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A New Alliance for Service Learning and Community Engagement To Cultivate Citizens with an Ecocentric Vision of Justice

Melanie G Keel, Catherine Wright, Allison Kellar


As instructors at [University], a core conviction informs the service learning and community engagement (SLCE) courses we have designed: we cannot have thriving human communities, robust democratic citizenship, and authentic community/civic engagement when the ecological systems upon which all life depends, now and in the future, are ignored and ruined. Institutions of higher education need to use sustainability as an organizing tenet for SLCE and to achieve this, intentional collaboration must be made between SLCE and a sister discipline: sustainability in higher education (SHE). This article presents prototypes for SLCE-SHE partnerships. The preliminary qualitative data from these SLCE courses at [University] shows that strategic SLCE-SHE alliances cultivate the attitudes, goals, and learning outcomes sought by both disciplines in creative and perhaps, more adequate ways. When SLCE seriously attends to ecological sustainability -- when it becomes intentionally ecocentric -- place-engaged, ecologically literate, planetary citizens who value eco-social justice can be cultivated.


community engagement; sustainability; domestic travel

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Partnerships is sponsored by North Carolina Campus Compact, and hosted by the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. ISSN: 1944-1061
Creative Commons License