Each year, approximately 40 professors integrate community engaged learning projects into their First Year Seminar (FSP) courses with staff and Scholars from the Bonner Institute for Civic and Community Engagement. The projects draw a connection between the learning objectives of the course and a specific community need or interests. The following is a sample of projects that have been completed in previous years at TCNJ.
The Mass Appeal of YA Fiction – Professor Madeline Anthes
Students in this course conducted a read-aloud and writing project with the 4th, 5th and 6th graders from Academic Sports Academy. Students visited ASA three times. On the second and third visit TCNJ students supported ASA’s read aloud initiative by reading excerpts from Harry Potter when Harry discovers his magic, and then worked with the students to write their own short stories about discovering magic.
Shakespeare and Film – Professor Maureen Connolly
This course explored four themes common to Shakespeare’s work: Mental Health, Suicide, Prejudice and Bias, and Healthy Relationships. For each topic, a speaker from TCNJ came to share information with the class about how this issue exists on TCNJ’s campus and what resources students should know about to prevent it. In groups, the students created a bulletin board for each issue in Travers-Wolfe to share the information with other first-year students. Each of the boards was up for several weeks.
The Digital Domain – Professor Janet Mazur
Students volunteered at the Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) for one session each. Working with TASK’s IT coordinator, the students split up into groups and developed/facilitated computer literacy lessons for TASK patrons. This experience allowed for students to observe the “digital divide”.
What Does it Mean to Be American? – Professor Kim Pearson
As part of the course, the students completed two projects: “My America” and “Our America”. For the My America project, students were asked to reflect on their own history and for the Our America project, the students were asked to gain a historical perspective of some aspect of America from someone else’s perspective. The students worked in groups and interviewed a patron at Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK) for the topic related to their project.