Mission Critical

President Margee Ensign speaks.

President Margee Ensign speaks at a recent reception for U.S. Army War College (USAWC) international fellows. Dickinson partners with the USAWC on several civic engagement initiatives, including providing multilingual writing assistance to international fellows and their families through the Multilingual Writing Center.

Tapping into Dickinson's historic mission, new commission takes on local and global engagement

To create the mold from which to form a national model of applying rigorous academic learning to local, national and international challenges, Dickinson recently launched its Commission on Community and Civic Learning & Engagement. And its mission harkens back to the founding of the college.

“When Benjamin Rush chartered Dickinson 234 years ago, he sought to educate citizen-leaders to guide our nation into a new era of independence and prosperity—the realization of an American dream of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for everyone,” Ensign says. “That mission is as critical today as it was at our founding.”

The commission will help the college—through its faculty, students and staff—focus and coordinate the work already being done into a comprehensive collegewide effort and will oversee three distinct working groups:

  • The curriculum working group will continue to focus on incorporating civic engagement into coursework, defining learning outcomes and continuing Dickinson’s Andrew W. Mellon Foundation grant activities.
  • The Carnegie group will catalog, track and evaluate our campus efforts so that Dickinson can seek a Carnegie Community Engagement Classification, an evidence-based national recognition of an institution’s commitment to using academic learning to work for the common good.
  • The community group will work with our local leaders to develop innovative partnerships and solutions for key challenges facing the greater Carlisle area.

Building on Dickinson’s commitment to civic engagement, both local and global, the commission is a clear extension of President Ensign’s efforts to enhance Dickinson’s mission of providing a useful education for the common good.

“It is my hope that all Dickinson students will graduate having already learned how to apply the vast knowledge they have gained to solving problems in the wider world,” she says. “Just, I believe, as Benjamin Rush would have hoped.”

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Published October 9, 2017