Senate Document Number†† 1811S


Date of Senate Approval†††† 03/17/11


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Statement of Faculty Senate Action:



APC Document 11:    ††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Creation of Community Engaged Scholar Distinction

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† for Graduating Students


Effective Date:†† Fall 2011



1.    Delete:†††††††††† On p. 42, under Academic Honors:


††††††† The university awards four kinds of academic honors to its graduating students: universitywide Latin honors of cum laude (with honors), magna cum laude (with high honors) and summa cum laude (with highest honors); Departmental Distinction; University Research Scholar; and University Scholar. The Honors Committee must approve all recommendations and report them to the faculty, which has sole authority to award honors.


††††††††††††††† Add: †††† On p. 42, in place of deleted entry:


The university awards five kinds of academic honors to its eligible graduating students: universitywide Latin honors of cum laude (with honors), magna cum laude (with high honors) and summa cum laude (with highest honors); Departmental Distinction; University Research Scholar; University Scholar: and Community Engaged Scholar. The Honors Committee must approve all recommendations and report them to the faculty, which has sole authority to award honors.



2.††††††††††† Add: †††† On p. 42, following the University Scholar paragraph and before the Manly E. Wright

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† paragraph:


††††††† Students who complete at least six academic credit hours in Service-Learning Designated courses (with a minimum grade of B- in each course), a Key Center workshop on Service Learning, and a Public Service Project under the supervision of a faculty member and representative of a community organization may graduate as a Community Engaged Scholar.Additional information is available at



Impact Statement:

This proposal does not affect any major, minor or university requirements, as it does not require that students take any Service-Learning Designated courses.


The proposal does not affect course offerings, but will institute a means by which courses that offer state-of-the-art service learning can be recognized by students when they register and can be cited on their transcript. Courses designated as Service Learning will have SL added as part of the title, just as current intensive and cluster courses are designated.


Because becoming a Community Engaged Scholar requires students to have a faculty advisor, faculty must play a role in supporting students.As with undergraduate research mentorship, that role is optional for any given faculty member.



Service learning has the potential to play a more vital and visible role at UNCA, and to contribute strongly to student development.UNCAís mission statement emphasizes the importance of public service.UNCAís student learning outcomes include that ďstudents demonstrate that they are responsible, engaged citizens.ĒService learning is a major mechanism by which students can become engaged during their undergraduate years.


The Community Engaged Scholar distinction, already offered at other universities, would:


   Give students an opportunity to take on challenging, interesting work that enhances their academic skills and benefits the community.

   Enhance our studentsí resumes, increasing their marketability for graduate school and employment.

   Publicly recognize and honor contributions made by students to the wellbeing of their community.

   Give the admissions office another means of attracting promising and perhaps ethnically diverse students who are interested in a university that offers them a way to undertake community work in academically rigorous ways.




For more information on the Community Engaged Scholar designation, see appendices 1 and 2.
Appendix 1:Criteria for Graduating with the Designation of Community Engaged Scholar

Students who graduate as Community Engaged Scholars must:

1.    ††††††††††††† Complete at least six academic credit hours in Service-Learning Designated Courses, with a minimum grade of B- in each course.


2.    ††††††††††††† Take a workshop at the Key Center on best practices in service learning.This must be completed before undertaking the Public Service Project (described below).The student must pass a quiz after the workshop with a grade of 70% correct or higher.


3.    ††††††††††††† Complete a Public Service Project for a community organization.  (See Appendix 2 for more information on the project.)

Appendix 2:Explanation of Community Engaged Scholarsí Public Service Projects


The Public Service Project is usually the final work students undertake in becoming a Community Engaged Scholar. The project must have the student work on a problem, issue or need in the community via an effort involving the studentís academic expertise.The project must be developed as collaboration between the student and community, with each side working as partners.Students should become experts on the problems on which they are working by the end of their projects.Students should strive to create projects having sustainable impacts that do not depend on their continued presence.


The project must follow either the:


A.Product model:  Students create a product (e.g., work of art, video, ad campaign, documentary, software, database, handbook or manual) for a group or agency, with the goal of solving a problem or helping the organization with its mission.  Community members can create the product with students (e.g., children and a college student paint a mural), but this is not required.




B.Community-Based Research model:  Students conduct archival research (e.g., reviewing scientific literature or existing documents) and/or collect and analyze data for an agency, with the goal of understanding a problem or how well the organization is doing in its efforts to combat a problem.Typically, students write a final report on findings for the agency.


A project that does not fall into the above categories may be used if the student writes a brief proposal for his or her project.Such proposals, which should be written after consultation with the Key Center, must be approved in advance of the project by the Key Center Advisory Council.††


Because the project must be both beneficial to the community and academically rigorous, the student must have a faculty and community agency advisor.The student must complete a brief form describing the project and obtain the signatures of both the faculty and community agency advisors.To avoid problems and promote good outcomes, it is desirable that both advisors come into contact with each other at regular intervals.The form must be on file with the Key Center before the project begins.The form must be completed whether or not the project is done in a course.


After the project is complete, students must write a report on their project that is a minimum of 10 double-spaced pages.The report, which begins with an abstract, should explain the project's origins, the methods and work undertaken, how the work ties to the studentís academic field(s), challenges faced and methods used to deal with them, the results, the likelihood of sustainability of the work, and a conclusion discussing implications of the project for the community partner and for the studentís field of study.The papers are published in a Key Center journal.If the project involves writing a report for the agency or class, parts of it may be adapted for the Key Center report, but such reports may not be copied or extensively quoted for the Key Center journal paper.


The community advisor, academic advisor and department chair must endorse the studentís completed product.The report and overall project also must be approved by a UNCA faculty member who was not the studentís advisor.


Finally, students must publicly present their project at an end-of-semester service-learning poster session on campus. Multiple presentations (e.g., for the agency or others in the community) are encouraged.


The project may be completed as part of a course, but the course cannot be one of the courses used to complete the first requirement of becoming a Community Engaged Scholar (i.e., two Service-Learning Designated Courses).The course in which a Public Service Project originates does not have to be a Service-Learning Designated Course.If the work is done for a course, the final grade on the project must be a B- or higher.


The project may be done with a partner or partners, if all partners are UNCA students.In the case of partnerships, each partner must write a separate report for the Key Center.Each partner also must do a separate presentation, or each must have a major role in a single presentation.


The project may not be used to complete other university requirements (e.g., a thesis or project required for the studentís major).Thus, it cannot be a duplicate or mostly unrevised work from a previous effort.It also cannot be duplicated or revised slightly for credit on a subsequent project.However, the project may grow out of the studentís previous academic work or service, and it may lead to subsequent academic projects or service efforts.