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Issue 1  –  February  2012  

Editor/College Coordinator:  Dr.  Scott  F.  Creamer   Assistant  Editor/Intern:  Ileana  Roque-­‐Gonzalez    

History, Mission,  &  Objectives  

  The  Democracy  Commitment  is  a  new  national  civic  engagement  project  for  community   colleges  that  aims  to  engage  community  college  students  in  civic  learning  and  democratic   practice.    The  goal  of  the  project  is  for  every  graduate  of  an  American  community  college  to   have  an  education  in  democracy.    This  includes  all  community  colleges’  students,  whether  they   aim  to  transfer  to  a  four-­‐year  college  or  university,  to  achieve  an  associate  degree,  or  to  obtain   a  certificate.   The  Democracy  Commitment  is  modeled  after  the  American  Democracy  Project  (ADP),  a   national  coalition  of  public,  four-­‐year  colleges  and  universities  committed  to  civic  and   democratic  work,  sponsored  by  the  American  Association  of  State  Colleges  and  Universities   (AASCU)  in  partnership  with  The  New  York  Times.      With  more  than  50  community  colleges   signed  onto  the  Democracy  Commitment,  The  Democracy  Commitment  holds  an  annual   meeting,  sponsors  seven  national  civic  engagement  initiatives,  and  provides  a  national  platform   for  faculty,  staff,  and  students  to  foster  informed,  engaged  citizens  for  our  democracy.     To  learn  more  about  The  Democracy  Commitment,  visit     To  see  a  copy  of  the  “declaration”  signed  by  our  very  own  Sandy  Shugart,  check  out       John  Hancock,  eat  your  heart  out!       Valencia  Involvement       Here  at  Valencia,  our  goal  for  the  project  is  three-­‐fold,     ♦The  expansion  of  democracy-­‐enhancing  curricula     ♦Faculty  and  staff  development  in  civic  learning  and  democratic  practice   ♦Partnerships  with  local  civic,  non-­‐profit,  and  governmental  agencies    

Thus far,  Valencia  College  has  been  active  in  helping  promote  the  tenets  of  this  institutional   movement  in  a  number  of  ways.    Last  semester,  Dr.  Scott  F.  Creamer,  Professor  of  Political   Science  on  the  Osceola  campus  and  College  Coordinator  for  the  Democracy  Commitment,   conducted  a  civic  inventory  that  detailed  Valencia’s  participation  in  civic  engagement  and   leadership  already  and  submitted  it  for  publication  on  the  Democracy  Commitment’s  website,  a   site  that  acts  as  a  national  clearinghouse  of  program  and  curricular  designs  for  community   colleges  (see  inventory  later  in  this  publication).    In  addition,  Dr.  Creamer  attended  the  National   Signatory  Event  this  past  November  where  member  colleges  “signed”  the  declaration  and   began  the  process  or  networking  and  collaborative  opportunities  (see  photos  on  ensuing   pages).    This  semester  and  into  the  summer,  Valencia  will  keep  up  its  steady  involvement  in  the   Democracy  Commitment  through  a  number  of  endeavors  –     ♦Monthly  publication  of  an  E-­‐zine   ♦Production  of  a  video  detailing  Valencia’s  commitment  to  promoting  education  of  democratic   principles  and  community  leadership  to  be  screened  at  the  American  Democracy  Project   conference  this  summer   ♦An  event  on  April  4th,  Civic  Engagement  Day:  Service,  Participation,  and  the  College  Student,   that  will  include  speakers,  panelists,  food,  voter  registration  opportunities,  and  Valencia   students  clubs  promotion,  and  will  occur  on  West,  East,  and  Osceola  campuses  (sorry  Winter   Park  and  Lake  Nona     ♦Attendance  at  and  participation  in  the  national  Democracy  Commitment  conference  in  San   Antonio,  Texas  in  June   ♦Presentation  at  the  national  conference  of  an  academic  research  project,  "Parrotheads  or   Community  Leaders:  Alternative  Spring  Breaks  as  a  Method  of  Fostering  College  Students'  Civic   Commitment,”  by  Dr.  Scott  F.  Creamer      


