Community & Civic Engagement

The objective of the Community & Civic Engagement WTE is to graduate citizens who have a vision for how they can help make the community what it could be and not be resigned to accepting the community as it is. To achieve this, students engage with faculty, other students and the community in significant, meaningful engagement and are guided to reflect on the power and purpose of these experiences. Students participating in the Community & Civic Engagement WTE are required to complete 300 hours of combined community engagement and training and reflection with a community organization. Completion of the Community and Civic Engagement activities should not exceed three years.

Go to Washburn Transformational Experience

The objective of the Community and Civic Engagement WTE is to graduate citizens who have a vision for how they can help make the community what it could be and not be resigned to accepting the community as it is. Students engage with faculty members and other students in significant, meaningful community engagement and are guided to reflect on the power and purpose of these experiences. Students participating in the Community and Civic Engagement Transformational Experience are required to complete 300 hours of combined community engagement and training and reflection. The students are also required to complete a pre and post experience survey related to their experience. A mentor will guide each student through this WTE. While engaged in direct service, students will meet with a mentor and other students at least four times per semester to reflect on their experiences. 

I. Pre-WTE

  1. Student declares a Community & Civic Engagement WTE – The declaration can be found from the student academics tab in My Washburn. 
  2. Identify an appropriate community/civic engagement experience and/or project
    1. the engagement experience and/or project must primarily be for the benefit of  the off-campus community
    2. the engagement experience and/or project must meet a community identified need
    3. the engagement experience and/or project must affect a social justice issue, an under-served population or the environment, and/or a community need. The engagement project must be completed off campus and focus on the community and the students’ needs. (Pre-engagement discussions to determine the experience or project the student will engage in and/or an interview with the identified community partner may count toward the 300-hour requirement). Clinical experiences (i.e. Nursing, Allied Health, & Addiction Counseling) typically do not count as a Community Engagement WTE since they are meant to develop professional skills rather than make change in the community. 
    4. the engagement experience and/or project cannot violate Washburn University’s EEO statement and/or requirements for federal or state funding
  3. Complete the Community & Civic Engagement WTE Activity Plan. Once the activity plan is completed the students will receive an e-mail directing them to the link for the pre-service survey.
  4. Complete the Community & Civic Engagement WTE pre-engagement survey*
  5. Ensure that the Community & Civic Engagement WTE Activity Plan has been approved by both the Mentor and the Director of the Community & Civic Engagement WTE before starting the engagement experience and/or project

II. During WTE

Students will complete a minimum of 300 hours of documented engagement activities related to the identified experience outlined in the Activity Plan and agreed upon between the student and the faculty mentor. 

Of these 300 hours, no less than 80% of the hours must come from direct service in the community; a minimum of 10% of the total hours can come from training and reflection but no more than 20% can come from training and reflection. For example, a student could complete a minimum of 240 direct service and 60 hours of training and reflection. At a minimum, a student should complete 30 hours of training and reflection and 270 hours of direct service.

Direct Service can include: 

  1. pre-engagement discussions of the experience and/or project and/or required interview process to be at a site
  2. site orientation and/or regular check-ins/mentorship time with a site/project Supervisor
    direct service  
  3. research or data collection/organization/analysis
  4. fundraising/obtaining in-kind donations
  5. developing program materials/curriculum, social media posts, awareness campaigns, newsletters, events, etc.


Training and reflection can include:

  1. approved seminars offered through the LinC office
  2. conference sessions/workshops related to the engagement experience and/or project
  3. classroom time directly related to the engagement experience and/or project(must include at least 50% of time on reflection, understanding of civic responsibility and/or training on community issues—i.e. cannot solely be about preparing students to be professionals in the field)\
  4. campus or community lectures or panels on a topic directly related to the engagement experience and/or project
  5. in-service training offered by the organization
Reflection activities should continue through the entire community engagement activity. If for some reason the student would complete the required engagement hours early he/she should continue to participate in the reflection activities.


III. Post-WTE

  1. Complete a final presentation of learning with either an oral or poster presentation**
  2. Complete the WTE Final Assessment and Completion form which will be found as a link on the students’ WTE page.
  3. Complete the Community & Civic Engagement WTE post-engagement survey*
When the student completes all the requirements the Director of the Community and Civic Engagement WTE will be notified by e-mail that the student has completed the WTE Completion form, at that time the student will receive an e-mail with the link to the post-engagement survey. The director of the WTE will not sign off on the completion form until the post-engagement survey is completed.  

*Social Work Practicum students are exempt from this requirement. In 2009, when the WTE changed from a mandatory graduation requirement to an optional opportunity, the Social Work Department saw the benefit of having their undergraduate students engage in the Community Service WTE and made it a graduation requirement at the departmental level. Through an agreement between LinC and the Social Work Department at that time, and based on the ongoing training and reflection that these students receive both before and during their practicum experience, there are some requirements that are waived. Specifically, the pre- and post-engagement survey because the results would be skewed unless all Social Work majors declared and took the pre-engagement survey when they enrolled in SW100 (they currently declare the WTE at the beginning of their practicum experience) so they do not do this.

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