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 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.

Academic Civic Engagement (ACE) classes put academic skills in service of community priorities. Carleton faculty offer about 20 ACE courses each term, including both applied and theoretical designation. Most ACE courses are project-based, with students using their academic skills to create videos, archives, oral histories, data visualizations, statistical analysis, digital resource, and more.

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

By the numbers…

  • 65 ACE courses
    • 18 Theoretical
    • 47 Applied
  • 21 Social Science
  • 21 STEM
  • 23 Arts & Humanities
Timeline of an Academic Civic Engagement Course

Resources for ACE course design, implementation, and assessment

Support for ACE comes in a variety of forms, some including:

  • Course Design Consultation
  • Community Partnership Development
  • Co-Creation Grants
  • Public Scholarship Assistants
  • Periclean Faculty Fellow Grants
  • ACE Teaching Assistants