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Bringing Theory to Practice Grant


"We are impressed with the scope of the proposed project and its potential for transforming civic learning at Duquesne by enabling the Community Engagement Scholars program to serve as a model upon which other efforts can be developed. We commend the project team's vision for connecting the funded work with larger goals for institutional change and transformation."

Donald W. Harwar, Director, Bringing Theory to Practice Project

First implemented in 2006, the CES program has historically offered students the opportunity to devote their strengths and talents to deepend community-university partnerships by assisting academic departments manage their established service-learning classes.

Previously, students who were enrolled in the CES program would attend bi-weekly seminars that provided leadership training with an emphasis on the particular skills and knowledge areas that are most beneficial to community engagement work. However, for AY 2012-2013, the Bringing Theory to Practice Project (an independent project working in partnership with the Association of American Colleges and Universities and supported by the S. Engelhard Center and the Christian A. Johnson Endeavor Foundation) awarded the Office of Service-Learning a developmental grant to harness the CES program as a model of civic learning and democratic engagement. The funding has enabled the seminar and service-learning components of the CES program to be expanded to promote 21st Century Standards for Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, as defined by the AAC&U. 

The 2012-2013 Community Engagement Scholars participated in an enhanced curriculum that fostered their understanding of universal democratic principles as ideals that promote the dignity and fundamental rights of the individual, social justice, economic and social development of the community, and strengthened cohesion of society. Offered through the McAnulty College of Liberal Arts, the seminar is taught by Dr. Lina Dostilio (director of Academic Community Engagement) and assisted by Kate A. Molchan (doctoral student in the Healthcare Ethics program). Upon completion, the program will yield important information about the acquisition of student learning with regard to civic learning, social responsibility, and personal growth and how these outcomes might be strengthened in other curricular offerings at Duquesne and elsewhere.