Wednesday, July 29, 2015

The Price of Engagement: Developing Your Dream through a Faculty Grant

J.R. Jamison, Associate Director

jrj2_2_iContact_with_frameEngaging with your community is a rewarding experience that deepens your students’ learning and enriches your teaching.  I know you’ve heard this a million times, and you wouldn’t be reading this if you didn’t, even if just a smidgeon, believe in the power of engagement.  These efforts, though, aren’t necessarily free—like everything else in life, engagement in and with your community can come with a price tag.

But what is the price of becoming an engaged scholar?  This truly depends on your dream.

If you’ve heard me speak or have read some of my writings, you know I often talk about creating your dream budget for any project.  This is a time for you to think beyond the same ho-hum pitfall of what you don’t have and how you have to cut corners, and move toward thinking big and going deep. What does your dream project look like with your community?

You’ll need to make a list of everything you desire for your project and begin to think about how much each item would cost.  Now step back into reality, and ask yourself what resources are already available to help offset these expenses and what’s just not there.  How are you going to fill in the gaps?

A Scholarship of Engagement grant from Indiana Campus Compact is one great way to connect part A of your project with part B.  From supporting personnel to promoting your project to paying for supplies, these grants are great for faculty who are dipping their feet into the service engagement waters and need that little extra oomph to support their dream.  This dream could include developing or revising a service-learning course, conducting community-based participatory action or SoTL research, or providing professional service to an NGO.

Faculty have told me these grants have helped transition their dream into a reality.  These grants have put elementary-aged children in partnership with college students to develop playgrounds; they have partnered faculty with nonprofits to develop action plans for combating poverty.  These grants have been the start of nearly 300 faculty members’ dreams of becoming engaged scholars since the grant’s inception in 1995.

Go ahead, dive in, and decide how you will choose to become an engaged scholar in and with your community.

Applications are due October 12th.

J.R. Jamison is the Associate Director of Indiana Campus Compact.  He can be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or his conversations can be followed on Twitter @JR_Jamison.

To learn more about developing a dream budget for service engagement, explore “Charting the Course for Service-Learning: From Curriculum Considerations to Advocacy—A Faculty Development Workbook.”  

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Indiana Campus Compact is grateful to Lilly Endowment Inc. for significant funding in support of programs, training,and resources for our member campuses that allow them to deepen their commitment to community engagement and service-learning.