Civic engagement at Bates is rooted in the academic program, with approximately sixty community-engaged learning courses and dozens of community-engaged research projects completed in diverse disciplines each year. Faculty development is critically important to this curricular focus since there is an ongoing need for course development or re-design and the cultivation of community-engaged projects and partners.
If you are a Bates faculty member and you are interested in including a project in the community in one of your courses, we invite you to schedule an initial consultation with a member of our Community-Engaged Learning team. Ellen Alcorn coordinates projects that have an education focus and connections to local schools and youth-serving organizations; Sam Boss coordinates projects in multiple disciplines with community partners that are working to address a wide range of social and environmental issues in Lewiston-Auburn and the wider world. If you are uncertain whom to contact and what types of projects you wish to pursue, please reach out to Harward Center Director Darby Ray, who can direct your inquiry and help you to set up a brainstorming meeting. You can look for ideas and learn about the work of our many publicly-engaged faculty members here.
In addition to one-on-one consultations, we also offer faculty development in the following ways:
- New faculty education
- “Informed civic action” and “responsible stewardship of the wider world” (college mission statement) are emphasized as core institutional values and active priorities during the faculty recruitment and selection process. For example, during their campus visits, all candidates for tenure-track and on-going faculty positions meet with the Director of the Harward Center for Community Partnerships, which signals the importance of the civic within institutional culture and serves as a unique opportunity for education and relationship building. Harward Center staff are also frequently asked to consult with new hires (faculty and staff) as they contemplate local neighborhoods, schools, and partner employment options.
- As part of New Faculty Orientation (overseen by the Dean of Faculty’s office), the Harward Center hosts a session on community-engaged learning (CEL) and research featuring recent faculty hires who share their early-career experiences with CEL/R as well as Harward Center staff who share resources for faculty. Following this session, Harward Center staff lead new faculty in a walk from campus to a downtown location for dinner, which helps orient them to their new locale.
- Finally, during the first month of the school year the Harward Center hosts an informal dinner gathering for new faculty and their families, as well as current community-engaged faculty members interested in serving as resources to new faculty. This gathering allows Harward Center staff and key faculty to get to know their new faculty colleagues and plants a seed for further relationship.
- Faculty capacity-building – To grow faculty members’ understandings of and capacity for publicly-engaged work, a range of programs is offered, with the exact program offerings in a given year dependent upon that year’s needs and resources. Recent programs include:
- Publicly-Engaged Pedagogy Learning Community – a four-session program for faculty members who want to develop a new, or significantly re-designed, community-engaged learning course. With support from Harward Center staff, PEP Learning Community members will grow in their understanding of community-engaged pedagogies, enjoy a community of practice, and develop student learning outcomes, course assignments, and community partner(s) for a new, or significantly re-designed, community-engaged learning course. This could be a brand new course, a course into which community engagement is being integrated for the first time, or a course in which a re-designed community-engaged component is desired.
- Public Works in Progress – a series of lunchtime programs (approx. one per month) featuring presentations by faculty, staff, and students about publicly-engaged work undertaken in the previous year with grant support from the Harward Center
- Adventures in Community-Engaged Learning – a lunchtime program (1-2 per year) highlighting the CEL experiences of faculty from diverse disciplines
- Progressive Dinner – an evening of learning, connecting, and celebrating diverse approaches to community-engaged academic work; held in downtown Lewiston
- From Soup to Nuts – a hands-on workshop for faculty interested in moving their understanding and practice of community-engaged learning to the next level; includes a session on the learning/teaching benefits of CEL and on the range of successful CEL models employed at Bates and elsewhere, followed by a one-to-one coaching session with CEL veterans
- Faculty Learning Community – a community of practice for faculty who are offering a CEL course in a given semester; meets monthly
- Faculty Grants – grants for individual faculty and/or departments to support the development and implementation of publicly-engaged academic initiatives with strong potential for sustained and noteworthy impact on teaching, learning, scholarship, and/or the arts
- CEL course development – In addition to the above programs, several of which support faculty in the development of CEL/R courses, projects, and partners, Harward Center staff work proactively to identify faculty and courses with potential for public connection/ contribution and to work one-on-one with those faculty members to brainstorm project ideas, connect them to prospective partners, and develop relevant pedagogies.
- CEL course support and evaluation – Faculty members offering CEL courses can tap into these Harward Center resources:
- One-on-one consultations for CEL faculty and/or students
- Classroom visits by Harward Center staff to help orient students to CEL work, the local community, and resources for further learning and reflection
- Technical support for CEL projects, including partnership and project prospecting, scheduling, and project management
- Facilitated reflection sessions for CEL students, either within or in addition to regular course requirements
- A web page of annotated resources for understanding the local community
- CEL faculty grants of up to $500 to support project costs within a course
- CEL student grants of up to $150 for individuals and $300 for groups to support project costs
- End-of-term surveys to assess student learning outcomes and faculty and community partner experiences and impacts