What is civic engagement?
“One useful definition of civic engagement is the following: individual and collective actions designed to identify and address issues of public concern. Civic engagement can take many forms, from individual volunteerism to organizational involvement to electoral participation.”
-The American Psychological Association
Civic engagement is participation in the public life of the community on issues of public concern.
Civic engagement can take many forms, from volunteerism doing community service, to electoral participation and advocacy. All forms are encouraged by the Lindy Center; however, in order to receive formal civic engagement credit, students must meet the following criteria:
- benefit a registered 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization
- take part off-campus or, if performed on campus, benefit an off-campus institution or community group
- involve direct and active service to others, including awareness-raising activities
- cannot involve active religious proselytizing or religious instruction
- cannot be partisan or directly benefit a political party
- comply with Drexel’s Student Code of Conduct
What is the Civic Engagement Database?
The Civic Engagement database makes available civic engagement opportunities vetted by our office as meaningful and high-quality experiences that, consistent with our mission, promote the ideals of social responsibility and public service. The database is available to the entire Drexel community as a resource for discovering and promoting viable civic engagement opportunities.
While UNIV 101 students primarily utilize the database, all Drexel students are encouraged to use this advanced catalog to both discover new opportunities and log their accomplishments.
Can I complete my required civic engagement hours with an organization not listed on the CE database?
Yes. In order to receive Lindy Center credit, however, you must take these four steps:
- Complete the UNIV 101 Student Request for Civic Engagement Activity form.
- Have the activity pre-approved and added to the Lindy Center database by visiting the Center, emailing or faxing the form to the Lindy Center. Upon approval, the Lindy Center will return the form to you.
- Obtain signatures from your UNIV 101 instructor and the Organization Site Supervisor.
- Upon completion of service, you must log/register your hours on the Lindy Center database and submit the signed form to 3210 Cherry Street, 2nd Floor or fax it to (215) 895 6288.
How do I sign up for a civic engagement opportunity on the CE database?
Please follow these steps:
- Access the civic engagement database
- Log in using your Drexel user ID and password
- Agree to terms and conditions
- To assist you in your search, you can Edit my Profile so that the database can match your interests and availability with a fitting opportunity.
- You may Search all Opportunities to view in detail all civic engagement opportunities offered through the Lindy Center.
- Once you click “Sign Up,” an email is automatically generated and sent to you and the organization — confirming your interest in the opportunity. It is your responsibility to reach out to the contact person listed on the database to confirm and schedule your participation.
How do I log/register my civic engagement hours?
For UNIV 101 students:
- Sign into the database
- Click Report my Service / Fill out a Survey
- Report your hours and fill out the survey.
- Once you click “OK,” your service is officially reported to the Lindy Center.
Upon verifying your participation, the Lindy Center will report your engagement to your UNIV 101 instructor.
For Non-UNIV 101 students:
All Drexel students can use our database to search opportunities and record their civic engagement hours. For upper-division students, recording hours through our database can help to Drexel student organizations (e.g. fraternities, sororities, service or honor organizations) keep track of group participation in activities. Entering hours of participation also helps our office in tracking levels and patterns of student participation so that we can identify trends, strengthen relationships with community partners, and ultimately better help all those involved in civic engagement.
*However, hours can only be logged for opportunities registered with the Lindy Center. If you are a Drexel student or campus organization that would like to register and promote a civic engagement opportunity on the database, please contact Seth Jacobson (firstname.lastname@example.org) at the Lindy Center.
*If you participated in a civic engagement opportunity already listed on the database: sign into the database, click Report my Service/Fill out a Survey, and proceed to report your hours.
Why is it important for all Drexel students to log/register their civic engagement hours?
Students who log their hours using our Civic Engagement database can receive reports that are certified by the Lindy Center for Civic Engagement and can be included with their transcripts when applying to graduate school or for co-ops, job interviews, and resumes.
How can I get/stay involved with the Lindy Center?
There are a number of ways to become active with the Lindy Center.
- If you are a student who enjoys community service and other forms of civic engagement – and are looking for new opportunities – we encourage you to check out the CE database and connect with one of our community partners.
- If you are interested in becoming a leader in both the Drexel and Philadelphia communities, find out more information regarding the Drexel Community Scholars program.
- If you are a campus organization and would like to work more closely with the Lindy Center through collaboration efforts, and as a mutual resource, contact Seth Jacobson (email@example.com) at the Lindy Center.
- Visit the Lindy Center and/or its website to remain aware of CEO workshops, speakers, forums, conferences, and other public events and activities sponsored by the Lindy Center.
- Find out more about Lindy Center special projects that you can get involved in.
How does civic engagement benefit me?
Civic engagement as community-based experiential learning--like other forms of experiential learning--provides students with opportunities to learn by doing outside the classroom. Civic engagement allows Drexel students to apply their knowledge and skills towards humane ends by providing much needed resources, both intellectual and material, towards the betterment of the broader society. Students are central to the exciting and valuable projects and partnerships that take place through civic engagement. Furthermore, in today’s complex and constantly changing world, companies and organizations are in need of graduates with strong leadership skills. By virtue of its work, coupled with the support of the Lindy Center through one-on-one mentoring, workshops, trainings, forums, national conferences, and service-learning courses, civic engagement at Drexel plays a vital role in developing strong leaders ready to meet the demands of our global society.
How does civic engagement benefit the community?
Our community partners find the work that our students do to be important in expanding their capacity and fulfilling their missions. For example, one of our partners shared with us that “the Drexel students have been very helpful in our many classrooms assisting the children on the computer, reading stories, helping with homework, assisting the children with selected activities and assisting staff during special events.” At the Lindy Center, we want your educational experience to meet your expectations and goals while giving you the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of community members.
Outside of UNIV 101, can I receive academic credit(s) for civic engagement?
Various courses at the university, in nearly every college/school, have civic engagement components. Recently, an engineering course included a project where students helped to design and create a kiosk for a legal services organization. A course in the Women’s Studies department focused on working with teenage women with Girls, INC. A leadership course in the Honors College included a weekly program where Drexel University students mentored local high school students in the college application process as part of the Guiding Youth to Careers program. If you want to take a course with a civic engagement component, and are unsure, please contact the Lindy Center
and we can help identify some courses that may interest you.