Community Engagement | Capital University, Columbus Ohio
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  • Crusader Day of Service

    Community Engagement at Capital

  • About

    For decades, Capital University has been an agent in shaping engaged citizens and purposeful leaders who improve their industries, communities, and society. Our roots secure us as we stretch toward innovation, new ways of knowing, and better ways of contributing. Our values ground us, as we remove obstacles to give each student, faculty, staff, community member, and neighbor a chance to do more, not less.

    Building on our proven track record of high-impact teaching and learning practices, Capital amplifies experience-centered learning to deepen our impact, not only on our students, but also on our broader community. Through in- and out-of-class community engagement, internships, community-based research and more, with particular focus on the Columbus community, students and faculty explore clear intersections among high-impact practices, social understanding, problem solving and neighborhood empowerment.

    Defining Community Engagement

    Adopting the Carnegie Foundation’s definition of Community Engagement, Capital University defines community engagement as a collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good.

    Carnegie Classification Announcement - link to already existing story


    Community Engagement Programs

    Alternative Break Trips

    In collaboration with the Center for Faith and Learning, the Office of Student and Community Engagement coordinates trip(s) over Spring Break dedicated to community engagement! This trip is open to all undergraduate students and students can anticipate a week of service, relationship building, and fun. Past trip locations include: Bradenton, FL; Jacksonville, FL; and the Dominican Republic.

    America Reads

    Capital’s city-wide tutoring program is open to students of all majors. Spend 2-15 hours a week reading and doing homework with students from across the city. You’re guaranteed to learn a lot of patience and have fun in the process. Email americareads@capital.edu for more information.

    The Blanket Project

    As an annual program, Capital partners with an elementary school to help make tie blankets for nearly every student at the school.

    Bonner Leader Program

    Capital’s Bonner Leader Program connects Capital University and Columbus to a national network of colleges, universities, and communities dedicated to providing students the opportunity to attend college with a reduced financial burden, while simultaneously elevating the communities around them. To learn more, visit the Bonner Leader Program page.

    The Cap Cupboard

    Located in the Lower Level of the Student Union, the Cap Cupboard is Capital’s on campus food and resource center. Capital University strives to alleviate food insecurity among Capital students by providing free and accessible food and hygiene items to those in need. Capital students with need will also be connected to resources, both on and off campus.

    Crusader Day of Service

    Our annual community engagement kickoff! In the fall of each academic year, team up with some friends (or make some new ones!) and serve with a community partner in Columbus. Information will be available at the beginning of fall semester each year about opportunities to serve.

    Distinction Mentoring Program

    Spend a couple of hours each week with students at Mifflin Middle School in this program designed to help students create a greater sense of community amongst their peers, and a greater sense of self-respect individually. You will laugh, learn, and definitely make an impact on the students you’re working with. They’ll make quite the impact on you too.

    Kids Kamp

    Kids from First English Lutheran Church and the surrounding community visit Capital once a semester. Our students work with them to complete a service project, make crafts, and show them around campus.

    Saturday Services

    Join us one Saturday each month! Transportation is provided as we travel to different community partners throughout the Columbus area. In the Spring of 2020, we are partnering with Miracles on Horseback, an organization that helps people improve their lives through horse-partnered learning experiences and education.

    Teen Visit Days

    The teen after school program from Central Community House visits Capital to talk with students about the college experience and what it’s like at Capital!

    Winter Wear Drive & Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony

    Each year, we light a giant Christmas tree on campus and Santa makes a special appearance. More importantly, we highlight a few of our community engagement partners and spend the month leading up to the Tree Lighting collecting coats and warm weather accessories to donate to the Open Shelter and other local partners.


    Faculty and Staff

    Community Engagement Community of Practice

    The Community Engagement (CE) Community of Practice identifies and shares best practices for curricular and co-curricular community engaged learning activities and serves as a resource for university and community members interested in developing partnerships. Faculty and staff are welcome to attend this biweekly meeting held on Fridays from 11:00 - 11:50am on Zoom.

    Community/Civic Engagement Course Designation

    Capital has a long history of co-curricular and curricular community and civic engagement experiences. Consistent with our mission and strategic framework, increasing opportunities and institutionalizing best practices for students to participate in these activities is a priority.

    Faculty governance committees (i.e., the College Curriculum Committee and the Signature Learning Committee) have approved expectations and processes for designating courses as Community/Civically Engaged (CE). This designation will appear on WebAdvisor and in the Bulletin, allowing students to identify CE courses when they register.

    The documents below provide guidelines and a checklist for creating a new course or designating an existing course as community/civically engaged. These materials are also available on CapPoint at CE Course Designation Guidelines. If you currently teach or would like to teach a class that includes a significant community engagement component, please review these guidelines and submit your syllabus for review. Sherry Mong and Nate Jackson, CELT SOTL mentors and veterans of teaching community engaged courses, are available to help answer questions and provide other support as needed.

    Although at least 25% of course activities and assessments must be tied to community/civic engagement in order to receive the CE designation, there is evidence of student learning and community impact with smaller projects. Sherry and Nate, in partnership with the Office of Student and Community Engagement, can work with you to incorporate community/civic engagement as a smaller portion of your courses as well.

    As you prepare syllabi and begin planning, please use these guidelines for any courses that contain community/civic engagement components. Materials may be submitted to swilson@capital.edu.

    Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching

    The mission of Capital University’s Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) is to use the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL) to support transformative student learning by providing education and resources to faculty and staff. For more information on CELT and Experiential Learning, click here.

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