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Agents of curricular and social transformation: Students, faculty and staff assessing "Breaking Ground" civic engagement projects
Beverly Bickel, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland – Baltimore County []

Michele Wolff, Director, Shriver Center, University of Maryland – Baltimore County []

Yasmin Kariman, Law student, Georgetown University []

David Hoffman, Assistant Director of Student Life for Civic Agency, University of Maryland – Baltimore County []

Helen Atkinson, Executive Director, Baltimore Teachers Network []

Keywords: Program evaluation, assessment, undergraduate research, research methodologies, leadership development

Conference track: Higher education student outcomes

Format: Team inquiry presentation

This presentation will highlight the work of four teams at the University of Maryland–Baltimore County who are part of a broader universitywide civic engagement initiative called Breaking Ground (BG). The session’s purpose is to discuss how various projects are incorporating research and evaluation components in their work and involving students as colleagues in the research. While the session will focus on the research and evaluation of individual engagement projects, it will also include a conversation about developing an overall, coherent strategy for assessing the impact of the universitywide BG initiative. Participants will be invited to contribute to a discussion of research and assessment methodologies of student learning and leadership that are appropriate to their own work.

Information on each of the BG projects will include key data, how participants contribute to the research process, and the platforms each project has used or expects to use for gathering, analyzing, and interpreting evidence. The BG projects discussed will include:

-A doctoral dissertation exploring lived experiences of collegiate civic engagement exemplars using hermeneutic phenomenology to engage students in an interpretation of their development processes;
-An interdisciplinary graduate seminar investigating the central dilemmas and tensions of urban teachers and critical education researchers in their own contexts;
-A broad assessment of service-learning projects and internships using a mixed-methods approach based on an adapted survey from the American Association of Community Colleges to assess servicelearning's impact on communities and community members;
-The capstone project of a methodology course in an interdisciplinary doctoral program being developed in order to deploy doctoral students to partner with various BG faculty to support research and assessment.

Facilitators will share overall recommendations about research methodologies that seem best suited for a widerange of projects and for various purposes including assessing undergraduate and graduate student learning, promoting student leadership and engagement efforts, evaluating service-learning initiatives, and assessing campuswide civic engagement initiatives.

There were no references provided with this proposal.

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