The  Democracy  Commitment  (national  organization)  received  a  $360,000  grant  to   support  faculty  and  curriculum  development  that  will  result  in  new  humanities  courses  that   teach  skills  and  knowledge  essential  for  responsible  citizenship  in  a  diverse  and  globally   connected  world.    12  community  colleges  will  be  selected  in  April,  2012  to  pilot  the  initiative.     The  proposal  deadline  is  March  15th.    To  learn  more  about  the  grant,  please  see­‐grant/.    To  learn  more  about  the  project,  its  requirements,  and   expectations,  please  view  To  access  the  application  materials,   please  check  out      

Pillars of  the  Community  

In  each  issue  of  this  E-­‐zine,  a  Valencia  College  faculty  member,  staff  member,  or   community  partner  will  be  featured  that  has  brought  prominence  to  Valencia  as  a  strong   institution  of  civic  engagement,  education  in  democracy,  and  community  leadership,  along  with   personally  demonstrating  the  importance  of  civic  commitment  to  the  positive  development  of  a   college  and/or  local  community.    This  issue’s  featured  star  is,  

Rachel Allen  –  Professor  of  Humanities;  Peace  and  Justice  Initiative  (PJI)  Coordinator    

    Professor  Allen  has  been  a  very  strong  proponent  of  service  learning  projects  and   experiential  learning  to  help  teach  civic  responsibility  and  to  strengthen  local  communities.    She   has  recently  led  students  to  south  Florida  to  participate  in  Habitat  for  Humanity  projects,  leads   students  every  semester  in  conducting  a  family  festival  for  homeless  families  as  part  of  the   Coalition  for  the  Homeless,  and  is  the  college  coordinator  for  the  Peace  and  Justice  Initiative,  a   group  here  at  Valencia  dedicated  to  transforming  the  culture  at  Valencia  into  one  where  peace   and  justice  for  all  are  valued.    The  organization  sponsors  a  speaker  series,  holds  events,  posts   important  articles  on  its  website,  and  issues  a  newsletter  that  is  available  to  the  public.    Thank   you,  Rachel,  for  all  your  hard  work  and  service  to  Valencia  College.    It  is  truly  appreciated.      

The Democracy  Commitment  Featured  in  the  New  York  Times!  

The  New  York  Times  honored  The  Democracy  Commitment  (TDC)  on  Sunday,  February  5th.    The   New  York  Times  Knowledge  Network,  which  is  an  education  division  of  The  Times,  published  an   insert  on  education  that  reached  an  estimated  8,000,000  readers.  The  full  back  page  of  the   insert  recognized  The  Democracy  Commitment  and  its  partner,  the  American  Democracy   Project.  All  TDC  member  institutions,  including  Valencia  College,  are  listed  and  recognized  as   community  colleges  dedicated  to  civic  learning  and  democratic  engagement.      

  Calendar  of  Events    

February 16th  –  Faculty  Council  meeting,  2:30-­‐5pm,  Osceola  1-­‐219B   February  17th  –  International  Education  Steering  Committee  meeting  (SAGE),  2-­‐4pm   February  27th  –  Student  Affairs  Leadership  Team  (SALT)  meeting,  10am-­‐12pm,  West  HSB-­‐211   February  27th-­‐April  6th  –  Internship  application  deadline   March  15th  –  Faculty  Council  meeting,  2:30-­‐5pm,  Winter  Park  WPC  107    

March 16th  and  17th  –  Healing  the  Heart  of  Democracy:  Faculty  and  Staff  Workshop  (PJI),  9am-­‐5pm,  off-­‐   campus  site   March  26th  –  SALT  meeting,  10am-­‐12pm,  East  3-­‐113   April  4th  –  Civic  Engagement  Day:  Service,  Participation,  and  the  College  Student  (Democracy     Commitment),  11am-­‐1pm,  West,  East,  and  Osceola  campuses   June  7th-­‐9th  –  National  American  Democracy  Project  and  The  Democracy  Commitment  Annual     Meeting,  San  Antonio,  Texas     Faculty  Development  calendar  –   Employee  Activities  calendar  –   SAGE  international  education  events  –   Internship  and  Workforce  Services  on-­‐campus  recruitment  dates  –   Peace  and  Justice  Initiative  calendar  –  

