Academic Civic Engagement and Scholarship

At Carleton, Academic Civic Engagement (ACE) has long referred to an approach to education focusing on community-based learning. ACE Courses may be Applied, which generally indicates that a civic engagement project is an integral part of the course, and often involves collaboration with community partners. ACE can also be Theoretical, meaning that it focuses on the theoretical exploration of civic engagement. These courses centrally focus on issues of democracy, such as social justice, positionality, and forms of systemic oppression and directly explore how students might engage in work towards social change.

ACE Learning Objectives

  • Understanding issues in their real world complexity
  • Recognizing and honoring different forms of knowledge that may reside in/with community partners
  • Awareness of your positionality, or who you are as you seek to do civic engagement efforts (such as gender, race, and/or socioeconomic background)
  • Doing — how can you take your course content and do something with it beyond the classroom while learning in the process
  • Developing leadership skills
  • Nurturing a commitment to life-long civic engagement

Increasingly, we at the CCCE are also interested in the potential nexus of interested faculty connecting their engaged coursework to their engaged research, further leveraging the range of resources available at Carleton College towards community-identified needs. In keeping with the values of our office, we are interested in how dynamic collaboration contributes to transformative social change.

Get Involved

Email to receive updates about ACE Course Offerings

Tools, Texts, and Resources 

As you will see in our available resources, many of the the same tools (such as Susan Gust and Cathy Jordan’s The Community impact Statement: A tool for creating healthy partnerships) and principles can support collaborations with community partners, whether they be in courses or research projects.

  1. ACE Academic Resources 
  2. Carleton Community Partnership Agreements
  3. Logistical support
  4. Support for Remote ACE projects 
  5. Campus Compact Social Change Wheel
  6. Participatory Action Research website
  7. Class Discussion Questions for Community-Engaged Visiting Speakers

Types of Support 

ACE course development  guidelines

  1. ACE Pedagogical Design Support Help designing the project and connecting it to content of your course
  2. Community partner and Faculty “Match Making” 
  3. Community partner relationship building
  4. Presentation to your students on the ethics of civic engagement and working with community partners
  5. Resources for and facilitation support with reflection activities

Logistical support 

  1. Funding
  2. Transportation Within Northfield
  3. Outside of Northfield
  4. TA for the ACE component of the course

After your course 

  1. The CCCE offers a limited number of Summer or Winter Break time fellowships to carry forward collaborations started within ACE courses. 
  2. Exploring avenues to present or write about your engaged coursework 
  3. Helping to find intersections between your engaged pedagogy and your current or future engaged research. 

Who to Contact for Support

While the Carleton ACE coordinator and Associate Director work in deep collaboration, here is a high-level outline of some of their areas of work so you can best direct your inquiry.  

Please contact the ACE coordinator for course or research project logistical support such as:

  1. ACE course Transportation requests or questions, 
  2. Follow up or reminders to community partners, 
  3. ACE-related event scheduling or event logistics, 
  4. Honoria payment processing or course expense reimbursement 
  5. ACE summer fellowship funding questions 
  6. Funding requests such as requesting an ACE teaching assistant
  7. ACE Assessment collection and management  

Contact the CCCE Associate Director for 

  1. ACE Pedagogical Support 
  2. Community Engaged Research Project Design Consultations 
  3. ACE course designation or funding approvals 
  4. Community Partner Project Match Making (in collaboration with CCCE Assistant Director for Community Impact)
  5. Student Reflection Materials or Ethics of Civic Engagement course presentation
  6. Professional Development, such as
    • Consultation on ACE-related grant proposals or initiatives 
    • Faculty Development Opportunities such as participation in the Periclean Faculty Leadership  
    • Conference presentations or writing or publishing articles about your engaged coursework or research  

Requesting Support

If you’d like to request an ACE teaching assistant or funding, please fill out one or both of the following forms. 

Course Timeline 

In order to ensure the CCCE will be able to support your ACE course, please be in touch with the CCCE at least three weeks prior to the term in which the course is offered. 

After that point, additional CCCE support, both in terms of staff time and funding, will be alloted on a rolling basis as available. 

Timeline of ACE projects 

  1. Getting Started: Understanding theory and tenets of academic civic engagement, particularly as they apply to your discipline.
  2. Building Partnerships: Identify potential partners; research the work that’s already being done; understand what your partners need from you
    • Use the Community Partnership Agreement to guide initial conversations and build collective understanding
    • Reach out to CCCE Associate Director for ACES to talk through matching your course to a partner
  3. Designing the ACE Course: Develop the pedagogy and learning objectives surrounding your community engagement aspect, make these explicit in the syllabus, create reflection activities and assignments
  4. Figuring out logistics: Determine what type of funding, transportation, etc. you will need for your course to be successful. Support from our office may include transportation, funding, an ACE TA, a presentation on the ethics of civic engagement, or more.
    • Explore the CCCE Logistical Support page
    • Fill out ACE Course Description and Support Request
    • Funding for up to $200 in ACE-project-related supplies or expenses. 
  5. Teaching your class 
    • Continue to reach out to CCCE as needed
  6. Doing an ACE Assessment: talk with CCCE staff about assessment resources

Pathways for Civic Learning

A growing body of research suggests that community engagement supports the retention and academic success of first-generation College and low income students. We are seeking to ensure that the engaged coursework at Carleton consistently serves as a high impact method of centering student equity. By designing programs to help faculty ensure student success in ACE courses, and making curricular pathways for civic learning, civic agency and civic action explicit to students of various backgrounds, we can better support student reflection on connections between various ACE classes and co-curricular experiences to integrate their engaged work at Carleton.

Already at Carleton there are branching networks of interconnected civic learning courses at Carleton and the CCCE hopes to make these more coherently structured for students in the future. Using the lens of equity, we want to make these curricular pathways coherent to all students, empowering them to narrate the ways their civic and community engagement deepened their academic experience.

Paying Community Knowledge Holders

The business office offers options that may be helpful in paying community knowledge holders. Review the information on this page for policies on:

  • Honorariums and Donations in Lieu of Honorariums
  • Gifts to Community Knowledge Holders
  • Amazon Gift Cards

Community co-educators: Who should be paid and how much?

The CCCE has some general guidance on paying community co-educators for their time. We recommend paying community co-educators when you are engaging their expertise for the students’ benefit. However, it may be appropriate to pay the organization that the community co-educator works for if they are doing the work as an employee of that organization. It may also be appropriate to not pay a community co-educator if the work being done together is part of their normal job duties for an organization. If the community co-educator is doing the work as an activist, organizer, community member, etc. we encourage you to pay them individually.

The rate at which we recommend paying community co-educators is $100/hour.