Q: How do civic engagement opportunities help students learn, and what are some examples?
A: “At the broadest level, civic engagement opportunities are designed to help students make connections between the theoretical ideas that they might be discussing in their classes and more practical kinds of concerns,” says Matthew Jordan, dean of the Jack, Joseph & Morton Mandel Humanities Center at Cuyahoga Community College. “They can see how big-picture questions get worked out in the real world. At a more intimate level, the community engagement opportunities are designed to give students an understanding of Northeast Ohio. One of the opportunities that our students have is to take the community engagement course. That’s a required part of our curriculum where students in a class will have a partnership with a community organization, typically a nonprofit, to solve a problem or work on a project in conjunction with that community partner.”