For other  college  calendars  of  events,  workshops,  etc.,  check  out    

Valencia College   Civic  Inventory  for  the  Democracy  Commitment   Dr.  Scott  F.  Creamer,  Campus  Coordinator         Valencia  College  is  a  comprehensive  state  college  in  Florida  with  branch  campuses  in   Orlando,  Kissimmee,  Winter  Park,  and  Lake  Nona  that  offers  two  and  four-­‐year  degrees  while   serving  almost  32,000  full-­‐time  students  (over  60,000  total  headcount  enrollment).    Valencia   College  offers  a  wide  variety  of  academic  and  occupational  programs.     Part  of  Valencia  College’s  philosophy  is  that  it  is  a  multicultural  institution  committed  to   preparing  world  citizens  for  the  21st  century  while  recognizing  that  the  aim  of  education  is  the   development  of  the  whole  person;  one  who  is  prepared  to  value  citizenship  and  to  participate   in  a  global  community.    Part  of  its  mission  is  a  commitment  to  institutional  community   involvement,  community  development,  community  service,  civic  leadership,  civic  engagement,   and,  of  course,  civic  education.    The  following  table  is  a  summary  of  the  internal  civic  inventory   taken  by  Dr.  Scott  F.  Creamer,  Professor  of  Political  Science  at  Valencia  College  and  Campus   Coordinator  for  the  Democracy  Commitment,  which  describes  the  civic  engagement  that  is   already  occurring  and  identifies  opportunities  to  begin  work  in  areas  where  civic  engagement   activities  could  occur.     • The  Bill  Castellano  Civic  Leadership  Scholarship   Institutional  Intentionality   • • • • • • • • • •

Academic Focus  on  Civic  Engagement  

Matador  Model  United  Nations   National  Model  United  Nations  Conference   Civic  Leadership  Internship  Program   Southern  Regional  Model  United  Nations             Conference   Valencia  on  the  Hill  (civic  leadership  internship)   Constitution  Day  events   Veteran’s  Day  events   Arab-­‐American  Day  (East  campus)   Political  debates   Voter  registration  drives  

I.  Curricular  Focus  on  Civic  Engagement            1.  A  focus  on  civic  engagement  in  General   Education  courses                          -­‐one  of  the  pursued  student  learning   outcomes  is  ethical  responsibility  –  the   demonstration  of  awareness  of  personal   responsibility  in  one’s  civic,  social,  and  academic   life            2.  A  focus  on  civic  engagement  in  Florida  

community colleges’  General  Education   requirements                          -­‐Student  learning  outcome  of  global  socio-­‐ cultural  responsibility  –  actively  participate  as  an   informed  citizen  in  social,  cultural,  global,  and   environmental  matters            3.  Content  of  POS  2041  U.S.  Government   (required  course  for  all  Associate  of  Art  degrees),   POS  2112  State  and  Local  Government,  POS  2232   Government  and  the  Media,  and  POS  2940   Internship  in  Civic  Leadership  (faculty  as   supervisor)  courses                          -­‐explore  foundations  of  democracy,   core  principles  of  American  democracy,  key   founding  documents,  contemporary   issues  in  American  life,  etc.     II.  Teaching  and  Learning            1.  Democratic  teaching  styles  (encouraging   critical  thinking,  taking  independent  positions  and   supporting  them,  not  simply  agreeing  with  the   faculty  member’s  point  of  view,  providing   opportunities  to  challenge  others  in  respectful   ways)                          -­‐critical  thinking  as  student  learning   outcome  –  effectively  analyze,  evaluate,   synthesize,  and  apply  information  and  ideas  from   diverse  sources  and  disciplines            2.  Diversity                          -­‐Faculty,  as  part  of  their  required  faculty   learning  outcomes,  need  to  achieve  a  competency   in  diversity  by  designing  learning  opportunities  that   acknowledge,  draw  upon,  and  are  enriched  by   student  diversity.    An  atmosphere  of  inclusion  and   understanding  is  promoted  in  all  learning   environments.            3.  Civic  Leadership  Programs                          -­‐civic  leadership  internship  for  students   interested  in  a  career  in  public  service  or  in  seeking   political  office                                          -­‐intern  with  public  policy  agencies  and   elected  officials  at  federal,  state,  and  local  levels   while  being  supervised  by  a  political  science  faculty   member  

