On Wednesday, February 10, 2016, the Pathways to Achieving Civil Engagement (PACE) Conference 2016 was held on the campus of High Point University, High Point, NC. Representatives from across the state and nation attended this annual event held by North Carolina Campus Compact, a collaborative network of 35 colleges and universities committed to educating and fostering engaged citizens and strengthening their communities.
UNCP faculty members Deana Johnson and Amy Williams presented in “A Showcase of Best Practice: First-Year Students and the Power of Service- Learning” alongside members from five other universities across the country: Warren Wilson College, Pfieffer University, Elon University, Kansas State University, and the University of South Carolina. This collaborative session showcased best practices for planning and implementing service-learning and community engagement for first-year students. The presenters described in varying ways how their institution’s approach addresses the unique social, academic and developmental needs of first year students while using an asset-based approach design. In addition, presenters explored possible institutional barriers to exemplary practice, transition to college issues, and building community in and out of the classroom.
UNCP’s Johnson and Williams described the specific work of their service-learning designated classes over the years, the numerous benefits for both first-year freshmen and the institution, and various ways other institutions might implement similar programs that uniquely serve their communities.