"Education can, and should, be holistic. Engagement is indispensible to learning." Keith Donnelly, YFE 211 student, Fall 2008
Why community engagement?
- Students put what they learn in the classroom into practice by working directly with local community organizations.
- Service and research projects directly benefit local businesses and community groups.
- Students and faculty are challenged to explore their subject matter in a broader context, and consider how it relates to the world outside the classroom.
- Community engagement has been linked to improved academic outcomes for students, and to increased student interest and retention.
When students take Professor Lori Hepner's Introduction to Photography course, they are introduced to the aesthetics, history, and science of photography, and explore photography as an art form as well as an important medium in commercial applications, science, industry, news and journalism. Through a series of hands-on projects, students practice a variety of digital photography techniques and styles. This interactive course provides excellent opportunities for community engagement. Each semester, photography students partner with local community organizations to complete a photojournalism project. Each student visits his or her chosen nonprofit multiple times to learn about the organization's mission and to take photographs. Final photo stories consist of a series of carefully chosen, edited and captioned images that tell a story about the partner organization. These photo stories are shared with our nonprofit partners, who are encouraged to use the images for their organizational needs.
The above photograph was taken by Alexis Joseph, Fall 2009 PHOTO 100 student.
To see more photographs from the PHOTO 100 class, please visit our Fall 2009 PHOTO 100 Gallery.
Students with a declared major and a minimum GPA of 2.0 can earn a minor in Civic and Community Engagement (CIVCM). More information on the Civic and Community Engagement Minor and academic requirements can be found in the University Bulletin.
Find out about off-campus volunteer opportunities through Pittsburgh Cares.
For more information on community engagement projects at Penn State Greater Allegheny, contact Dr. Margaret Signorella, Director of Academic Affairs, at: firstname.lastname@example.org or (412) 675-9052.