Community Engagement Program
The Community Engagement Program (CEP) at Georgetown University is at the heart of our educational ethos. Through the process of structured academic learning and field experiences, the program addresses the needs and issues affecting our local and international communities, and encourages within our students the values of global citizenship. With a base in Georgetown's Jesuit values, the program emphasizes critical reflection through personal, experience-based learning and analytical writing and discussion.
Following 30 hours of intensive instruction in the classroom on the chosen theme, CEP participants travel to a selected location where they can study their theme in action. Community Engagement trips, which last from a week to ten days, take place during the Spring and Summer holidays and are quite physically demanding. During these trips, students learn about the ways in which communities respond and deal with issues such as access to education and health care, gender parity, governance, and development. Our students do not only participate, but they are also actively involved in the ideation, management, and any follow-up activities.
Georgetown has been the first among the six universities in Education City to include service learning, internationally and nationally, as a regular feature in the academic calendar. Students who participate in service learning trips do so in conjunction with a curriculum of lectures, movies, and readings that prepare them to fully engage with the projects on site.
CEP Learning Outcomes
The Community Engagement Program has 4 primary learning outcomes for all student participants:
- Gain theory-based and practical understanding of the year's global theme
- Develop self-awareness and self-reflection
- Work on leadership and teamwork skills
- Demonstrate a commitment to social justice
Disaster Management - Philippines - 2016
The theme for the 2015-16 academic year was Disaster Management. CEP 2016 participants completed an extensive training to receive the Disaster Management Certification from the Qatar Red Crescent Society, before traveling to the Philippines as a case study for the theme. In the Philippines, students traveled to Cebu City and Bantayan Island to meet with local stakeholders in Disaster Management and to work with a community displaced by Typhoon Haiyan.
Education and Development - Sri Lanka - 2015
The 2014-15 Community Engagement Program focused on the theme of Education and Development. The curriculum for the program was designed to incorporate issues including the history of education, overseas development aid and education, the Millennium Development Goals, education and innovation, and the social and legal aspects of education. Students traveled to Sri Lanka to learn about the impact of education policies in the creation and continuation of the civil war. They also studied the role of education in peace-building.
Labor Migration - Philippines and USA - 2014
Economic Development - Vietnam - 2013
The students studied the impact of economic development in the post-conflict years of Vietnamese history. They worked with a local organisation to study the emerging trends of economic activity in the country. In addition, they learnt about the impact of eco-tourism as a holistic approach to dealing with the economy and spent a week working on the field in Ninh Binh.
Disaster Management - Sri Lanka - 2012
During Spring Break, 15 students went to Sri Lanka to work with Habitat for Humanity and conduct research on the effects of national policies following the devastation of the 2004 tsunami.
Economic Development - Bangladesh - 2011
During Spring Break, sixteen students ventured to the capital city of Dhaka to observe microfinance and economic development firsthand, and to speak with experts including Muhammad Yunus, winner of the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize. The group then traveled to Satkhira District, where they spent five days working alongside local volunteers on houses with Habitat for Humanity.
Disaster Management - USA - 2010
In June of 2010, eight students from Qatar teamed up with eight from the DC campus to help in the rebuilding effort in New Orleans, Louisiana and Biloxi, Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina. In the process, they met with organizations in both Washington and the afflicted areas to learn about the long-term relief efforts that continue years after a disaster.
Disaster Management - China - 2010
Following the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan Province in China, nine students from Doha ventured to the disaster area to engage in rebuilding efforts in the region north of Chengdu. Prior to the trip, all of the students earned certification in Disaster Management from the Qatar Red Crescent, providing them unique insight into the situation in China.
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