Community Engagement Inventory Executive Summary [1]

 September 2017 

 

BACKGROUND: In 2016, Campus Compact launched the Civic Action Plan (CAP) initiative to challenge its member institutions to consider how the next generation of civic leaders are being prepared.  The CAP strategy examined present practice and used a continuous improvement model to deepen community engagement and better prepare students to help resolve the complex problems that face society. The University of North Florida Civic Action Plan (CAP 1.0) created the Community Engagement Inventory (CEI).

 

The CEI covered three main components: (a) Student Experiences (curricular and co-curricular); (b) Policies, Practices, and Procedures (how the University operates with the community, makes decisions, and promotes community engagement); and, (c) External Service (faculty/staff contributions to the community on their own time).  The expectation was that all areas and full-time employees of the University would provide information to the CEI. This data collection occurred in the 2016-2017 academic year. 2

 

FINDINGS:

Student Experiences saw over 95% (945,052) of documented hours occurring in a curricular setting (Table 1).  Independent Sector3 values each hour of service in the state of Florida at $22.70 for 2016. The student experiences tended to focus around health/wellness/HIV/AIDs (285, 39%), community impact (152, 21%), and K-12 and STEM education (161, 22%).  Of those activities that identified a Community-Based Learning4 category (1029, 95%), the highest percentage of student activities took place as internships (468, 45%) and then outreach and volunteering (258, 25%).


 

 # of Students

21,077

# Activities with Students

1149

Total Hours

989,184

Average Hours Per Student

46.93

Economic Value Total 

$22,454,476.80

Average Economic Value Per Student

$1,065.35

Table 1: Student Experiences – Students, Hours, and Value

 

 External Service of faculty and staff members contributed an additional $1.3 M of economic value to the Jacksonville area.  Faculty and staff indicated they provided 59,416 hours through volunteering (601 entries, 32%), philanthropy (543 entries, 29%), and serving in a consultant/expert role (302 entries, 16%).  The highest frequency of this outreach was with Duval County Public Schools (37 entries), United Way (30 entries), Salvation Army (20 entries), and St. Johns County Public Schools (16 entries).

 

Policies, Practices, and Procedures reflected practices (123 entries, 75%) which were defined as “things we do that are not rules or directions; how day-to-day decisions are made.”  The primary focus was scholarships/fellowships requiring a community engagement component (18 entries, 14.6%).  This equated to $123,500; the average award was $6800 and the median award was $3300.  Other instances included: Parking Services providing free parking for large-scale community events; Athletics hosting local schools for specific game days; and, Human Resources including community engagement language in employment postings.

 

 

 

[1] Designed by Justin Sipes, Center for Community Based Learning, and compiled by Civic Action Plan Team on behalf of President John Delaney.  

 [2] Various training sessions occurred to show areas how to complete the CEI and special sessions were held for particular areas.  Follow-up discussion took place to validate data points and verify with previously existing data.  It is important to note that information provided was all self-reported. 

[3]  The Independent Sector, the only national membership organization dedicated to advancing the common good, translates each hour of service to a widely accepted economic value. https://www.independentsector.org/resource/the-value-of-volunteer-time/

[4]  Community-Based Learning categories (or gateways) stemmed from the University’s 2010 Quality Enhancement Plan.  More information about these categories can be found at www.unf.edu/ccbl.

 

CONTINUOUS IMPROVEMENT & RECOMMENDATIONS 

 

#1 Challenge: Expand the number of units that use community engagement as a strategy to achieve the institution’s mission: increase the overall number of community engagement offerings each year. 

 

Solutions: Office of Faculty Enhancement (OFE) workshops; new Center for Community-Based Learning (CCBL) workshops; conference attendance to provide professional development of faculty   

Closing the Loop: Evaluation of 2018 co-curricular offerings and the use of OspreyImpact will inform plans for 2018-19.  CCBL will offer Community Engagement Enhancement Program to target professional development of student affairs practitioners.

 

#2 Challenge: Expand and better track co-curricular offerings.  Only 25% of the Student Experiences represented co-curricular offerings.

 

Solution: UNF has contracted with GivePulse, known on campus as, Osprey Impact   

Closing the Loop: In Fall 2017, the system is being piloted across select co-curricular and curricular areas with the anticipation of full University roll out in Spring 2018.

 

# 3 Challenge: Deepen faculty and staff members commitment to the community.

 

Solutions: Create incentive programs for employees, similar to Presidential SPOT awards; embed more language around community engagement into existing recognition and awards; acknowledge individuals, offices, and departments who are furthering the reputation of UNF through their charitable contributions

 

Recommendation: Adoption of University policy in which employees are able to take 8-16 hours of paid leave each year to focus on providing service to the community.

 

Closing the Loop: Senior leadership hosts meetings to discuss community engagement opportunities with employee representatives (A&P; USPS; FAA).  Performance Appraisals and Faculty Activity Reports include community engagement components and language.

 

#4 Challenge: Expand the number of units establishing, and streamline the process for, affiliation agreements?

 

Solution: Standardize institutional affiliation agreements with major community partners; create simpler addendums for units based on the nature of the relationship.

 

Closing the Loop: Conversations with General Counsel and Community Partners with high university contact to streamline process.  OFE education about affiliation agreement/community partner process.

 

#5 Challenge: Measure the collective impact UNF has on Jacksonville. 

 

Solutions: Establish what metrics indicate collective impact; determine what data should be collected to be measured; ascertain systematic data collection methods; analyze collected data

 

Closing the Loop: Invite a team of faculty and staff members, and community partners, to engage in these conversations.  Institute regular meetings to make progress toward this challenge.  Progress reports to be provided on an annual basis to update university and Jacksonville community.

This system is a user-centric online platform that allows students to submit their community engagement hours and affiliate their impacts with multiple areas of the institution thru a single entry.  More information about OspreyImpact can be found at www.unf.edu/ccbl.

 

[2] The CEI highlighted that numerous departments and offices have affiliation agreements with the same community partner, while many others who do not.  This generates a burden on the community partner and discrepancies across the university.

 

 

This system is a user-centric online platform that allows students to submit their community engagement hours and affiliate their impacts with multiple areas of the institution thru a single entry.  More information about OspreyImpact can be found at www.unf.edu/ccbl.

6 The CEI highlighted that numerous departments and offices have affiliation agreements with the same community partner, while many others who do not.  This generates a burden on the community partner and discrepancies across the university. 

 

Download Civic Action Plan