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The Civic and Community Engagement (CIVCM) Minor consists of a balanced program of fieldwork experience and supporting coursework that is selected with the advice and consent of a minor advisor and approved on behalf of the minor by a program faculty member.

Administered by program faculty from across the University, the Intercollege Minor in Civic and Community Engagement is appropriate for undergraduate students who wish to apply domains of knowledge from their majors or general education programs to issues of consequence beyond the classroom in a manner that integrates academic and creative development with democratic principles of contribution to the community and nation.

In particular, the minor serves to encourage, recognize, and systematize student participation in public service or problem-based fieldwork and research that:

  • is substantial, sustained, and includes structured opportunities for student reflection and self-assessment
  • is integrated with and supported by traditional, classroom-based coursework.

Fieldwork experiences are selected from a list of eligible courses (or approved comparable alternatives). Supporting coursework includes a Conceptual Foundations course that provides students with a critical orientation to contemporary issues and themes in public scholarship.

The minor culminates with an approved capstone project, which may be a significant paper, annotated portfolio, or other demonstration of substantial reflection upon and integration of the minor experience and the broader issue of application of academic theory and practice in the civic community.

The Civic and Community Engagement Minor Committee is authorized to award a minor certificate to any undergraduate who, in addition to satisfying the degree requirements of his or her baccalaureate major, satisfies the requirements for the Civic and Community Engagement Minor. The completion of the minor is reflected by a formal notation on the student's official record at graduation.

To enter the program, a student must submit an application to the Civic and Community Engagement Minor Committee and:

  • Must have declared a major field of study.
  • Must have a minimum overall GPA of 2.0.
  • Must present a proposed plan of study in the application process. The plan of study should include the student's contact information and GPA, a brief statement of the student's learning objectives in connection with the major, proposed supporting courses (include description of course and syllabus, if available), proposed fieldwork courses (include information about fieldwork, supervision, and reflection), and faculty advisor endorsement of the plan. Minor proposals must be approved by the student's major faculty advisor and the committee.
  • May apply no more than nine (9) credits towards the minor that also count towards the major. Past fieldwork experiences and completed courses may be retroactively included in the plan of study, but must be approved by the major advisor and the committee.

A grade of C or better is required for all courses in the minor.

Scheduling Recommendation by Semester Standing given like (Sem: 1-2)

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR: 18 credits

PRESCRIBED COURSES (3 credits)
YFE 211(3) (Sem: 5)              *Offered in the spring at Beaver and University Park campuses

SUPPORTING COURSES AND RELATED AREAS (15 credits)
- Select 6-9 credits from the Program List of Public Scholarship courses of which at least three (3) credits involve supervised field experience (Sem: 5-8)
- Select 3-6 credits in consultation with an academic advisor with at least 3 credits at the 400 level (Sem: 5-8)
- Select 3 credits of Public Scholarship capstone work at the 400 level in consultation with academic advisor (Sem: 7-8)

*NOTE: The list of approved courses for the CIVCOM minor varies throughout Penn State locations. A course approved by the Penn State Beaver committee might not satisfy a minor requirement at another campus or even at the same campus if taught by a different instructor. Check with the campus committee to confirm past and future course offerings that satisfy the minor.

For more information, contact:
Dr. JoAnn Chirico, Senior Instructor in Sociology
724-773-3846