Florida Campus Compact recently awarded the University of North Florida the 2013 Engaged Campus of the Year award, which recognizes one Florida college or university for advancing the public purposes of higher education, improving community life and educating students for civic as well as social responsibility.
The award was presented at the Florida Campus Compact Annual Awards Gala Nov. 7 at Palm Beach State College in Boca Raton. This is UNF’s third national or regional award—the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in 2010 and the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Role in 2012 and 2011—in the past three years for its efforts to enhance student community engagement through service, learning and research.
“UNF consistently provides remarkable service to the greater Jacksonville area and beyond through its volunteering, philanthropy and community-based teaching and research,” said UNF President John Delaney. “The University strives to instill this commitment to community into its culture from the moment new students walk onto the campus, a faculty member designs a syllabus or a staff member attends orientation.”
More than 9,000 students have participated in courses redesigned to include community-based learning since the beginning of this institution-wide effort. The latest tangible example of this endeavor is the developing partnership between the UNF Music Flagship Program and the Riverside Fine Arts’ “Project Listen.” UNF opera and orchestra students will perform “Little Red Riding Hood” this spring in local elementary schools. Funds from this initiative are making it possible to develop portable scenery and costumes for these programs.
Since the beginning of the University’s Quality Enhancement Plan on Community-Based Transformational Learning and the establishment of the Center for Community-Based Learning in 2009, 13 of the 32 academic departments have participated in UNF’s Community Engaged Department Grant Initiative to include community-based learning in majors/programs and more than 240 faculty/staff have participated in efforts in redesigning courses and programs to include community-engagement assignments, have participated in activities to assess the impact of these kinds of activities on student learning or have participated in special programs, such as the Community-Based Learning and STEM Institute and the Community Scholars Program for faculty/staff
The Center for Community-Based Learning at UNF is the dedicated administrative unit responsible for facilitating the inclusion of community-based learning across the entire campus. Community-Based Learning is the collaborative engagement of students, faculty, UNF administration and community experts designed to provide students with rich, real-world opportunities that enhance student learning, personal development and civic involvement, while also contributing to the enrichment and well-being of the greater Jacksonville community and beyond.
UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.