Curricular Track: First Year Seminar Program
Community Engaged Learning can be an effective teaching tool that has a positive impact on the educational process. Approximately 700 First Year students work with the Bonner Institute on class-based projects through the Freshman Seminar Program (FSP). These projects connect the subject matter of the course to an opportunity to step outside of the classroom and address an unmet need in the community.
According to recent statistics, gathered from surveys administered to these students before and after their experience, courses that work with the Bonner Institute are:
Positive Impact (88%):
Students in these classes felt that they were making positive contributions to the local community through their FSP experiences
More Motivating (64%):
Based on their community engaged learning experiences, students in these FSP classes were more inspired to continue providing service in the local and campus communities
Building Knowledge (85%):
Students found that the community engaged learning component of the course helped them to better understand some of the learning objectives, lectures, or readings for the course itself and their own roles as citizens in a democratic society
Relationship to TCNJ (62%):
A majority of the FSP students, after their community engaged learning experiences, said that they felt more connected to the TCNJ community and their peers.
Co-Curricular Track: Community Engaged Learning Days
The Bonner Institute evaluates the impact of the Community Engaged Learning (CEL) program and CEL Days on the students at TCNJ in several areas. These include their knowledge of important issues affecting our communities, their understanding of what it means to be a good citizen, and whether or not they feel they made an impact in the community.
According to recent statistics gathered from surveys administered to these students before and after their experience, students have reported the following outcomes:
Students reported having a better understanding of the role of citizens in a democracy as a result of their CEL experience.
Students reported having an increased understanding of the issues facing the Trenton community as a result of their CEL experience.
Positive Contribution (84%):
Students reported feeling they made a positive contribution to the organization and/or individuals they served through their CEL experience.
Future Volunteers (69%):
Students reported they planned to participate in additional community service activities in the future as a result of their CEL experience.
Students reported they became more aware of at least one nonprofit or governmental response to their community issue as a result of their CEL experience.
Students reported feeling more connected to other TCNJ students and the College community as a result of their CEL experience.