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Civic Engagement for Social Good

Inspiring community collaboration and meaningful change

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Introduction

The world critically needs changemakers committed to understanding social issues and collaborating alongside their communities to foster meaningful change. In Civic Engagement for Social Good (CESG), previously known as CIVICUS, students work with organizations addressing a range of societal challenges, including poverty, food insecurity, housing insecurity, child welfare, education, political activism, animal rights, and the environment.  Students explore:

  • Issues impacting local communities
  • Organizations that are addressing pressing social issues
  • Ways to engage in hands-on work in civic engagement
  • Strategies for deliberative dialogue in a multicultural world
  • Methods to leverage their strengths to make sustainable change

CESG coursework and community engagement activities operate in tandem, creating a synergy that enhances the overall student experience. Coursework provides an opportunity for students to explore the root causes of social needs and strategies for addressing social concerns that they see during their work in the community, while service projects and co-curricular activities create an environment for students to implement what they learn in the classroom. 

As an interdisciplinary program, CESG students represent a wide range of academic interests and majors. Civic Engagement for Social Good encourages students to ground their work in their passions, academic majors, and professional interests.

Through their shared passion for social good and engagement in co-curricular activities, CESG students form a close cohort who develop strong friendships and support each other throughout their time at UMD.

 

Colloquium and Lecture Topics

  • The complexities and the structures that cause social issues
  • Concepts related to the theories and practices of civic engagement 
  • Models for working towards positive social change 
  • Ways to engage in difficult conversations with empathy around differences of perspective, beliefs, and identities

[This program] has made me a kinder, more compassionate, more informed person. [It] gave me the opportunity to get my hands dirty, to engage in the community in ways I never thought I could. [It] has taught me that it takes a village but also that I can make tremendous change myself..providing me with more opportunities for learning and character-building than I would've gotten in any other program or club.

kimberly hubscher and testudo
Kimberly Hubscher CIVICUS alum

Other Learning Opportunities 

Students are actively engaged in UMD, College Park and surrounding areas, and Washington, DC annually completing over 1,000 hours of volunteer work.  Students can choose from over 100 projects per year with a wide array of partner organizations.  

Students:

  • Participate in civic engagement projects.  Recently, students have acted as mentors for local elementary students, planted trees to increase the canopy in Washington, DC, served meals from a mobile soup kitchen, handled dogs at a humane rescue adoption event, canvassed on behalf of political candidates, and captioned videos to ensure accessibility for a wider community.
  • Take trips to Washington DC and the surrounding area where they participate in scavenger hunts, visit memorials, monuments, and museums,  and attend baseball games, cultural heritage events, and the performing arts.
  • Meet guest speakers, including politicians, staff members from local non-profit organizations, and local community leaders and activists
  • Participate in community-building activities, such as challenge courses,  trivia nights, bingo, BBQs, and study breaks

CESG staff provide the planning, logistical support, and transportation for most activities.  All second-year students also participate in a capstone experience for academic credit. The capstone can include an internship, extensive work with a non-profit, or affiliated experiential learning courses.  Students in the past have held internships in local and national politics, non-profits, high-profile media outlets, medical facilities, research labs, mentoring organizations, and peer dialogue training.  The capstone gives students authentic experiences and skills that help support their academic work, career goals, and future community engagement efforts.


Curriculum Overview

Over the two-year program (four semesters), students complete 12-credit hours that count toward their CESG Scholars citation.  The following table represents a typical two-year curriculum. Details about courses and requirements can be found on the CESG Citation Checklist

SEMESTER COURSE CREDITS
Semester 1 CPCV 100: Colloquium I 1 credit
CPCV 225: Intro to Civic Engagement for Social Good 3 credits
Semester 2 CPCV 101: Colloquium II 1 credit
Semester 3 CHSE 328C: Intergroup Dialogue (DVCC) 1 credit
Semester 4 CPCV 230: Internship; or
CPCV 240: Service-Learning; or
CPCV 250: Research; or
3 credits
3 credits
3 credits
Semester 1, 2, 3, or 4 Supporting Course (var. Gen Ed) 3 credits

Office Address

1103 Centerville Hall

Office Email

cesg@umd.edu

Faculty

Portrait of Korey Rothman

Korey Rothman

Program Director, Civic Engagement for Social Good
Portrait of Julie Randolph

Julie Randolph

Associate Director, Civic Engagement for Social Good
Portrait of Deborah Omotoso

Deborah Omotoso

Graduate Assistant, Civic Engagement for Social Good

News and Notes, Etc.

 


Civic Engagement for Social Good News

Showing 1 - 6 of 145
  • Terp Awarded NOAA Hollings Scholarship

    A rising University of Maryland junior is one of 129 students nationwide awarded a 2024 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration scholarship to support the research of exceptional undergraduates.As a recipient of the Ernest F. Hollings Undergraduate Scholarship, atmospheric and oceanic science (AOSC) major Olivia Griffith, an ETE alum, will receive up to $19,000 over two years, plus professional development opportunities and a paid summer internship at any NOAA facility nationwide. Since the program kicked off in 2009, 55 UMD students have been awarded Hollings Scholarships.

  • Scholars Alum Wins Pulitzer for Washington Post AR-15 Series

    Emily Guskin ’06, a Media, Self ad Society Scholars alum, has a front row seat to Americans' perspectives on some of the day’s most pressing politics and policy matters. As a polling analyst at the Washington Post, the communication and government and politics alum conducts surveys, analyzes data and generates reports that provide insights into Americans’ attitudes, preferences and behaviors.

  • Biologist Nicholas Fletcher Named Director of Life Sciences Program

    Nicholas Fletcher, a lecturer in the University of Maryland’s Department of Biology, has been appointed director of the College Park Scholars Life Sciences program.“We are delighted to welcome Nick Fletcher to College Park Scholars and Life Sciences. Nick is a creative and caring teacher whose commitments to hands-on learning and inclusive community align perfectly with core Scholars values,” said College Park Scholars Executive Director Marilee Lindemann. “We look forward to working with him to extend the proud legacy of Scholars Life Sciences in exciting new directions.”

  • Kosko Receives Inaugural Outstanding Global Classrooms Faculty Award

    The University of Maryland's Office of International Affairs (OIA) recently honored Stacy Kosko, program director of International Studies (IS), as the inaugural recipient of the Outstanding Global Classrooms Faculty Award.A decade ago, Kosko launched UMD’s first global classroom on human rights with Tel Aviv University. Her commitment to, and success in this pilot served as the inspiration for scores of UMD faculty to participate in the Global Classroom Initiative (GCI). Today, UMD can boast more than 70 global classrooms involving universities around the world. Global classrooms have now become embedded in the curricular fabric of the university is now offered by every school and college on our campus.

  • STS Scholar Named Finalist for 2024 University Medal

    Only five students are selected to vie for the most prestigious award for a graduating University of Maryland senior. The University Medal stands as the highest honor bestowed on a graduating senior. The award recognizes academic achievement, service to the community and exceptional character. Nominees must have earned a minimum GPA of 3.96 and 60 or more credits during their undergraduate career at UMD.One of the finalists was Guise Pham, a Science, Technology and Society (STS) Scholar.Fleeing postwar Vietnam, Pham’s mother dreamed of a better future for her children.

  • Scholars Demonstrate Diverse Talents at Academic Showcase

    Launched in 1997, the annual College Park Scholars Academic Showcase took place Friday evening at the Edward St. John Learning and Teaching Center. Students from 11 different Scholars programs presented slideshows, posters and more that reflected on their experiential learning outside of the classroom.

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