USM centers team up for a seminar on community engagement


Mon 11/29/2021 – 12:39 | By: Van Arnold

The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) at the University of Southern Mississippi (USM), in partnership with the Center for Faculty Development, is sponsoring a three-day, community-focused condensed seminar December 14-16 at the Hattiesburg campus .

CCE Director Christy Arrazattee notes that the overarching goal of the seminar is to provide a quick introduction to tips and best practices for involving students in community organizations as part of the demands of the classroom. She pointed out that the CCE is well connected with community organizations in the Pine Belt and is quite familiar with the needs of the community.

“We are happy to make recommendations and connections,” Arrazattee said. “It is also important for the University to have a coordinating structure for community engagement to ensure that outreach is conducted responsibly and so that community organizations are not overloaded with students fulfilling course requirements. or student organization service. We also know that active learning and service learning are high impact teaching practices, so it is important to have an office that can provide advice on how to effectively implement these practices.

The intensive seminar will consist of three sessions that will cover the basics of community learning for faculty, who wish to either enhance their current partnerships or start implementing this high impact practice.

Day 1 – Tuesday December 14: Principles of partnership

  • Identification of partners and project possibilities, led by Candice Salyers
  • Benchmarks for Campus / Community Partnerships, moderated by Christy Kayser Arrazattee

Day 2 – Wednesday December 15: Commitment exchange

  • Processes of Conducting Community-Engaged Research, moderated by Jennifer Lemacks and Holly Huye
  • Develop research opportunities, led by Christy Kayser Arrazattee

Day 3 – Thursday, December 16: Preparation of students and harvest of learning

  • Orientation and monitoring of students in community placement, led by Christy Kayser Arrazattee
  • Link to Course Content and Civic Identity Panel with Jo Hawkins Jones, Ann Marie Kinnell and Rebecca Turri

“The partnership between CCE and CFD has allowed us to identify common themes of community building in multiple ways and intentional awareness and incorporation of diversity, equity and inclusiveness into our programming, ”said Dr. Kelly Lester, Director, Center for Faculty Development at USM.

Arrazattee explains that USM has a rather active body of professors engaged in the community. She notes that around 15 service learning courses are confirmed for spring 2022 with the expectation of around 20 to 25 courses that eventually integrate service learning for the spring semester.

“I work with 30-35 professors who regularly teach service learning courses, and there are many more who are also involved in community research or outreach activities that are not built into the classroom. class, ”Arrazattee said.

The CCE will train five new faculty during the Service Learning Faculty Fellows Program Seminar next spring, who will then present their new service learning classes over the next two years after the seminar ends. .

To register for the seminar, go to:


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