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
TLU’s general education curriculum prepares you for life after graduation through an exciting and challenging journey that prepares students for achievements and success. They general education curriculum enhances your ability to become a visionary and dynamic leader both locally and globally.
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. Morgan Matchett, director of the Jon and Sandra Moline Center for Servant Leadership (CSL), works with faculty and students to prepare and facilitate powerful civic engagement experiences within and outside of the classroom. Applications Software (ISYS 133), and Leadership For Social Change (COMM 332) are just a few of the classes that incorporate service into the classroom. One of the CSL civic engagement coordinators works directly with faculty to support civic engagement in a particular class. Courses that have benefitted from this interaction include the Honors section of the Freshman Experience course (FREX 134) and Social Problems (SOCI 232).
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.
Ongoing Service Opportunities
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. The CSL has 11 civic engagement student coordinators that serve as liaisons for eight community partner agencies. These community partners include Habitat for Humanity, Ball Early Childhood Center, Jefferson Elementary Mentoring, Voter Registration & Education with the Guadalupe County Elections Office and Community Forum, Lizzie M. Burges Alternative School, West End Neighborhood Project, Teatro de Artes de Juan Seguin, and Eden Cross Senior Community. The civic engagement student coordinators organize weekly and monthly opportunities for students to volunteer at these community partner agencies. If you’re interested in learning how to get involved, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Service Learning Intercollegiate Collaborative
TLU is part of SLIC, the San Antonio Service Learning Intercollegiate Collaborative, which is a consortium of colleges and universities across the broad San Antonio region that meet on a monthly basis to discuss best practices and challenges in community service, civic engagement, and service-learning, and to collaborate on various programs. SLIC also manages a list-serv that you can send your volunteer opportunities to, and the email will reach the respective service programming people at each university. Contact: email@example.com.
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