Department-Led Community Engagement

Faculty laughing and engaging with one another at a table.

This is a collaborative initiative between Grand Valley State University, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids Community College and Michigan Campus Compact (MiCC), funded by the Grand Rapids Community Foundation. The purpose of this initiative is to advance the institutionalization of community-engaged teaching and learning into the departments curricula.

GRCC has two departments participating in this initiative: Exercise Science and Biological Sciences. Over the course of 18 months, each department will receive $5,000 to plan, establish, implement and evaluate strategic initiatives that will advance the integration of community-based teaching and learning into departmental curriculum and culture.

To assess the impact of the initiative, GRCC faculty Dillon Carr has been selected to serve on research team, along with faculty from Aquinas and GVSU. John Rumery will serve as a consultant offering professional development to participating departments. 

An engaged department works toward:

  • employing community-based learning as a strategy to achieve key academic goals for students and faculty
  • incorporating curricular scaffolding of community-based learning to enhance student development
  • supporting collaborative approaches to community partnerships
  • establishing a culture that supports and rewards community-based work