Returning students may notice the lack of construction in the former Spartan Shop’s space in College Center. The renovations that took up much of last semester are completed, and the result is NCC’s new Center of Civic and Community Engagement. Designed to function as a central hub for both campuses, the center plans on being a valuable asset for both students and faculty.
The center was born out of NCC’s new strategic focus. While the plan has 5 areas of focus (Student Outreach, Completion Agenda, Diversity and Global Engagement, Community Engagement and Leadership in Technology), the center focuses mostly on Community Engagement. Its’ main purpose is to encourage students and faculty to take part in service activities that benefit the community, while reinforcing and offering deeper insight into a student’s course. Previously, the only way to take part in these projects was to apply for a course that offered it, even if the class was unrelated to a student’s major.
Deb Bohr, Director of the Center of Civic and Community Engagement, hopes to change that system. “I’d really like to have groups of students participate in sustainable service projects,” ones that last beyond the term of a semester and have a continual impact on the community.
The center will offer students a greater opportunity to take part in these projects, as well as give faculty the ability to more easily create their own opportunities on campus. This is not just for faculty, though. Staff plan on installing a collaboration workspace similar to the one in the Student Lounge to allows students to plan their own projects.
The workspace is being installed thanks to a grant from Martin Guitar, and the staff plan for it to be ready in time for the official opening in March, followed by NCC’s Day of Service. Happening on April 1, NCC’s Day of Service is a collective initiative to encourage students and faculty to get involved and give back to the community.
For more information, or to get involved with Service Learning, contact Deb Bohr at DBohr@nullnorthampton.edu, or stop by CC-236.