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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 7 - 12 of 147
  • 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.

  • JLT Scholar Wins Prestigious U.S. Department of State Fellowship

    Washington, DC – Following a nationally competitive application process, University of Maryland, College Park (UMD) student Astrid Gabriella Tagne Meleu, a Justice and Legal Thought Scholar, is one of 15 individuals selected by the U.S. Department of State for the Foreign Affairs Information Technology Fellowship 2024 cohort.

  • Numerous Scholars Earn University Student Leadership Awards

    The Annual University Student Leadership Awards program recognizes and celebrates the outstanding achievements of our student leaders and scholars. Through this program, the university aims to acknowledge the exceptional academic performances and contributions to the University of Maryland community and surrounding neighborhoods made by students.Numerous Scholars were finalists and recipients of several of UMD's top awards.

  • “Think Globally, Act Locally!” Do Good Innovators Build Bridges Between Students & International Communities

    In March 2024, the inaugural Provost’s Do Good Innovator Awards winners were announced. Out of 57 faculty named, Dr. Sarah Kilmer and Dr. Justine DeCamilis of the College Park Scholars program were rewarded for their joint work on the Terps Community Mentors program (TCM). Piloted in 2021, TCM builds bridges between first-year International Studies (IS), Justice and Legal Thought (JLT) students, and Afghan refugee families at the Parkview Garden Apartments in Riverdale. In the three years since its debut, these College Park Scholars students now routinely visit the Parkview Garden Apartments in Riverdale—cleaning up creeks and streams, donating meals, distributing school supplies and fostering big brother/sister relationships with the young children around the complex.

  • Fourteen Scholars Named Class of 2024 Senior Marshals

    Senior Marshals are graduating seniors who have demonstrated the highest levels of scholarship, service to the campus community, extracurricular involvement, and personal growth. The University of Maryland Senior Marshals represent graduating seniors who have demonstrated the highest levels of scholarship, service to the campus community, extracurricular involvement, and personal growth.

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