Civic Engagement As A Community Process
This course will examine Civic Engagement from the perspective of community and neighborhood issues which are often unstated but are often the basis for community tension and lack of trust in the participatory process. Students will learn why the engagement process is valued in a democratic society, practiced locally, and how it is currently transforming to be more effective. While there are no right answers to effective civic engagement, the content and participatory role-playing will introduce students to the complexity of engagement issues, responsibilities, and hands-on facilitation experience to achieve better outcomes for citizens, communities, and practices for community decision and policymaking. New topics will be introduced on a weekly basis through student-led presentations and facilitated discussions. All students will be responsible for weekly reading and annotation assignments, selecting and leading at least one topic presentation and discussion, and submitting in-depth research and analysis based on their presentation topic as an end-of-term final paper. Assessment of individual performance will be based on weekly reading and annotation assignments, class participation, topic presentation and discussion facilitation, and the final paper. There is no final exam.
At the end of the course, students will be able to:
- Describe and discuss major engagement issues and concerns that often underlie citizen involvement and community values.
- Research and analyze complex civic engagement topics to understand the conditions that precipitated their relevance and how they are (or not) being addressed.
- Plan and prepare an in-class presentation that fosters students’ individual presentation and group-based facilitation skills.
- Lead a topic presentation and deliberative discussion that educates and elicits discourse.
- Plan and lead civic engagement sessions in a manner that respects citizen participation in the decision- and policy-making process.