About This Journal
We believe that when university leaders, faculty, staff and fellow students listen to the diverse perspectives of students about service-learning and civic engagement, it inevitably leads to a thoughtful consideration of pedagogy. Research shows that students are enriched and even transformed when service-learning and civic engagement are high quality and of sufficient duration. But we also believe that as students experience and write about civic engagement in communities, their perspectives can inform the way that the academy engages as a partner with its community. SPACE seeks manuscripts from students who have one or more of these experiences and hope to extend their learning through reflection, connecting their experiences to extant research, and by conducting their own research through their civic experience. We hope that Student Perspectives About Civic Engagement can be a place where students generate and publish scholarly works that reflect transforming experiences in communities across metropolitan Chicago.
Student Perspectives About Civic Engagement (SPACE) is a new online journal hosted by a consortium of Chicago area universities (SLCEC). We hope to draw out the voice of university students in metropolitan settings who wrestle with the challenges and the opportunities that the city and surrounding environs present to us through service-learning opportunities. We welcome manuscripts from undergraduate and graduate students who have had a robust civic engagement experience, including service-learning, and want to further explore the meaning of the experience through research and writing. John Dewey argues that though experience is critical to the learning process, it is not sufficient on its own. Reflection on the experience, then, enables us to make meaning with the potential to illuminate our condition and lead to change and even transformation of ourselves and the world around us. SPACE is published once annually.
Students are invited to write about their experiences of civic engagement in Chicagoland communities. SPACE seeks manuscripts from students who have one or more of these experiences and hope to extend their learning through reflection, connecting their experiences to extant research, and by conducting their own research through their civic experience. SPACE is a place where students can generate and publish scholarly works that reflect transforming experiences in communities across metropolitan Chicago.
The Service-Learning and Civic Engagement Consortium (SLCEC) is a network of seven universities serving metropolitan Chicago . Our work together is comprised of three components: Advancing civic engagement at our universities, encouraging policies that support civic engagement practice, and building professional development opportunities and professional learning communities. One way to advance civic engagement at our universities is to capture and promote the voices of students as they experience diverse facets of civic learning. SLCEC member universities are: Loyola University Chicago, DePaul University, Illinois State University, Northeastern Illinois University, National Louis University, University of Illinois Chicago, Roosevelt University, Campus Compact Illinois.
A Crucible Moment, a 2012 publication of the National Task Force on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement, argues for a revitalization of the civic practices of colleges and universities as a direct response to the “civic malaise” that we see across the country. It is time, according to the authors, to bring together two national priorities – career preparation and university access and completion – with “fostering informed, engaged, responsible citizens.”
In the past two decades, universities have begun to respond from an institutional and a pedagogical perspective. Institutionally, universities are re-examining their relationship to their communities and thinking seriously about their role in those communities. Pedagogically, universities are responding through promoting civic engagement practices the creation and expansion of centers of civic engagement. SLCEC members have demonstrated their commitment to civic engagement and participation through the establishment of civic engagement centers, practices, and strategies that engage their students in the communities of Chicago in robust ways.
For more information about SLCEC, please contact Jon Schmidt.