Illinois State University VSparticipate in civic engagement won the American Association of State Colleges and Universities 2021 Excellence and innovation for civic learning and community engagement.
This award is a national recognition for the university work to engage its students in the democratic process.
The center had to apply to be recognized for the award and prove to AASCU that ISU engaged his students in government matters.
“Our candidacy highlighted our new strategic plan which outlines four priorities for improving student civic engagement and advancing the institution’s commitment to its public goal of embracing our Redbird impact through problem solving. community, transform the student experience, promote the commitment of professors and staff and strengthen Infrastructure, ” The director of the Center for Civic Engagement, Dr Katy Strzepek, said.
Even during the pandemic, the center was working with students to involve them with the university community and the political community in general.
Deliberative dialogues were given to any group that requested them.
” HardIn a deliberative dialogue, participants refer to a shared problem guide and trained facilitators follow a structured discussion format, ”said Strzepek.
“Facilitators seek to create a courageous space where participants are able to openly share divergent and controversial opinions, offer opposing views, recognize the impact of their words on others, step in and step out. conversation, respect each other and avoid attacks. “
The center organized 100 deliberative dialogue sessions in the spring 2020 only.
About 822 students and 105 professors and staff discussed difficult topics and learned to communicate better with their peers through these sessions.
The center continues to find ways to engage the campus community with various programs and promotions.
The team has graduate assistants and interns who help every step of the way.
“Especially in times of crisis, universities should continue to use their strengths to tackle inequalities and build partnerships that embrace our commitment to developing thoughtful and informed students who will know how to use their skills to act as active members of their communities ” , Strzepek mentioned.
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