Access to Engagement Fund
The Collaborative for Community Engagement developed a student fund in order to increase the accessibility of community engagement and learning by lowering barriers such as lack of transportation. Specifically, this Access to Engagement fund will help cover transportation costs of groups of students (4+) who have no existing transportation alternative for off-campus engagement opportunities. Funds are available for students to apply for on a rolling basis, however once funds are depleted they will no longer be accessible until the next academic year. Requests during the summer are available for distribution until June 30th. The total funding amount available through the Access to Engagement Fund for this year is $250; typical funding requests for student groups are $25-75. We will sponsor the renting of cars or vans from Facilities, as well as the cost the office charges for gas.
Students can find a cost calculator on the Facilities website through this link.
Additional options for local transportation can be found here.
Defining Engagement Opportunities
The CCE conceptualizes community engagement as collaborative efforts to democratically invest in the common good, contributing to the quality of life and shared futures of communities within and beyond campus. Community Partners can include non-profits, schools, government agencies, or community groups or associations. This definition, for the purposes of this fund, encompasses traditional volunteering and service (both ongoing commitments and one-time events); initiatives to raise awareness on campus; administrative or indirect work for community-based organizations and various other activities.
We define a learning opportunity as an event that helps students to understand the causes 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.
You can read more about community engagement opportunities on our website here, and more about learning opportunities here. If students have any remaining questions about what counts as an engagement opportunity, they are encouraged to reach out to the CCE (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In order to be eligible for these transportation funds, students’ need must be demonstrated in the following ways:
- Names of all students (including the student submitting the proposal) who are requesting transportation assistance
- There must be at least four interested individuals to apply
- Description of off-campus engagement opportunity
- Must be related to promoting a greater public good
- Can be a direct service opportunity or learning opportunity
- Includes but is not limited to work at a non-profit organization
- Confirmation that the off-campus engagement site is beyond walking distance from CC and is not near to an easily accessible public transit stop
- Acknowledgement that the student applying, and the remainder of students joining, do not have a car or other form of motorized transportation
While students are allowed to apply for funds on a rolling basis, the acceptance of student applications will be at the discretion of the Collaborative for Community Engagement staff. Strong preference will be given for applications that match the vision and values of our office, including one or more of the following criteria:
- An off-campus engagement opportunity with the potential, and intention, of turning into an ongoing partnership that will be institutionalized or supported more long-term in the future
- Engagement opportunities that involve one or more of the CCE’s High Impact Partner organizations
- Place-based learning opportunities that further student knowledge of Colorado Springs and the greater Southwest
Students who wish to request these funds must apply no later than one week prior to their expected engagement date. In the case of a long-term engagement opportunity that will require continuous transportation needs, additional information about the frequency and duration of engagement must be provided. All students who wish to access these funds will be required to fill out an application on Summit that will be discussed and either approved or denied by CCE staff members.
Once funds are received, students will be able to request official CC vans for the dates/times needed. All vans are located by the Van Briggle building, as well as the Facilities Office where students will pick up the keys on the day they requested to use the van(s).
In order to reserve a van, one of the students going on the trip must be (or become) an authorized CC driver. The Facilities Office is only open on weekdays, from 9-5pm, so students should plan accordingly.