Learning and Community Engagement Committee
Thank you for visiting our website on engaged learning at Winona State University. The Learning and Community Engagement Committee (LaCE) was established in August 2007, and is made up of teaching faculty, students, service faculty, staff, and administration. Our work is at the core of WSU’s commitment to the national Campus Compact coalition. Campus Compact is made up of more than 1,100 college and university presidents—representing some 6 million students—who are committed to fulfilling the civic purposes of higher education. As the only national higher education association dedicated solely to campus-based civic engagement, Campus Compact promotes public and community service that develops students’ citizenship skills, helps campuses forge effective community partnerships, and provides resources and training for faculty seeking to integrate civic and community-based learning into the curriculum. Since 2007 the successes celebrated by the LaCE committee have affirmed the power and responsibility of WSU to teach our students in ways that connected them to relevant and authentic need.
Our mission is to advance the concept of engagement at Winona State University as a form of pedagogy and scholarship - one that can develop our students’ civic intelligence along side of their academic intelligence, that can help students discover a sense of purpose in their education, and that can empower them to contribute to the community in ways that are meaningful to the community as well as themselves.
For WSU and for the Winona community, partnering around year-long themes has proven to be an effective model for bringing teaching faculty and community members and organizations to the engagement table. We organize our engagement efforts around an all-campus yearly theme, involving thousands of students and community members in a variety of class projects, lectures, common book reading, theatre and dance productions, and other celebrations and projects around the theme. We offer resources and guidance for teaching faculty to launch community projects, including mini curriculum grants for developing engaged course components around the theme, and community-connection workshops to help foster new partnerships. Academic service opportunities for students have expanded exponentially, and are now available in over a third of our programs and in all of our colleges. Each spring the committee presents the Presidential Engaged Partnership Celebration, awarding students, faculty, and community partners for their work over the year. The work of the LaCE Committee and our community-engaged teaching faculty and students is an important element in the WSU mission.