Embrace connections through the new Carleton Community Engagement Center

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On October 27, more than 150 Carleton faculty, staff, students and community partners gathered to officially mark the launch of the university’s new Community Engagement Center (CCE). The Center was established earlier this year to support the value and practice of community engagement, a priority highlighted in Carleton’s Integrated Strategic Plan.

The new center is responsible for communicating key community engagement efforts inside and outside the university, developing a data system and metrics to track engagement, coordinating communities of practice and to monitor and evaluate the impact in collaboration with the stakeholders of the campus.

Professor Chantal Trudel, inaugural director of the Center, opened the event by recognizing the Algonquin Anishinaabeg people in the unceded and unceded territory of the Carleton campus. “One of my first tasks when I accepted this position in July was to go back to read Kinàmàgawin, “she said.” It seemed like every page was about community involvement. “

“The community is a central part of Carleton’s founding history,” said President and Vice-Chancellor Benoit-Antoine Bacon.

“The university was built by, for and with the community in 1942 to meet the needs of returning World War II veterans. This deep bond with the community continues to be an integral part of Carleton’s mission and activities.

Carleton recently completed an in-depth review of its institutional community engagement activities as part of its participation in the Carnegie Foundation’s Canadian Pilot Cohort of the Classification for Community Engagement. This effort, led by Lorraine Dyke, Assistant Vice President (Academic Operations and Planning), Karen Schwartz and Professor Emerita Katherine Graham, Associate Vice President (Research and International), helped crystallize the vision for a center dedicated to community engagement.

“Through Carnegie’s application process, we discovered the depth and breadth of community engagement initiatives taking place in all areas of the university,” said Schwartz. “We realized that we could improve our community engagement efforts by investing in organizational infrastructure and people to help support, promote and measure these activities strategically.”

This work was further underscored by the development of the integrated strategic plan in 2019-2020, a process co-led by Professor Lorraine Dyke.

“Carleton has continued to grow, deepen and refine its commitment to community engagement through key activities,” said Dyke. “Community engagement emerged as a key theme of the Integrated Strategic Plan because we heard from our campus community that they believe in engaging with the wider community in a focused and strategic way. “

In line with the Integrated Strategic Plan, community engagement continued to be emphasized in several campus-wide strategies, such as Kinàmàgawin, the Coordinated Accessibility Strategy and the International Strategic Plan.

“Staying true to its community-inspired roots, Carleton has supported a variety of community engagement initiatives and activities throughout its history,” said Trudel.

“The new center builds on this momentum and will serve as a focal point for strategic alignment of community engagement across the university and with partners. “

The Center will work closely with groups across campus that have a specific focus on community engagement, including Carleton’s Steering Committee on Community Engagement (CESC), Committee for Community-Engaged Pedagogy (CCEP ) and the Carleton Community Innovation Center (3ci). In collaboration with key stakeholders including community partners, faculties and schools, professional and student services, Advancement, the Center for Indigenous Initiatives and senior management, the Center will develop a Strategic Plan for Community Engagement (SP4CE ). The SP4CE working group, co-chaired by Profs. Chantal Trudel, Lorraine Dyke and Karen Schwartz, is in training and will soon be hiring faculty, staff, students and community members.

The launch event also included 24 presentations by individuals and groups from across campus. They reflected the impressive breadth of collective expertise in community engagement. The presentations were divided into six thematic areas that covered relevant topics, such as how to start engaging with community partners, how to assess community engagement, and the challenges and opportunities that the pandemic has provided. Each session has been recorded and will soon be added to the Community Engagement Center website for the Carleton community to refer to for inspiration and advice.

In closing the event, Provost and Vice President (Academic) Jerry Tomberlin acknowledged the collaborative leadership efforts on campus that led to the creation of the new center.

“We continue to honor Carleton’s deep community roots,” he said.

“There are so many community engagement initiatives woven into the history of our institution, many of which were led by people who were a part of today’s event, and we thank you for your continued leadership. in these efforts. “

The Center for Community Engagement will support the wide and diverse range of community engagement activities that are already in action on the Carleton campus, including:

  • School and extracurricular engagement opportunities,
  • Course where learning outcomes are designed to implement and evaluate an activity related to community engagement, including the new Minor in Community Engagement,
  • Courses where experiential learning is highlighted and linked to community engagement,
  • Research projects,
  • Internships, co-ops and other career exploration opportunities,
  • Study programming abroad,
  • Carleton Dominion-Chalmers Center,
  • Spring Break alternative program (national and international),
  • Programming and opportunities related to social innovation / entrepreneurship,
  • Community service projects outside and inside the campus,
  • Student Leadership Training,
  • Educational training of students (tutoring, teaching assistants), and
  • Community awareness through a variety of programs.

Wednesday, November 24, 2021 in Press releases
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