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Character Clearinghouse

Florida State University

Engagement Multiplied: The Impact of Dialogue across Difference in Fostering Civic Mindedness and Civic Identity as Professionals

Cheryl KeenPresenter: Cheryl Keen

Institution: Walden University

Professional Title: Core Faculty

Cheryl Keen has served students in several capacities while advancing the fields of experiential learning, civic education, global education, service-learning, engagement with diversity, and spirituality in higher education. Her co-authored book is Common Fire: Leading Lives of Commitment in a Complex World (Beacon Press, 1996). At Walden University, Cheryl is Core Faculty, Ph.D. in Education program. Previously she served as Dean at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio and as evaluator for the Bonner Foundation and Volunteers Exploring Vocation.


DAn RichardPresenter: Dan Richard

Institution: University of North Florida

Professional Title: Associate Professor of Psychology, Director Office of Faculty Enhancement

Dan Richard is an Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of North Florida and directs the Office of Faculty Enhancement. He leads collaborative research projects focusing on the long-term impacts of service learning and civic engagement and the assessment of learning outcomes for UNF’s Quality Enhancement Plan on community-based transformational learning. His honors seminar, “Is Revenge Sweet?” explores the psychological issues of individuals seeking revenge or forgiveness and has become legend among UNF students asking students to conduct community-focused service projects to support ex-offenders.



Service-learning programs seek to engage students in meaningful learning experiences that help students become civic-minded and engaged citizens who will respond to injustice and seek to meet communities’ needs. Although studies have demonstrated a link between service-learning activities and learning outcomes, few studies have observed the connection between widely-accepted pedagogical techniques and civic engagement as adults. Practical problems raised in service site settings can challenge students’ notions of fairness and the public good within the context of their budding professional lives (Schon, 1983; Sullivan & Rosin, 2008). Service learning experiences can assist in discerning one’s career and preparing one for the challenges of doing work on behalf of the common good, including facing the challenges of righting inequities. Civic-minded professionals likely are those who connect their professional identity with a call for community service and a responsibility to use one’s expertise and skill for the public good (Hatcher, 2008). The results confirm that the outcomes of civic engagement and dialogue produce deep and lasting consequences in the lives of students long after they leave college and become active in their careers and in their communities.

Learning outcomes:

  • gain insight into doing alumni research, options for use of preexisting survey tools, and ideas for data analysis
  • gain knowledge about the long-term impact of a 4-year service learning experience and what the factors were most associated with attitudes and values of civic minded professionals

About the Character Clearinghouse

Character Clearinghouse is an online center of information about research, curricula, and practices relating to the moral development of college students and features resources such as program descriptions, interviews, and other types of articles. […] Find out more »