Reflective Essay

For students planning to graduate in Spring 2024, the reflective essay is due Friday, March 15, 2024.

The final requirement of the Certificate of Community Engagement is the reflective essay, written during the semester in which you will graduate. In this essay, you will reflect on the intersection of theory and practice as you have completed your Certificate courses and engagement in the community.

Formatting & Submission: Complete each of the three parts below. Your essay needs to be typed, double-spaced and in a standard font. Submit your essay as a Word doc or PDF by emailing it to [email protected]. (Note: please send the actual file and not a OneDrive link to the file.) The minimum word count is 1,200 words. For citations, you may use Chicago, MLA, or APA style.

Part 1

For each Service Learning course you have taken, reflect on how the material you learned “in class” affected your experience of working in the community, and how working in the community impacted your learning of the material for the course. You may respond to the following or similar questions:

  • How did your experience in the community enhance or deepen your knowledge of the course content — and/or how did it challenge the course content?
  • How was your learning affected by your work in the community?
  • How did community engagement allow you to learn in ways that are different from courses without community engagement?

Part 2

For each Community Engaged Theory course you have taken, complete these 3 steps:

  • Describe a social issue or community challenge that the course explored.
  • Next, discuss some of the key ideas/concepts the course used to understand that issue/challenge in a deeper or more complex way.
  • Finally, describe some ways this issue/challenge can be resolved: these can include steps a local community can take, broader changes in society, and/or laws/policies that activists can pursue.

Part 3

Finally, reflect on the work you did with your community partner(s). What are some things your experiences have taught you about (a) effectively addressing the needs of the community and (b) how you can contribute in the future to transforming communities that you are a part of?