-­‐upon completion  of  internship  and   classroom  presentation,  students  receive  a  $500   Presidential  Scholarship                                          -­‐68  students  since  2004  have  been   placed  in  internships                                          -­‐In  2011,  internships  included  those   with  U.S.  senators  Bill  Nelson  and  Marco  Rubio;   Florida  senator  Andy  Gardiner;  representatives   Corrine  Brown,  Eric  Einsnaugle,  and  Darren  Soto;   Girl  Scouts  of  America;  CourtWatch  Florida;  the   Orlando  Police  Department                                          -­‐Bill  Castellano  Civic  Leadership   Scholarship            4.  Service  Learning  –  experiential  learning  that   benefits  the  community  and  enhances  student   engagement  with  course  content                          -­‐faculty  development  course  Service   Learning  Across  the  Curriculum  (LCTS  3213)   through  the  Office  of  faculty  Development     III.  Student  Experiential  Learning   1.  Service  Learning  course  SLS  2940                -­‐students  earn  college  credit  while   responding  to  needs  in  the  community  and   applying  knowledge  from  their  courses  with   guidance  from  a  faculty  supervisor                -­‐2011  projects  have  included  taking  students   to  the  Dominican  Republic  (Kevin  Mulholland   and  Christie  Pickeral)  to  host  a  science  camp  for   children,  Habitat  for  Humanity  projects   (supervised  by  Ann  Farrell,  Rachel  Allen,  and   Andy  Ray),  Coalition  for  the  Homeless  projects   (Rachel  Allen),  and  involvement  in  Give  Kids  the   World  (Deb  Hall)   2.  Service  Learning  Components  of  Courses                -­‐projects  include  web  design  for  the  non-­‐ profit  agency  Greyhound  Pets  of  America   (supervised  by  Colin  Archibald),  created  videos   to  advocate  for  various  non-­‐profit  groups  (Linda   Anthon),  volunteer  at  and  research  project  on   various  non-­‐profit  agencies  (Erin  O’Brien),   service  at  Second  Harvest  Food  Bank  (Ellen   Pastorino),  planning  and  managing  donation   drives  for  Orlando-­‐based  non-­‐profit  

organizations (Nicole  Valentino)   3.  Internships  (aforementioned)  

Co-­‐Curricular and  Extra  Curricular   Focus  on  Civic  Engagement  

IV.  Divisions  and  Departments            1.  As  part  of  the  General  Education   requirements,  there  is  a  special  focus  on  civic   engagement  college-­‐wide.    Explicit  examples   include  health  related  departments  and  their   course  content,  in  addition  to  the  course   components  of  the  political  science  department   (e.g.  POS  2041  U.S.  Government  is  a  required   course  where  there  is  extensive  teaching  of   democratic  principles  in  the  U.S.  and  discussion   and  critical  analysis  of  one’s  place  within  this   system  and  republican  society).            2.  Study  Abroad  and  Global  Experiences  (SAGE)   program’s  goal  of  creating  a  more  global  student   citizenry  through  workshops,  short  and  long-­‐term   study  abroad  programs,  and  active  committee   work  on  internationalizing  the  curriculum            3.  Peace  and  Justice  Initiative  (PJI)  is  a  faculty   and  staff  led  initiative  that  aims  to  transform  the   culture  at  Valencia  into  one  where  peace  and   justice  for  all  are  valued,  and  conflict  is  viewed  as   an  opportunity  for  growth  and  transformation.     They  sponsor  speakers  and  events,  promote   articles  and  texts,  and  issue  a  newsletter.     V.  Leadership  Programs            1.  Leadership  Symposium                          -­‐educates  students  on  the  importance  of   networking,  professionalism,  and  communication   skills  during  an  annual  spring  term  event            2.  Leadership  Speaker  Series            3.  The  Next  Dimension  Leadership  Program   (East  campus)                          -­‐lectures  by  motivational  speakers  and  life   coaches  on  topics  like  human  diversity,  leadership,   finances,  team  building,  and  life  skills            4.  Skillshops     I.  Student  Groups   • Student  Government  Association   • Student  Leader  Team   • Valencia  Volunteers  

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Evaluations of  Civic  Engagement  

