The Word of the Day is “Engagement”

Student engagement, engaged learning, community engagement, outreach and engagement…. Some form of the word “engagement” is all around us.  It was the focus of the main speaker at OSU’s University Day 2010 with a topic entitled: Engaged Learning: Fostering Success for All Students. It was the topic at our recent annual NIEHS meetings with discussions on changing our core name from Community Education to Community Engagement.

I think it’s a great way to go.  So how can we be successful in our engagement efforts?

I think engagement builds on the momentum of great communication and solid relationships.  This come first for our programs. If we are not engaged in our work, it will be hard for us to create engaging activities that have a ripple effect on our learners and stakeholders.

So now that we are passionate about our work and engaged with others on creating a program that will have great impact, what comes next?  Incorporate high impact purposeful activities into your program. An obvious one for our outreach programs is to provide a platform for students to do service-learning projects. I came across the Journal of Community Engagement in Higher Education. There is an interesting article on a service learning project for pharmacy students. Another interesting article was on a course for students on Engaged Citizenship, which is an important topic for creating healthy environments and healthy communities.

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