Penn State's Intercollege Minor in Civic and Community Engagement, instituted in 1994, allows Penn State students to integrate their academic and creative work with their interest in serving the public good. Through course work, research, and community field work, the minor cultivates student understanding of the connections between knowledge, scholarship, and the obligation to participate in and contribute to public issues in democratic society.
The minor consists of a balanced program of fieldwork experience and supporting coursework that is selected with the advice and consent of a minor advisor and approved on behalf of the minor by a program faculty.
Administered by a program faculty drawn from across the University, the Intercollege Minor in Civic and Community Engagement is appropriate to undergraduate students seeking to apply domains of knowledge from their majors or General Education programs to issues of consequence beyond the classroom in a manner that integrates academic and creative development with democratic principles of contribution to the community and nation. In particular, the minor serves to encourage, recognize, and systematize student participation in public service or problem-based fieldwork and research that:
- is substantial, sustained, and includes structured opportunities for student reflection and self assessment; and
- is integrated with and supported by traditional, classroom-based coursework.
Fieldwork experiences are selected from a list of eligible courses (or approved comparable alternatives), and supporting coursework includes a conceptual foundations course that provides students with a critical orientation to contemporary issues and themes in public scholarship. The minor culminates with an approved capstone project, which may be a significant paper, or annotated portfolio, or other demonstration of substantial reflection upon and integration of the minor experience and the broader issue of application of academic theory and practice in the civic community.
The Civic and Community Engagement Minor Committee is authorized to award a minor certificate to any undergraduate who, in addition to satisfying the degree requirements of his or her baccalaureate major, satisfies the requirements for the Civic and Community Engagement Minor. The completion of the minor is reflected by a formal notation of the student's official record at the time of graduation. To enter the program, a student must submit an application to the committee. Applicants to the minor in Civic and Community Engagement:
- Must have declared a major field of study.
- Must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.0.
- Must present a proposed plan of study in the application process. The plan of study should include student's contact information and GPA, a brief statement of student's learning objectives in connection with the major, proposed supporting courses (include description of course and syllabus if available), proposed fieldwork courses (include information about fieldwork, supervision, and reflection), and faculty adviser endorsement of the plan. Minor proposals must be approved by the student's major faculty adviser and the committee.
- May apply no more than 9 credits toward the minor that also count toward the major. Past fieldwork experiences and completed courses may be retroactively included in the plan of study, but must be approved by the major adviser and the committee.
Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem: 1-2)
A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor.
REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR: 18 credits
PRESCRIBED COURSES (3 credits)
YFE 211(3) (Sem: 5) *Offered in the Spring at Schuylkill Campus and UP
SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (15 credits)
Select 6-9 credits from Program List of public scholarship courses, of which at least 3 credits involve supervised field experience (Sem: 5-8)
Select 3-6 credits in consultation with academic adviser, with at least 3 credits at the 400 level (Sem: 5-8)
Select 3 credits of public scholarship capstone work at the 400 level in consultation with academic adviser (Sem: 7-8)
*NOTE: The list of approved courses for the CIVCOM minor varies across Penn State campuses. A course approved by the Penn State Schuylkill Campus committee may not satisfy a minor requirement at another campus or even at the same campus if taught by a different instructor. Check with the campus committee to confirm past and future course offerings that satisfy the minor.
Dr. Elinor Madigan, Program Coordinator, Penn State Schuylkill, 570-385-6050
For more information about The Laboratory for Public Scholarship and Democracy go to:
Students interested in applying for this minor should print and complete the Entrance to Minor Form located at:
This form must be signed by your major adviser at Penn State Schuylkill .