Engagement @ UNCG

Community engagement is a key strategy to achieving the core teaching, research, and service missions of UNCG. In recognition of the importance of, as well as challenges associated with, enacting truly reciprocal partnerships for mutual benefit, there are many offices across UNCG that support students, faculty, staff, and community partners through a wide range of professional development opportunities, events, and services related to outreach and engagement.

Institute for Community & Economic Engagement
The Institute for Community & Economic Engagement (ICEE) at UNCG encourages, supports, elevates, and amplifies faculty, staff, student, and community colleagues from across all sectors who are involved in teaching, learning, research, creative activity, and service in ways that promote strategic goals of the university and address pressing issues which have important implications to communities across the Piedmont Triad, state, nation, and world. ICEE is housed in the Office of Research & Engagement (ORE), which promotes excellence and continued growth in research, creative activity, community engagement, and economic development at the University while ensuring adequate research infrastructure to support excellence in research and scholarship across all disciplines. For questions, contact Emily Janke, Director of ICEE.

Office of Leadership & Civic Engagement
The Office of Leadership and Civic Engagement (OLCE) at UNCG serves as a catalyst for the development of experiential curricular and co-curricular leadership and service-learning initiatives. Through civic engagement, community partner collaboration, and personal reflection, we prepare students for a life of active citizenship. OLCE assists students in developing a personal philosophy of leadership while gaining valuable and diverse experiences, empowering them to effect positive change and serve as citizen-leaders in a global community. OLCE provides assistance to faculty members who wish to incorporate service-learning into their curricula, including help with developing curricula, critical reflection, and assessments, as well as finding community partners. Community partners may contact the Office to find volunteers to serve in nonprofits. For questions, contact OLCE.

Community Engagement in the School of Health and Human Sciences
The new School of Health and Human Sciences (HHS) was chosen to “beta test” engaged scholarship for UNCG. Through our efforts this academic year, HHS will provide a model for UNCG on how to both measure and promote community engagement. The nine disciplines within the new School of Health and Human Sciences (HHS), by their very nature, address the needs of individuals, families, and communities from diverse cultures across the entire lifespan. Departments and programs across HHS have a great mix of scholars known for their knowledge and contributions to communities across the state and beyond. Together, HHS has a total of 782 community affiliations to our credit either by faculty engagement and service in communities or by students’ service, internships or clinical placements.

To tell the HHS Engagement story, (former) Dean Celia Hooper appointed Dr. Bob Wineburg, the Jefferson Pilot Excellence Professor, as HHS Director of Community Engagement. Bob’s first charge was to obtain a data driven picture of HHS engagement, a goal currently being realized as he pores over results of the HHS Survey. The survey, implemented in early January 2012, had an astounding 83% participation rate among HHS faculty. We already knew that HHS is engaged; but this survey helped HHS understand what that engagement looks like in terms of duration, faculty status, outcomes, challenges and needs.

The survey, however, is only half of the story. During this transition year (2011 – 2012) as HHS committees work to create governance documents and a strategic plan for the new School, careful attention was given to the inclusion of community engagement, in order to ensure that it “gets counted.” Faculty pursuing promotion and tenure will be able to proudly showcase their level of engagement with communities, alongside their accomplishments in research and teaching; and support for the growth of Community Engagement is now rightfully one of three goals for the School’s strategic plan.

Community Engagement in the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance
The UNCG School of Music, Theatre and Dance (MTD) offers multiple events and activities both for the public and with community partners, and more are being developed all the time. Learn more about MTD events and activities at UNCG that are open to the general public, events and activities conducted in the community, entrepreneurial activities, and deeper collaborations with community partners!

Community Engagement in the School of Nursing
For over twenty years, the UNCG School of Nursing Health Centers have been providing clinical educational opportunities through service, research and scholarship for graduate and undergraduate students in preparation for professional nursing practice within a global community. As part of the School of Nursing’s commitment to serve the greater community, the Health Centers provide preventive healthcare education and services that are holistic and culturally sensitive to an underserved population, currently older adults. The centers are housed within the Department of Community Practice and work with the Center for the Health of Vulnerable Populations. All students are precepted by the School of Nursing’s faculty.

Community Engagement in the Bryan School of Business
As a professional school of business offering undergraduate and masters level programs, the Bryan School’s fundamental purpose is to serve the people of North Carolina, particularly those in the Triad region, by providing high quality business education. Community members can engage with the Bryan School in a number of ways, including the MBA Capstone Courses, Bryan Career Services, Executive Education, and the BB&T Program on Capitalism, Markets, and Morality.

UNC Public Service
In the wake of UNC Tomorrow, UNC is taking its engagement efforts to a new level. Across the state, campuses have launched “rapid response” efforts to help the state and its communities recover from the economic crisis, including convening of meetings and workshops, revisions to curriculum, and the placing of scores of students in government and business to assist with the recovery. And campuses have made a long-term commitment to aggressively build their engagement efforts. Eleven campuses of the University, more than any other university system in the nation, have been recognized by the Carnegie Foundation for its elective “Community Engagement” designation, in recognition of their existing efforts to reach out to their community through scholarship and volunteer efforts. System-wide engagement efforts are led by Leslie Boney.