Civic engagement is action to meet the basic needs of a community. TLU graduates are empowered to collaborate for positive social change, both as local leaders and global citizens.
Civic Engagement at TLU
At TLU, we know that transformation happens through relationships. We grow the most when we learn and do with community partners, rather than for them. TLU faculty and staff design service and civic engagement projects to invigorate learning about community, personal civic identity, and the strengths of both academic and community knowledge. Learning boldly and living to inspire doesn’t wait until graduation – it’s an everyday experience at TLU.
- 66% of all TLU students participated in some form of community service in 2012.
- 15 campus groups provide over 1,000 backpacks of food for low-income families near campus.
- 51 grants and $58,130 were generated from 2011 to 2013 by The Center For Servant Leadership office and affiliates for the Seguin community.
- 77% of students surveyed on the 2012 Senior Survey agreed that TLU students should take at least one civically engaged majors level course in which they apply the skills and insights of their discipline to make a difference in the community.
- 715 miles are traveled each week by Connect Seguin—the local public transportation system named and promoted by Business Administration students that benefits senior citizens and low-income families.
Integrating Civic Engagement into Compass, TLU's General Education Program
Compass, TLU’s general education curriculum, prepares you for life after graduation through an exciting and challenging journey that prepares students for achievements and success. The 11 Competencies outlined in Compass, including Civic Engagement (V), are skills employers look for in job candidates. They also enhance your ability to become a visionary and dynamic leader both locally and globally. You will be required to take at least one course that meets the Competency requirement for each of the 11 components. Applications Software (ISYS 133), and Leadership For Social Change (COMM 332) are just a few of the classes that meet the Civic Engagement (V) Competency.
Many TLU courses do not provide credit for the Civic Engagement (V) competency but still integrate service and other forms of community engagement directly into the curriculum. Tim Barr and Jessica Mann, full-time staff of the Jon and Sandra Moline Center for Servant Leadership (CSL) faculty and students to prepare and facilitate powerful civic engagement experiences. Student leaders in the CSL coordinate regular service-learning opportunities that range from playing Bunco with senior citizens to leading an after-school program to teaching English as a second language.
Community Computer Classes
A staple of civic engagement at TLU is our Applications Software course (ISYS 133) and the partnership of students and local individuals who are looking to improve their computer skills. Taught by Sam Hijazi, associate professor of math and computer science and Rodrick Shao, instructional technologist, class participants range from younger adults to senior citizens. Whether it’s teaching someone how to use a mouse or improving business skills with Microsoft Excel, students and faculty develop relationships with community members and expand local computer literacy.
Adapted Physical Education
Partnering with local nonprofit Mosaic of South Central Texas, Adapted Physical Education (KINS 232) students work weekly with people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities throughout the spring semester. Led by Casi Helbig, associate professor of kinesiology, the course has students develop lesson plans for each session and provides them with the benefit of forming relationships and first-hand experiences with individuals who have a wide range of abilities. Centered around improving fitness while developing sports and independent living skills, the program and interaction between Mosaic participants and TLU students benefits both parties.
Annual Days of Service
Each year, TLU students, faculty, and staff dedicate two days – HOT Dogs in the fall and Day of the Dogs in the spring - to serving the Seguin community. Past service projects have included agricultural work at My Father’s Farm (a USDA-certified organic farm), working with groups like Seguin Youth Services, Guadalupe County Family Violence Shelter, retirement facilities, The Humane Society and various cleanup and beautification projects throughout the city of Seguin.
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