Katie Flowers, director of the Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning (CCESL), recently presented as part of a panel discussing the consortial approach to the assessment of community-based learning at liberal arts colleges. Their discussion, “Developing and Assessing Community-Campus Partnerships in Liberal Arts Colleges” was presented as part of the Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life (IA) national conference, held in New York City.
The panel was comprised of faculty and staff from five colleges participating in an effort supported by a 2007 Teagle Foundation grant. They discussed their recent efforts to define and assess what community/college partnerships look like at small, liberal arts colleges, including how the shared qualities of liberal arts colleges (teaching focused, undergraduate student body, limited resources) shape community collaborations, how they can assess community/college partnerships in such institutions, and how to integrate engaged scholarship efforts across departments, programs and services in order to make the most of our resources.
Presenting with Flowers were Suzanne Bonefas, director of special projects at Rhodes College; David Taylor, associate professor and director, Institute for Civic Engagement, Niagara College; Eleanor Weisman, assistant professor of dance and movement studies, Allegheny College; Carole Calo, professor of art history and chair of the department of visual and performing arts, Stonehill College; and Elizabeth Belanger, assistant professor of history, Stonehill College.
Hobart and William Smith were recently invited to join Imagining America: Artists and Scholars in Public Life and Flowers serves as the Colleges’ IA representative. Imagining America is a consortium of 90 colleges and universities and their partners. IA works with academic and community partners to develop knowledge about and resources for individual and institutional change through community organizing and movement-building, a large-scale annual conference, and ongoing research and action initiatives. Current initiatives include projects aimed at transforming higher education tenure and promotion policies, assessment practices, and graduate and undergraduate education to cultivate publicly engaged scholarship; linking diversity and engagement efforts on campuses; and partnering with community-based arts, cultural and humanities organizations.