Last academic year, I had the opportunity to participate in a Faculty Academy on High-Impact Practices facilitated by the Center for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership (CTLL). One high-impact practice identified by George Kuh and the AAC&U is service-learning. I focused that year on implementing a service-learning project into my first-year writing class.
Fast forward a year later, and I am currently teaching an honors section of English 1102, the second course in our general education writing curriculum found in Area A1. In preparation for this class, I met with Amy Booker, president of the Dahlonega-Lumpkin County Chamber & Visitors Bureau to see if my students could help out with any writing-related projects. Amy put me in touch with David Zunker, the tourism director. David and I sketched out a plan. In groups, the thirteen honors students would blog about upcoming events and include links and pictures.
In later August, my thirteen students and I walked over to the Chamber’s main office off the square in Dahlonega. We sat at the conference table with David and looked at the upcoming calendar of events. The students selected events they wanted to blog about. The first blog, about the festival Trail Fest held in early September, is posted to Dahlonega.org.
The Carnegie Foundation granted the University of North Georgia Community Engagement Classification back in 2010. As one of 361 campuses in the U.S. with this classification, UNG strives to connect with the larger community for the “mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources.” I’m thankful for the guidance of CTLL and Dahlonega community members in helping me do my part to live up UNG’s classification.