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ERIC Number: EJ1120316
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 15
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-2159-9823
"To See How Far I Can Go": Benefits of "Fun" in Encouraging Civic Engagement and Building Self-Efficacy among New York Community College Students
Naish, Paul D.
Journal of Public Scholarship in Higher Education, v5 p111-125 2015
Community Days, an innovative initiative to foster community service and civic engagement at the City University of New York's new Guttman Community College, encourages students to perform volunteer work around the city. What makes the program unique are opportunities for students to take self-directed excursions and enjoy free resources in the city--activities not usually associated with service-learning. Including a component that the students identify as "Fun Day" in a program dedicated to volunteer service strengthens the program and increases the enthusiasm of the participants. This essay examines reflections completed by the students after participating in Community Days, considering their initial expectations and apprehensions, their experiences in unfamiliar environments, and the connections they draw between community service and "fun." These reflections suggest that the two program components reinforce one another in building social capital. Independently navigating unfamiliar areas of the city challenges them and builds their sense of autonomy and control. Successfully completing new challenges, however simple--whether serving meals in a soup kitchen or riding the Staten Island Ferry--gives them an experience of earned success. Because Guttman allows the students agency to decide how (and ultimately if) they will participate, they take full possession of their accomplishments.
Missouri Campus Compact, Missouri State University. 901 S. National Avenue, Springfield, MO 65897; Tel: 417-836-3104; Fax: 417-836-3105; -e-mail: jpshe@missouristateledu; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Two Year Colleges; Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: New York (New York)
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A