Critical Analysis  and  Recommendations  

-­‐runs and  sponsors  fundraisers  such  as   those  for  Alzheimer’s  research  and   supporting  troops  in  the  U.S.  military   through  events  like  barbeques,  pizza  sales,   Adopt  an  Angel  drive,  etc.   -­‐works  with  over  200  community  agencies   in  Central  Florida   African-­‐American  Cultural  Society   American  Arab  Culture  Club   Amnesty  International   Campus  Crusade  for  Christ   Caribbean  Student  Association   Gay/Straight  Alliance   Latin  American  Student  Organization   Muslim  Student  Association   Republican  Club   Secular  Student  Alliance   Valencia  Haitian  Student  Association   Valencia  Intercultural  Association   Valencia  International  Club   Model  United  Nations  (U.N.)   Valencia  Students  for  Change  

II.  Individual  and  Independent  Civic  Projects   • e.g.  Faculty  Association  President  Dr.   Robert  Gessner’s  presentation  for  an  anti-­‐ smoking  campaign   • Student  evaluations  of  faculty   • Use  of  Community  College  Survey  on   Student  Engagement  (CCSSE)  for  measuring   student  engagement   Valencia  College  has  done  a  commendable  job   developing  and  expanding  academic,  professional,   and  service  programs  and  projects  aimed  at   engaging  community  college  students  in  civic   learning  and  democratic  practice.    The  goal  of   being  a  member  of  the  Democracy  Commitment   organization  as  a  signatory  institution  is  to  educate   every  graduate  in  democracy,  and  Valencia  has   accomplished  this  task  already  to  a  large  extent   considering  its  focus  on  teaching  democratic   methods  and  principles  campus-­‐wide  and  strong   community  service  learning  and  internship  

programs.  After  review  of  other  institutions  and   their  programs,  those  of  Valencia  are  not  standard   on  major  campuses  and  is  demonstrative  of  just   how  progressive  Valencia  College  is  in  many   academic  and  professional  areas,  including   promoting  civic  engagement.    However,  there  is   always  room  for  improvement.    The  following  are   some  recommendations  given  either  current  needs   for  improvement  or  areas  not  considered   previously  for  civic  involvement:   • Make  CCSSE  results  more  accessible  to  the   public  by  putting  the  data  on  the  Valencia   College  website  (Assessment  &  Institutional   Effectiveness  website  or  otherwise)   • Weekly  or  monthly  updates  provided  by  the   campus  coordinator  keeping  faculty  and   students  aware  and  excited  by  upcoming   civic-­‐related  events   • A  small  online  magazine,  or  e-­‐zine,  written   and  distributed  college-­‐wide  by  the  campus   coordinator  that  celebrates  service  learning   and  civic  engagement   • Expand  student  and  youth  leadership   programs            -­‐annual  leadership  conference  that   connects  high  school  and  college  students   to  community-­‐based  youth  and  student   organizations  and  features  workshops  on   topics  like  financing  college  education,   community  building,  and  social  and  cultural   activism            -­‐intensive  training  program  for  Valencia   College  students  interested  in  gaining   practical  skills  in  political  action.    This   “camp”  would  focus  on  subjects  like   electoral  campaigns,  citizen  activism,  and   grassroots  advocacy  and  organization   • Draw  upon  more  legislators,  community   partners,  and  public  policy  groups  for   internships  through  elevated  marketing  of   the  program   • Civic  and  Community  Engagement   Certificate  

-­‐Many colleges  and  universities,  such  as   Northwestern  University,  The  University  of   Connecticut,  Johns  Hopkins  University,  and   many  others,  along  with  community   colleges  like  De  Anza  College  have   certificate  programs  (or  similarly  in  social   policy)  that  engage  students  in  leadership   development  and  community  based  or   service  learning.    A  certificate  would  also   add  an  additional  qualification  for  those   seeking  public  policy  or  political  advocacy   work  in  the  future.   • Collaboration  and  joint  events  with  The   University  of  Central  Florida  on  projects   and  programs          -­‐UCF  attends  the  American  Democracy   Conference  every  year                      -­‐Campus  coordinator  would  maintain   regular  contact  with  Dr.  Thomas  Bryer,   Professor  of  Public  Administration  at  UCF,   to  coordinate  joint,  collaborative  efforts   • Campus  coordinator  would  encourage   faculty  and  students  to  form  a  delegation   to  attend  the  Democracy  Commitment   annual  conference  (campus  coordinator   will  attend  this  conference),  along  with   possibly  attending  other  political  science,   public  administration,  social  policy,  and   civic  leadership  conferences   • Utilize  additional  campus/district  civic   engagement  assessment  instruments   regularly  throughout  the  academic  year    


First Edition