Engagement Activities and Competencies
Engagement Activities are curricular and co-curricular experiences in which students participate to develop professional and personal skills.
- Community Partnership. Students serve as part of a formal arrangement that mobilizes both the University and community resources to raise the visibility of community issues; increase individual and organizational commitment to resolving those issues; develop new solutions to old problems; gain new resources or make better use of existing resources to improve outcomes for members of the community.
- Creative Expression. Students develop original works, or interpret existing ones, in independent or collaborative projects that engage communities in thinking about abstract concepts related to such things as everyday experiences, human conditions, environmental change, and affective and emotional relationships.
- Discovery. Students engage in independent or collaborative inquiry that contributes to a wider sense of understanding, the development of solutions to challenging problems, or the creation of new knowledge.
- Entrepreneurship. Students initiate, develop, and/or manage an organization systematically, with their work characterized by innovation and calculated risk-taking. Student entrepreneurship produces an understanding of strategies and skills for innovative organizational development, as well as the tangible implementation of projects that respond to evolving societal and marketplace challenges and deliver services that meet those challenges.
- Intercultural Exploration. Students participate in global and international programs that challenge them to think about and investigate the world, explore different cultures, and place their classroom learning into a global context.
- Leadership. Students utilize various theories, models, and styles of leadership through some role within or through an organization. Through practice, they create collaborative relationships and networks and learn to empower, mentor, and influence others. These experiences enable students to develop a self-understanding and social intelligence that helps them translate a shared vision into ethical practice.
- Professional Development. Students participate in activities that further their understanding, commitment, skill and contribution to a body of work, field, or industry. Students develop appropriate acumen to thrive in a given organizational culture and contribute to problem solving and efficient/effective processes involving products, customers, programs, and/or services.
Engagement Competencies are the lenses through which students focus their Engagement Activity to develop an appreciation for and a comprehensive understanding of that area or lens.
- Civic and Community Responsibility. Students develop an understanding of government and community systems in order to contribute to the social cohesion, capacity, and governance of a community. In so doing, students will become motivated to be active community members who model inclusive decision-making, foster relationships of reciprocity in their service/volunteer activities, critically reflect on issues, and educate and facilitate the civic engagement of others.
- Diversity and Identity. Students develop explicit understandings of the sociocultural, linguistic, economic, and political experiences of diverse groups representing varying identities and societies, both their own and others, and apply those understandings in work related to a wide range of communities. Diversity and identity as a Competency is based on developing an appreciation for differences and a sense of an inclusive community.
- Global and Intercultural Comprehension. Students develop an understanding of global issues and the worldwide impact of individual and systemic actions while respecting diverse viewpoints. Students will be able to reflect on their own and other cultural biases and think critically about the world through interaction and collaboration with cultures and societies that are different from their own.
- Innovation and Creativity. Students gain an understanding of how to deliberately apply information, imagination, creative thinking, and initiative to generate new ideas for the purpose of addressing needs. This process helps students become accustomed to the discomfort of questioning the status quo and the excitement of idea generation and exploration at the leading edge of thought.
- Interdisciplinarity. Students gain an understanding of how to bring together novel and original thinking across disciplines to build on knowledge, practices, theories, or methodologies. Students network and establish relationships that cut across disciplines in the pursuit of common tasks.
- Professionalism. Students develop a heightened understanding of themselves and others as they participate in various experiences to build their knowledge of professional etiquette and expertise. Based on these experiences, students learn to communicate in an articulate and positive manner, act with integrity, and expand the boundaries of expectation toward a standard of excellence in their work and life.
- Sustainability. Students gain an understanding of the social, environmental, and economic dimensions of conditions or practices that make society vulnerable and unsustainable over multi-generational time scales. Through the exploration of issues from a sustainability perspective, students develop potential solutions to these challenges through the use of systems thinking to improve the quality of life for all--environmentally, socially, and economically--both now and for future generations.
Engagement Professional and Personal Skills
The following are some professional and personal skills--learning outcomes--that can be assessed in relation to any Engagement Activity and Competency.
- Reflection and Application. Students will be able to critically analyze personal strengths and challenges and translate experiences into new professional goals or personal life plans; articulate self-insight in the context of a new learning environment; describe how competencies gained in one experience can be applied to a new context and apply new ideas and insights to improve a process, product or outcome.
- Communication. Students will be able to verbally communicate in an articulate manner, write effectively with use of traditional and new media tools, conduct engaging group presentations or artistic expression, advocate for a point of view, and interact effectively through listening and empathy with diverse individuals and cultural contexts.
- Collaboration/ Teamwork. Students will be able to work effectively as part of a diverse team, generate new ideas that incorporate the contributions of others, behave in an ethical way, volunteer to lead activities, and demonstrate follow-through and collaboration in traditional and virtual spaces.
- Problem Solving/ Critical Thinking. Students will be able to leverage curiosity to construct problem-posing and engage in inquiry-based discovery; articulate problem-solving strategies and solutions; synthesize information to develop new perspectives, apply knowledge to current situations, both independently and interdependently, and reflect on critical thinking and problem solving through metacognition.
- Project Management. Students will be able to manage many people and moving parts, such as information, resources, and materials, into systems and structures that will result in effective and efficient project outcomes. Students will be able to manage their time to address demanding needs and navigate structural processes with ease.
- Academic and Non-Academic Career Preparedness. Students will be able to articulate a career plan and goals, demonstrate effective self-presentation skills by identifying competencies developed through education and experience, and demonstrate knowledge of the organizations they seek. Students will produce enticing self-branding tools using traditional and new media applications, effectively introduce themselves in a networking environment and demonstrate productivity in changing organizations and cultures.
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