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K-State Today

April 2, 2014

K-State Engagement Symposium to feature service learning discussion

Submitted by David E. Procter

The upcoming K-State Engagement Symposium will offer a chance for those interested in service learning to get an inside look at how to get more involved. National and local speakers will present on the ways engagement helps institutes of higher learning and their communities at 9 a.m. April 7 in the K-State Student Union.

Engagement is a form of research, teaching or service in which collaborative efforts between university and community stakeholders result in scholarly activity and community benefit around a public issue. This year’s Engagement Symposium focuses on "The Centrality of Engagement in Higher Education: Integrating Engagement across the University." "Engaged Teaching/Service Learning" is one of four breakout sessions at the symposium.

Engagement also is one of the central themes of K-State Vision 2025. The symposium is one way to advance the understanding of engagement, foster meaningful conversations between students and the outside community, and strengthen the university on its journey to attain national recognition for its engagement. Undergraduate and graduate students are welcome to attend the event. K-State faculty and staff also will highlight their work in conversation with the invited leaders.

"The symposium is a good holistic view of what service learning looks like at a high-research university," said Trisha Gott, assistant director of service learning in the School of Leadership Studies. "I would love for the outcome to be a more robust community of faculty and staff that are able to come together and talk about more engaged teaching."

Gott hopes the group will be made up of instructors that use service learning pedagogies and undergraduate students that are involved in service learning projects in their own studies. They plan to discuss new strategies and projects as well as addressing some problems participants may have found in previous projects.

The annual K-State Engagement Symposium is free and open to all faculty, students and general public. The symposium is sponsored by the provost's office, the Center for Engagement and Community Development and the School of Leadership Studies.

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