Office of Public Affairs
Dec. 6, 2000
COMPACT TO PROMOTE CAMPUS ENGAGEMENT
AND STUDENTS' CIVIC PARTICIPATION
OSWEGO -- Oswego State will be one of the founding campuses of the New York Campus Compact. President Deborah Stanley and Dr. Paul Roodin, director of experience-based education, recently attended an organizing meeting at Syracuse University.
Campus Compact is a 15-year-old national coalition of college presidents committed to helping students develop the values and skills of citizenship through involvement in community service. New York will be the 23rd state to form a Campus Compact at the state level.
Also attending the meeting in Syracuse were presidents or chancellors from Syracuse University, Cornell University, Hobart and William Smith College, SUNY Geneseo, SUNY Cortland and Nazareth College, who are among 10 members of the executive committee, and representatives from those colleges who serve on the advisory committee.
Oswego's strategic plan, "Engagement 2000," calls for expanding service learning in the curriculum and developing opportunities for volunteer projects by faculty, staff and students in the community. Stanley said she sees the New York Campus Compact as supporting those campus goals.
"It's a great opportunity: to get federal grants, to share information as a consortium, best practices and such, and to enhance opportunities for our students," she said.
Founded in 1985 by Brown, Georgetown and Stanford universities and the Education Commission of the States, Campus Compact bonds member campuses together as presidents, faculty, students and staff to promote a vision for higher education that supports both the civic development of students and the campus as an engaged member of its community.
It aims to overcome many students' disconnection from civic life, from government and from the responsibility to address societal problems.
"Everyone's trying to overcome the malaise of the college population," Roodin said. "We're trying to establish the habits of engagement because that's what furthers a democratic society."
At Oswego, Roodin has been a leader in developing service learning. He received four grants over three years to integrate service into psychology and human development classes, where the focus is on the elderly. "I call it 'friendly visiting' with seniors in the community, including nursing homes," he said.
Roodin last year joined the task force that has become the advisory committee for the New York Campus Compact. As treasurer of the New York State Cooperative and Experiential Education Association, which is interested in developing innovative pedagogy such as service learning, he learned of the availability of $41.5 million in federal funds for these kinds of programs.
"I was intrigued by the funding possibilities," he said. "In order to compete for those funds, you have to have a Campus Compact."
State Campus Compacts serve as liaisons to state higher education and community-based organizations, school systems and government. Their workshops help faculty explore new ways to integrate service into their classes. They hold conferences for campus community service directors and for student leaders. They act as a conduit for funding opportunities.
More than 50 public and private colleges in New York have expressed interest, and as many as 200 are eligible to join the coalition, Stanley said.
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CONTACTS: Dr. Paul Roodin, director of experienced based education, 341-2151; President Deborah F. Stanley, 341-2211
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