The CCCE Associate Director for Academic Civic Engagement and Scholarship (ACES) is available to assist Carleton faculty with ACE pedagogy, designing an ACE project and connecting it to the content and learning objectives of the course, and connecting and working with community partners to co-create mutually beneficial projects and to build on existing projects and relationships from term to term.

The ACES Coordinator can assist with questions around planning for transportation for ACE projects and for end of term ACE events and community presentations.

ACE Pedagogy

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

ACE Course Syllabus Design

You can now find language to include in your ACE course syllabi on the Carleton Academic Support Center’s Syllabus/Moodle Statements for Faculty and Advisers page

Reflection Resources

Reflection is an essential part of learning in academic civic engagement courses, and it is important to consider how you will incorporate reflection throughout the term as you are planning your course. Reflection has been found to lead to deeper, more meaningful learning in ACE courses1. The CCCE offers resources for and facilitation to support reflection activities, including individual written reflections, group discussions, ideas about creative and experiential integration for the ACE classroom, and end-of-term reflections about learning and impact with community partners.

a wheel describing ways to work for social change

Reflection resources:

Source: 1 Ash et al. 2005. Integrating Reflection and Assessment to Capture and Improve Student Learning. Michigan Journal of Community Service Learning. 11:2.

Determining Appropriate Scope for ACE Projects

The pace of the ten-week term is often difficult to align with the timing and priorities of our community partners. CCCE staff can support faculty in working with community partners to establish projects that:
1) are informed by community interests and priorities,
2) align with course learning objectives and student skill and knowledge levels, and
3) have clear and achievable outcomes that are understood by the students and the partners.
Often, students in ACE courses are building on or contributing to longer-term projects and work with our partners. A goal of the CCCE is to strategically connect multiple ACE courses to community partner priorities, leveraging the assets of different academic disciplines to both contribute to and learn with the partners over time.

Working with Community Partners

Community Partnership Agreements

Several versions of the Carleton Community Partnership Agreement are available. These agreements can be helpful for establishing roles and expectations in campus-community partnerships. CCCE staff can help you figure out if a Community Partnership Agreement makes sense for your ACE course, as well as which version may work best with your partner.

Community Partner Matchmaking

The CCCE Associate Director can help you connect and build relationships with community partners who do work relevant to your course. For Rice County partners, this matchmaking is often done in collaboration with the CCCE Assistant Director for Community Impact to align with the work of Carleton’s rich co-curricular partnerships with local organizations and groups. If you are hoping to establish a new ACE partnership, it is good to start working on this with CCCE staff at least one term ahead of when your ACE course is scheduled.

a graphic showing the 6 tenents of community engagement: Trust, mutual respect, mutual benefit, shared power, reflection, and shared knowledge

Resources for Ethical Community Engagement:

Logistical Planning


If your course’s ACE projects will require transportation, it is helpful to look into options and start planning as early as possible. The Carleton Transportation page is the best source of up-to-date information on both Northfield-area options (Carls Go! and Hiawathaland Transit) and college fleet vehicle rental. CCCE can reserve and pay for fleet vehicles on your behalf if you have an approved driver.

To request Field Trip Funds, please email Eric Egge.

In order to drive fleet vehicles, students must be campus drivers. This process can be slow – please encourage students to start it early!

ACE TA/Public Scholarship Assistant

The CCCE has funding to support a limited number of ACE TAs and/or Public Scholarship Assistants each term. Often, ACE TAs are students who have taken the course during a previous term/year and can assist the professor with anything from driving to ACE project sites to facilitating student reflection. Public Scholarship Assistants are students who work directly with a faculty member on the faculty member’s public scholarship (this could be related to an ACE course the student has taken with you). For both ACE TAs and Public Scholarship Assistants, the faculty member supervises the student. The CCCE offers a training for interested ACE TAs at the beginning of each term.

This is a student position funded at 5 hours/week during the term, or 40 hours total over a break. Please fill out this form to apply for an ACE TA or this form for a Public Scholarship Assistant. Students must be work-study eligible.

End of Term Events and Presentations

final presentations in Anthropology of Health and Illness

If you are working with a community partner or partners, it is important to plan how you will share student project results and learning with them. Many ACE courses do this through community events and presentations at the end of the term. As you plan your ACE course, please let your community partners know about the dates for presentations. The ACES coordinator can help you with space reservations at Carleton, food for events, and publicity, as needed.