Quad City Community Engagement Consortium Announces Inaugural Event

Staff Writer
Aledo Times Record

An inaugural event of the Quad City Community Engagement Consortium (QC CEC) is set for Thursday, Feb. 3, from 3 to 6 p.m., at the Deere-Wiman Carriage House, 1105 – 8th Street, Moline. College and university leaders are expected to attend this collaborative effort among public and private institutions of higher learning in the Quad City region for the purposes of civic education and community development to enhance the region.

The Consortium’s mission is to work with community partners to provide leadership in service-learning, intern opportunities, and volunteerism. Members of the QC CEC have been meeting and working together for the past 18 months, and have adopted common definitions of service learning and volunteerism.

The event features guest speaker Julie Plaut, Executive Director of the Minnesota Campus Connect and former Director of Academic Initiatives for the National Campus Compact. Plaut’s work is grounded in an asset-based approach to collaboration and change, as well as a deep commitment to lifelong learning and engagement that contributes to sustainable communities. Students from Augustana College, Black Hawk College, St. Ambrose University, and Western Illinois University-Quad Cities will give presentations on their experiences in service learning, volunteerism and internships. The session concludes with breakout sessions to discuss these three broad areas of community service. 

A primary focus o f the group is to improve the quality and number of community engagement opportunities in the region, as well as ensure education as a key element to those experiences. The QC CEC seeks provide a virtual and physical space where businesses, nonprofit organizations, students and prospective students can visit to find out about community engagement opportunities. Additionally, the Consortium is interested in establishing an infrastructure that will facilitate program development at the member campuses.

Quad City Community Engagement Consortium Members:

Augustana College  (call Doug Tschopp, 309-794-7926)

Black Hawk College  (call Kim Armstrong, 309-796-5006)

Eastern Iowa Community College District (call Andrew Burt, 563-441-4303)

Iowa State University Extension (call Jen Best, 563-359-7577)

Monmouth College (call Daniel Reck, 309-457-2308)

Palmer College of Chiropractic (call Rita Nafzinger, 563-884-5454)

St. Ambrose University (call Stella O’Rourke, 563-333-6083)

University of Illinois Extension (call Jenny Garner, 309-756-9978, ext. 44)

Western Illinois University-Quad Cities Campus (call Marcia Carter, 309-762-9481 , ext. 62322)

Common Definitions:

Volunteerism is the engagement of students in activities where the primary emphasis is on the service being provided and the primary intended beneficiary is the service recipient.

Service learning is a method of experiential education by which students learn and develop through thoughtfully organized service that is integrated into and enhances the academic curriculum of the students enrolled is conducted in and meets the needs of a community and is coordinated with an educational institution, and with the community, helps foster civic responsibility includes intentional time for students to reflect on the service experience.