On Wednesday, September 27th, the CCE’s new house held its first large event as 30 new Engaged Scholars, most of them first years, squeezed in for a tasty lunch and their program orientation. This meeting was intended to inform students on how to fulfill their obligations to the program and illustrate the many ways in which they can be involved in the community.
At the meeting, the CCE held a panel with leaders in campus engagement programs, including David Crye, Assistant Director of the Office of Outdoor Education, Ian Johnson, Director of Sustainability, and Lani Hinkle, Director of the Public Interest Fellowship Program. “One of the purposes of the orientation is to broaden the scope of strategies for investing yourself in social change,” says Jordan Radke, CCE director. “The goal is to make all the information on this campus about community engagement manageable.” She also cites the fact that the Community Engaged Scholars Program is designed to be a gateway program that helps to build a more engaged campus culture. Students hold themselves accountable for the work they put in to their community engagement, and how they choose to be involved, so each scholar creates an individualized program. The orientation is a chance for students to view engagement as something beyond direct service, finding opportunities in coursework, internships, and activism.
Looking ahead, Jordan hopes to grow the program not just in how many students participate, but also in the support offered to the scholars by the CCE. An Engaged Learning Specialist will be joining the CCE staff in a few weeks, and they will be able to offer more programming to the Community Engaged Scholars. Jordan also envisions the program including more spaces for students to come together, and “the chance to leverage student expertise on how to involve yourself in social change.” With many first years joining the program, she hopes that students went away from the meeting “feeling like they are a part of something, and that community engagement is a part of the culture here at CC.”
Are you interested in becoming a Community Engaged Scholar, or would you like to know more about the program? Visit the CCE website, https://www.coloradocollege.edu/offices/cce/students/community-engaged-scholars/, for more information.