of the CE domain(s) was further developed

Based on the how the course/activity addressed the CE domain(s) (refer to CE Rubric for course embedded learning outcomes), student was able to clearly articulate how their understanding of the CE domain(s) was further developed

Thinking about your course/activity and the information presented about political knowledge, civic knowledge and/or social responsibility, how could you use this information to improve your community, address social problems, or promote equity?

Lack of clarity articulating how the information from the CE domain(s) (refer to CE Rubric for course embedded learning outcomes) could either improve their community, address social problems, or promote equity

Was able to adequately articulate how they would use the information about the CE domain(s) (refer to CE Rubric for course embedded learning outcomes) to either improve their community, address social problems, or promote equity

Was able to clearly articulate how they would use the information about the CE domain(s) (refer to CE Rubric for course embedded learning outcomes) to either improve their community, address social problems, or promote equity


How Students Will Satisfy the Civic Engagement Requirement

Students entering Kingsborough in Fall 2019 or students who change their major are required to have a minimum of ONE civic engagement experience before graduation. The experience can be satisfied in one of three ways:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. *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.                                 

*Please note that this option is currently ONLY available for select non-course related experiences such as Service Learning opportunities (for further information go to https://www.kbcc.cuny.edu/service_learning/home.htmlor participation in campus events such as ECO-Fest.