Document Type


Publication Date

Summer 2003





Publication Title

The Review of Higher Education

First Page


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"Students who volunteer in the community often end up staying or coming back after they graduate because they find out they can make a difference;' reports one economic development director in West Virginia. He and other community leaders agreed that getting college students involved in community activities not only had short-term benefits for the community but that often their experiences led to long-term gains for community life. This finding is important in a time when scholars, politicians, and pundits argue that a crisis of civic disengagement affects American politics. As a partial remedy for this crisis, educators have linked partnerships with community organizations with various experiential teaching techniques to educate university and college students about the value of civic engagement. For example, as part of its proposal for a learning society, the Kellogg Commission on the Future of State and Land-Grant Universities recommended that higher education institutions improve student learning through "partnerships with government, business and professional associations." Further, it argued: "Teaching methods that involve students in active learning, such as undergraduate research, service learning, and workplace internships should be viewed as among the most powerful of teaching procedures, if the teaching goal is lasting learning that can be used to shape student's lives and the world" (Kellogg Commission, 1999, pp. 19, 29).