The Office of Civic Engagement at Hiram College strives to enable students of all ages to develop as intellectually alive, socially responsible, ethical citizens ready for leadership and for continuous professional growth. The Office of Civic Engagement is a collaborative partnership with Hiram's Center for Engaged Ethics and seeks to engage students in opportunities to connect lessons from the classroom with the needs of our community, all the while helping students to reflect on ethical issues and consider how they will utilize their Hiram education in the future to better their communities. Engaging in a process of Awareness, Reflection, and Action, students engage and serve in the community through diverse service learning courses, annual days of service, alternative spring break trips, individual community service opportunities, and participation with service clubs, athletic teams, sororities and fraternities. Community partners include Hiram House Camp which serves urban youth and was founded in 1898 by Hiram Alumni, Hiram Farm Living and Learning Community which is an organic farm in Hiram serving adults on the Autism spectrum, several area schools and community centers, the Hiram Community Garden, several animal and land preservation related organizations, Hattie Larlham which serveschildren and adults with developmental disabilities, Robinson Memorial Hospital, and area organizations serving the elderly.
Service Learning Courses
Service Learning, as defined by Learn and Serve America, "is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility, and strengthen communities."
Service Learning Courses (SL) are 1-4 credit hour courses which fulfill the following criteria:
- Provide academic content and experiences whose student-learning outcomes are enhanced by activities beyond the traditional classroom
- Provide service activities, which by design reinforce course learning objectives & enhance student learning
- Identify and provide a service, such as volunteering of time and giving of resources, to members of a local, national, global or ecological community
- Offer structured opportunities for reflection
- Enhance civic responsibility and create a broader understanding of opportunities for civic engagement within the discipline being taught
- Provide student preparation and support for service activities
- Respect and acknowledge the sustainability of the service and relationship with the community partner(s)
- Maintain mutual respect and reciprocity between students and the community partner
- Include systems for student, course, and community partner evaluations
- Include a minimal of 20 hours of service, including at least five direct contact hours with an agency and/or its clientele. Up to 10% of service hours may include transportation and/or an orientation given by the agency.
Areas of Distinction
- Service-learning serves as a distinctive program that provides opportunities for interdisciplinary and collaborative education, service, and entrepreneurial activities. Additionally, service-learning integrates student life initiatives with the academic curriculum.
- The annual Ethics theme for the campus serves as a corner stone for academic discourse across all disciplines.
- The Center builds relationships, interdisciplinary collaborations, and programmatic opportunities with the other Centers of Excellence.