What is a learning opportunity?
A learning opportunity is an event that helps students to understand the causes, consequences of, and strategies for change in the social or environmental problems in which they engage. These can be lectures, panels, conference presentations, discussions, or short courses hosted by campus entities or community organizations.
- By "causes" we mean identifying and analyzing the root sources of problems - how problems arise and how they are maintained. For example, a documentary on how standardized tests increase the achievement gap.
- By "consequences of" problems we mean the impacts of issues on real human communities and environments -- examining the "so what?" factor. For example, a lecture examining the consequences of fracking on human health.
- By "strategies for change" we mean interventions and proposed solutions -- focusing on how we best address social problems and work toward change. For example, a panel on antiracism in personal interactions.
Other Criteria of Learning Opportunities:
- Can be on or off-campus, hosted by academic departments, campus offices, or partner organizations.
- Must last at least one hour.
- Each opportunity used to fulfill the requirements of the program must occur on separate days, in order to spread out learning and give students time to process (iecannot count a longer conference as two learning opportunities or attend back-to-back lectures).
Learning Opportunities at CC
The vast majority of the co-curricular learning opportunities will be one-time events. Keep an eye out for these events by visiting our Engagement Calendar on the CCE website or through the Summit site (click on Calendar in the top menu). On the Summit site, you can filter the calendar to view learning opportunities (we are working on building this feature into our website as well).
Additionally, we encourage you to keep an eye out for programming from the following offices, who regularly offer learning opportunities on campus.
Wellness Resource Center
Watch the WRC website for talks or panels that would help you better understand social challenges around health and wellness, and how to engage in these issues.
Keep an eye on the events listings of the Butler Center for talks and discussions that will help you better understand issues around identity and diversity, and how to create a more inclusive, equitable world.
Check out the Career Center blog to see if they’re hosting talks that might help you reflect on how to use your future career to continue to engage with the community (strategies for change).
Intellectual, Moral, and Social Developmental Goals:
Learning Opportunities and Post-Event Reflections aim to:
- Enable students to better situate community work within larger societal issues and structures and gain more realistic, nuanced understandings of social problems and solutions.
- Help students better articulate their personal philosophy of engagement, including why they engage and what engagement means to them.
- Encourage students to be more analytical and intentional during their engagement, and contribute to the community in more informed, thoughtful ways.
- Cultivate empathy through providing students space to reflect on experiences in which they interact with diverse groups and consider how environments and social forces influence individual lives, life chances, thoughts, behaviors, and potentials.
- Promote self-reflection and intentionality, motivating students to critically examine their own lives and bear in mind the social consequences of personal actions and decisions.
- Foster critical self-awareness of students’ social location, identities, privileges, and disadvantages, and the ways they may be implicated in structures of difference and inequality.
- Awaken students’ hope and obligation to build a more just, humane world, and developing confidence in their ability to influence positive social change.