The Center for Civic Engagement encourages students, faculty, and staff to become active citizens involved in their communities by providing opportunities and resources to engage in service-oriented, community activities. The Center operates out of LSC-Kingwood under the directorship of Dr. Jay Theis who seeks to "empower students to solve problems by actually doing something instead of just electing a leader and waiting for them to solve the problem."
Public Achievement is a significant program at the Center for Civic Engagement, a program in which LSC student coaches are trained on how to draw on the talents and desires of ordinary people to build a better world and to create a different kind of politics. These coaches then go out and work with various levels of students in the community, including high school and special needs students. Coaches guide students at their assigned sites in identifying issues they want to do something about in their community, researching the issue, developing and then implementing an action plan. These issues can range from something parochial, such as improving school lunches or developing a teen center, to more global issues, such as bullying, drug use, and saving animals. "Public Achievement gives students real-life experiences in politics, with all of the frustrations, let-downs, joys and success," says Dr. Theis. In addition to Public Achievement, there are numerous other ways to get involved in the Center for Civic Engagement including the Hunger Banquet, the Human Library, Alternative Spring Break, and Deliberative Dialogue.
Dr. Theis explains that funds from the Lone Star College Foundation are integral in the Civic Engagement program, especially in sending students to the American Democracy Project/Democracy Commitment summer conference where the students talk about their experiences and involvement in civic engagement, learn about exciting new tools to expand their campus engagement, and develop connections to other students across the country as they build partnerships in doing Democracy’s work.
More information can be found about the Center for Civic Engagement at www.lonestar.edu/LSC-Kingwood-Civic-Engagement. For more information on supporting the Center for Civic Engagement via a donation to the Lone Star College Foundation, visit www.lonestar.edu/giving or contact the Office of College Advancement at 832.813.6592.
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