With the support of a National Endowment for the Humanities Humanities Connections Planning Grant, a team of faculty at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville and Lewis and Clark Community College has spent the last year envisioning the Digital Community Engagement Pathway. You can learn more about the planning process here.
Now we are inviting feedback from faculty and students at SIUE and Lewis and Clark , as well as community partners. If you are participating in one of our scheduled focus groups, you may explore this website, which gives an overview of existing programs at both campuses and explains how the Digital Community Pathway can serve needs at both institutions as wells as in the Metro-East St. Louis region, or download this focus group overview for quick reference.
DCEP is a general education pathway for underserved students in all fields and majors. The pathway uses community engagement, small research teams, and an interdisciplinary approach to core curricula so that students can address the world’s most pressing problems in applied settings as they fulfill their general education requirements. To learn more about the current curricular plan, visit the program design page.
The Pathway’s goal is two-fold: to recruit more underrepresented students to SIUE and to increase opportunities for these same underserved students who, because of ACT scores and economic factors, do not have access to what the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) calls High Impact Practices (HIPs). In HIPs, students work with faculty on signature work “related to a question or problem that is important to the student and important to society” (“Why Students Need Capstones and Signature Work”). HIPs improve personal and social development and increase deep learning, practical competence, and speaking and writing ability by more than 50% (AAC&U). Our site provides contextual demographics of underserved students at SIUE and the rate at which they participate in High Impact Practices, which include opportunities like Honors and Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities. The Pathway is one method to might provide more equity in the availability of High Impact Practices on Campus.