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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 19 - 24 of 147
  • PL Alum Reflects on Making the Most of Her Smith School Experience - Miriam Oke ’24

    When she walks across the Commencement stage to collect her diploma, Miriam Oke ’24 can undoubtedly say she left her mark on the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business.Oke, a Public Leadership Scholars alum and finance major with a minor in nonprofit leadership and social innovation at the Smith School, knew even before she took her first steps on campus as a student that she wanted a college experience predicated on forging connections and building communities. During the next four years, she did that and more.

  • Five Scholars Named 2024 Do Good Challenge Semi-Finalists

    The Do Good Institute recently announced the selection of the 2024 Do Good Challenge semi-finalists. These student-led teams will compete for the opportunity to advance to the Do Good Challenge Finals on April 30 where they will present in front of a panel of expert judges and an audience of hundreds and vie for a share of more than $20,000 in prizes.Five of the 14 semifinalists are College Park Scholars. Congratulations to Ethan Adler (MSS), Sara Blau (IS), Mohammed Ndiaye (GPH), Srivishnu Piratla (IS), and Takiyah Roberts (STS).

  • Five Scholars Community Members Named Provost's Do Good Innovator Award Recipients

    In partnership with the Office of the Provost, the Innovator Awards highlight the incredible members of our campus community who create, nurture, expand and amplify social impact throughout education, programs and research, both inside and outside the classroom. These dedicated Terps were nominated by their colleagues who recognized the broad and meaningful impact they create. Over the past academic year, members from the Do Good Campus Strategic Leadership Council reviewed nominations and selected their awardees, with some units opting to fund additional awards. Congratulations to:

  • Two Scholars Named 2024 Patty Grace Smith Fellows

    HUNTSVILLE, Ala. - The Patti Grace Smith Fellowship recently announced the selection of 29 students to participate in its award-winning program that connects the United States’ leading aerospace companies with talented Black students.The Class of 2024 Fellows hail from 17 colleges and universities spread across 13 states and Puerto Rico. Each Fellow has earned a challenging summer aerospace internship, as well as a scholarship worth thousands of dollars, a pair of personalized mentors, and more.Two College Park Scholars were named recipients of the 2024 Fellowship:

  • Out of the Shell

    The following excerpt is from Terp Magazine:"When I arrived in 1992, there was no official place on campus or entity on campus that advocated for LGBT people, to make them feel welcome, like they belonged and were supported. There was an invisibility from an institutional standpoint," said Marilee Lindemann, executive director of College Park Scholars.

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