Student Engagement is somewhat of an all-encompassing term that means a lot of things to a lot of people, but for many, the profound impact it has on our campus remains unclear. What the Center for Service and Leadership aims to do is facilitate civic leadership on campus through programs, community engagement, and student and faculty collaboration. While all clubs and organizations fall under the umbrella of Student Involvement/Engagement, i.e. the Associated Students of the University of Washington Tacoma (ASUWT), the Student Activities Board (SAB), Student Publications, Volunteer Services, Student Housing, Student Conduct, and the Childcare Assistance Program, this year UWT has plans to expand and grow its culture of service and leadership.
Currently, UWT is launching a Leadership Endorsement program which expands that effort to a three tier stepwise program where students are able to complete as many tiers as they want. What the program manages to do is build students resumes while preparing them to work in the nonprofit sector as well as other service careers.
Students who complete the silver tier will receive a LEAD certificate which symbolizes their fifty hours of community service, five mentorship sessions with a UWT Faculty member, five workshop events, a team project and an e-portfolio. Students who complete the purple tier will receive a certificate for the Community Engagement Leadership Program (CEL). Completion of this tier signifies that the student has completed one orientation, seven workshops or events, seven mentor sessions, 100 service hours, one midyear retreat, one diversity conference and one reflective e-portfolio. Completion of the highest tier, the gold tier, signifies that the student has received their LEAD certificate and CEL certificate. Furthermore, students who reach the gold tier will be given the opportunity to present how they have positively affected their community through these programs. Students who exemplify the qualities of leadership and sustained positive impact will receive a letter of endorsement from the selection committee recommending them to potential employers as the best UW Tacoma has to offer.
In addition to the three tier Leadership Endorsement Program, the Center for Service and Leadership is also working to establish a Peace Corp Prep Program. This program which would be co-sponsored with International Services and the Peace Corp, is meant to aid aspiring Peace Corp candidates. The objective is to identify exemplary leaders on campus and provide student with the resources to apply and secure positions in the Peace Corps.
Student Leadership Specialist Paul Prociv co-drafted the proposal for the Center for Service and Leadership. He stressed the need for the new center as it pertains to more than just programs and student engagement. He said, “This is a center for you, the focus should be and always will be on students. But it’s on students and their community. It makes their education relevant beyond a book. Students learn real skills that affect real people, and will liven up their educational experience. In doing so, they can provide great service to their community.”
Prociv made a call to all UWT staff and faculty who are interested in growing not only the Center for Service and Leadership but the greater UWT campus and community.
If you are a student or faculty member interested in participating in the CSL programs or its development, please contact Paul Prociv at firstname.lastname@example.org
Faculty and staff who are interested in serving on a steering committee for the CSL, please visit www.tinyurl.com/CSLinput. General feedback regarding the Center’s programs and development is appreciated as well.