Community Engagement Project and Paper Directions

Community Engagement Project and Paper Directions

Community Engagement Project and Paper Directions

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To complete the course requirements students need to attend various meetings and KEEP A JOURNAL of the experiences. The journal will include details about the meetings and or activities on campus and in the community that students attend. Since students all have various schedules notices of possible meetings/activities to attend will be provided to you however you will need to attend them on your own. Notices about community and campus meetings will be provided in class and by e-mail when available. All students should share with the other students when they hear about meetings. Please check your e-mail often because notices may not have a long lead time. Students who do not live in the Terre Haute area can locate and attend similar meetings in their own communities. Students are responsible to make sure that these events are attended and some proof of attendance provided with the Journal Report (directions are listed below). It is advisable to attend meetings early in the semester in order to assure that the requirements are met. However, it is the students’ responsibility to find and attend the sessions.


  1. Attend a minimum of two (2) community meetings and a minimum of two (2) campus meetings or events and at least one (1) Student Social Work Association meeting (NOTE: A few activities are included on your course schedule based on what was known at the time of the preparation of the course syllabus). (Total of 5 events)
  2. Keep a project journal (Part I) of your experiences including the arrangements completed to locate meetings, find the correct rooms, etc. and your initial impressions of the activities and a summary of your experiences.
  3. What to keep in Journal The following information is required for each community or campus meeting attended:
    1. Date, time & location (ex. 10/14/09, 6:00 pm, ISU campus, Dede II, HMSU)
    2. Activity (ex. Pizza and Politics)
    3. Name of the organization or convening organization(s) (American Democracy

Project on ISU campus, Department of Political Science, Women’s Studies

Program, others??)

  1. Summary of the Experience - What happened, did you get involved with the

discussions (for campus activities) (ex. “This activity provided some interesting discussions and debate because ...... I was impressed by the clear and detailed points made by a few students as compared to those .... “) Please note that this is the most critical component of the assignment. Just stating that an activity was interesting or not does not provide an indication that you were actually there. Provide specific examples from the sessions.

  1. Logistics and atmosphere (I knew how to find this room. The pizza was great. I found that the level of energy and excitement about the upcoming election was ......)
  2. Composition of the audience or organization members. (For example, describe the people there. “I walked into the City Council meeting and found that I was the only female in the room except for one woman who was taking notes. The men stared at me and I felt uncomfortable, but then......”



  1. Provide a summary report on the entire project. This project is designed to provide a linkage between theories and mezzo/macro practice experiences. As with working with clients, it is important to focus on strengths and not just the problems associated with attending events. You will find that community meetings may not be as organized as you expect them to be. If you attend governmental meetings you might also be surprised by another aspect. For example, one student attended a city council meeting and concluded that she was more knowledgeable about an issue being discussed than many of the people on the council. This showed her that seeking public office might be a viable option at some later time. However, the feedback in the report should relate to the learning objectives of this assignment and the relevance to your class work, not only logistical concerns. Some of you may find the need to get around Terre Haute or your home town to find new buildings difficult and even frustrating. For those of you who are fortunate to have “smart phones” this should not be an issue like it has been in the past.You may feel uncomfortable attending meetings when you do not know anyone. However, social workers need to attend meetings all the time. It is through group dialog and various attempts to resolve issues that consensus can occur and changes can then be made. However, your role in community events is primarily as an observer unless requested to participate. On campus, please feel free to join in the discussions.

Related quotes:

“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has”. Margaret Mead, Utne Reader, 1992, as cited in Maggio, R. (1996). The new Beacon Book of quotations by women. Boston: Beacon Press. ( p. 7).

Jane Addams (1990) extensively discussed civic engagement which this assignment is designed to promote when she stated that “ [c]ertainly the need for civic cooperation was obvious in many directions, and in non more strikingly than in that organized effort which must be carried on unceasingly if young people are to be protected from the darker and coarser dangers of the city” (p. 186). Addams, J. with James Hurt. (1990). Twenty years at Hull-House, with autobiographical notes. Urbana, IL: University of Illinois Press.

Community Engagement Paper Part A – Due 10/20/16

Part A includes your journal entries for two events as outlined from points 2 & 3 above. Community Engagement paper Part B Due – 12/01/16 – Include:

  1. Journal, Part A (as amended if needed)
    B. Journal, Part B
    C. SUMMARY of the answers to the following questions based on your experiences:

(1) What theories (name at least two) relate to the meetings that you attended? Discuss how the theories relate.



  1. (2)  What were your impressions of what was accomplished during the semester with this project? Relate your answer to the project objectives and the values and ethics of social work especially the need for social workers to take leadership roles (both informal and formal) and work for social and economic justice.
  2. (3)  What diversity issues became apparent during meetings or class sessions regarding this project? Remember that diversity is more than common perceptions of race, gender, etc. and includes income, educational levels, and other perceived levels of difference.
  3. (4)  Part of the intent of this project is to provide real life experience about how community change takes place and increase your level of self-confidence with working with community change. Was this goal accomplished? Please be honest with your assessment and provide specific examples.
  4. (5)  Explain any new assessments of the level of community resources and service delivery resources and challenges that may have become more evident to you as a result of this project or in collaboration with other learning. This assignment represents the overview or initial exposure to service delivery mechanics in your community. There will be other projects to follow this so that you can by the end of the BSW program understand the many challenges that exist with service delivery systems in our communities. (EP 2.1.8) This project helps students to begin to assess the context of the contexts that shape practice. (EP2.1.9.)
  5. (6)  Describe in just a short phrase what you believe was the instructor’s main learning outcome for this project.

SOWK 382 Community Engagement Report
_____ Journal 1 (25) _____ Journal 3 (25) _____ Journal 4 (25) _____ Journal 2 (25) _____ Journal 5 (25)

_____ 1. Theories (describe a minimum of 2) (25)
_____ 2. Impressions of the Project (include references to specific Social Work values and ethics) (25)
_____ 3. Diversity Issues (25) (Address at least one diversity challenge)
_____ 4. Understanding of How Communities Work (25)
_____5. Community Assessment (15)
_____ 6. Learning Outcome (10) Deductions for grammar/spelling... ____ Total: ____ (250)



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