We can all learn from experience. What we learn, however, depends on the experience and the meaning we take from it. Curricular engagement provides UNCG students with the opportunity to work with groups and organizations in the community, to make connections between real-world experiences and their studies, to develop meaningful and lasting relationships, and to make a difference in the lives of others – all while gaining academic course credit. Organizations that collaborate with UNCG for students’ curricular engagement find that they benefit from working with students to apply disciplinary knowledge and skills to particular projects, gain access to scholarly databases, tools, and resources, fulfill educational missions or goals of their organizations, and inspire students to pursue specific lines of work or to stay in the community after graduation. Students don’t just go out into the community; they work with and learn alongside community partners generating new knowledge and meaning for all involved.
Multiple pathways exist for UNCG students to gain valuable, real-world experiences. In service-learning courses, students taking a class connect course content to their service through critical reflection for the purposes of not only enhancing their disciplinary knowledge, but also their civic development and personal growth. Through internships (either paid or unpaid), students spend an extended period of time in the community, under supervision from a professional on-site, to learn the knowledge, skills, and dispositions required to excel in the professions they have chosen to join after graduation. Through field placements and practica, students are individually placed in community sites for an extended period of time to satisfy licensure or certification requirements, and are supervised by UNCG faculty or staff members, as well as supervisors on-site.
Academic engagement is not only a way of contributing to communities now; it is an important educational strategy that has been proven to help students learn better and for graduates to do better after graduation day. Research shows that service-learning (i.e., curricular, community-based, experiential education) enhances students’ academic engagement and success, as well as job prospects. Specifically, such educational experiences are positively correlated to deeper connections with faculty; higher grade point averages, retention, and degree completion; and, clarified goals for pursuing a career or graduate school, as well as enhanced leadership, teamwork skills, and personal and civic development.
Where to Go
Below you will find offices that assist students, as well as community and faculty members to identify and develop opportunities for curricular community engagement.
Service-learning (SVL) Courses link academic study to community action. If you are a student wishing to enroll in a SVL course, a faculty member looking to teach a SVL course, or a community colleague looking to partner with a SVL course, please contact the Office of Strategy and Innovation. If you are interested in what courses are being offered during a given semester, go on UNCGenie and search the class schedule by selecting SVL service-learning in the Course Category field.
Career and Professional Development can help you whether you are the employer who has recruited hundreds of students from UNCG or this is the first time you have posted a job/internship. The UNCG Employer Relations team is here to guide you through the process to help you maximize your recruitment efforts and outcomes.
Career and Professional Development serves as the recruiting link between the university’s students and alumni and the corporate, government and non-profit sectors. Besides providing students and alumni with a wide range of career consultation services, it develops customized strategies to help employers meet their needs for part time, intern and full time employees. We offer you a number of exciting ways to work with us in developing tomorrow’s leaders!
Field Experiences & Clinical Practice
A variety of departments at UNCG have ongoing relationships with various community organizations for student placements, internships, and field practica (e.g., Nursing, Education, Social Work, etc.). Since each department has specialized guidelines and criteria for partnership as dictated by their discipline, The Institute for Community and Economic Engagement will work with you to make the appropriate connections to the various departments on campus that can help you meet your goals.
Students in Living-Learning Communities (LLCs) live together while enrolling in common integrated courses. LLCs focus on exploring UNCG with faculty and staff mentors within a discipline or interest area. UNCG has a variety LLCs, which can be found at their website each semester.
Students in the Residential Colleges live together while enrolling in common integrated courses. The Colleges provide students with meaningful connections to faculty mentors and long-standing College traditions. UNCG has three residential colleges, each with a specific focus – Cornelia Strong Residential College, Warren Ashby Residential College, and Ione Grogan Residential College.
Special interest housing allows students who have similar interests or who are in a similar situation live and learn together. These communities help establish one-on-one relationships between faculty, staff, and students in a close-knit residence hall environment.