2016-2020 Issues and Actions



Over a 2-year period between 2013 and 2015, Dr. Petersen consulted with leading international researchers and activists in civic, community and democratic engagement to explore their views about the most important work needing to be undertaken over the coming years. Using these insights, Petersen worked with the leading civic engagement professionals in New Jersey to outline the ‘Issues of our Time’. Finally during this period, the NJCC statewide membership, board of directors, and state office identified the specific actions that will be undertaken in order to promote positive and lasting outcomes with respect to:


Promoting the social
application of academic
excellence among the student body

  • Demonstrating civic engagement as a proven strategy to increase student success
  • Demonstrating clear connections between learning and life with developmental models and milestones for civic learning
  • Highlighting civic minded professionalism and its importance for this generation’s career prospects

Increasing the recognition of diverse forms of faculty engagement

  • Increasing an understanding of the importance and legitimacy of engaged scholarship
  • Building the network and supports for faculty engaged scholars with, Roundtables on Engaged Scholarship, and team-based institutes on roles and rewards, in particular in support of engaged scholarship

Improving social connectedness

  • Increasing an understanding of the importance and legitimacy of engaged scholarship
  • Building the network and supports for faculty engaged scholars with, Roundtables on Engaged Scholarship, and team-based institutes on roles and rewards, in particular in support of engaged scholarship

Expanding opportunities for democratic engagement

  • Acting on the growing evidence in support of a collective impact approach to citywide issues
  • Promoting civic engagement as a strategy to increase student commitment to local communities and New Jersey

The case is made for the issue areas by following the links above or by downloading the Issues Report.


Key Initiative: Developmental Models and Milestones for Civic Learning

PHASE 1 – In 2015, NJ Campus Compact convened a first of its kind in the national summit of practitioners and faculty who manage multi-year student civic learning programs. The summit took place at The College of New Jersey and was sponsored by the Campus Compact state offices of New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania, in close partnership with the Bonner Foundation.

Facilitated by Rick Battastoni and Nick Longo, the summit was well attended by key leaders from TCNJ, Drew University, Rutgers University, Montclair University, St. Johns University, Wagner College, Nazareth College, Siena College, Messiah College, Gettysburg University, UPenn, DePaul University, Tufts University, UMass Boston, Providence College, and Hobart and William Smith Colleges.

This leadership opportunity provided invited guests the chance to help shape our collective knowledge of civic learning models and milestones, while also affording guests a valuable opportunity to deepen their understanding of current practices and associated outcomes.


PHASE II – Academic Excellence, Socially Applied: A Review of Multi-Year Student Civic Learning Programs. Spring 2016 The goal of this report is to outline how various types of institutions established and now manage their program. The report will be used to inform others in New Jersey how to build a mission-distinct program that is academically connected and spans the length of the student’s college experience, whether at a 2- year or 4-year or a partnership of the two.

1. What are the number of distinct kinds of developmental models and how are the distinctions between them?
2. What are the different ways and capacities to get started?
3. How are their programs similar and different – size, staffing, curricular / other, credit bearing /other, funding, # students, graduate requirements?
4. What are the various funding strategies for management, faculty, and students?
5. What might the anticipated results of these programs be for:

a. Institutional priorities (branding, retention, success, alumni)
b. Career/grad school readiness
c. Community prosperity, cohesion


PHASE III – New Program Development in New Jersey. Fall 2016 Based on lessons learned and information provided in the report, New Jersey Campus Compact will work with a cohort of 2 to 4 schools to develop new programs, expanding to 4 additional schools by 2020. There will be an opportunity for a major funder to name the program.


Key Initiative: Equity, Engaged Scholarship, and the Collaborative Edge in a Diverse, 21st Century Academy

2016 – 2020 Institutes Series

It is commonplace for college campuses to say they foster inclusive excellence and support diverse faculty and diverse forms of scholarship. However, the rubber hits the road in how departments, colleges, and institutions organize their reward systems. By reward systems we mean all of the ways faculty are recruited, retained, evaluated, advanced and recognized.

As a key component of New Jersey Campus Compact’s 2015-2020 priority issues and actions, we are partnering with Dr. KerryAnn O’Meara to offer a series of one-day Institutes for teams of chief academic officers, associate provosts, academic deans, chief diversity officers, union representatives and key community engagement professionals. Each Institute takes place on the campus of the registered team and is designed to work solely with that one team’s interests. We invite you to develop an institute with us to consider equity-minded reforms in your academic reward systems that support diverse faculty and diverse forms of scholarship, with particular attention to engaged scholarship.


Questions we can Probe During the Institute

1. Why might a closer review and consideration of such policies be important – trends, benefits, impacts, research funding, competition v collaboration?
2. How do current policies regarding hiring, promotion and tenure, workload and rewards more broadly reflect your institutional identity, values, and priorities regarding engaged scholarship and inclusive excellence?
3. What policies currently at your institution a) already reflect or
b) might be altered slightly to ensure an equity-imperative?


2016 events are sold out. Please provide two dates during the 2017 or 2018 academic year that will work for your group and let us know by email as soon as possible, at njcc@stockton.edu.


Members: $800 per Team for a one-day Institute

Non-Members: $3500 per Team for a one-day Institute

Key Initiative: Statewide VISTA Project - Supporting Multi-Sector Partnership Capacity to Tackle Large-Scale Community Challenges

Year 1 (2015) – The New Jersey Campus Compact Collective Impact VISTA Project developed full-time staffing support for 11 existing multi-sector partnerships focused on:

  • Increasing educational access and success
  • Increasing economic opportunity
  • Improving access to care, and
  • Reducing crime and substance abuse

These efforts are focused in the first year of the project in the cities of Trenton, Newark, Camden, Asbury Park, New Brunswick, and Passaic County. Year 2 and 3

(2016 – 2018) – The project is planning an expansion into Atlantic City, Jersey City, and the City of Orange, with opportunities for further urban districts depending on eligibility. Key features in years 2 and 3 include:

  • Strengthening opportunities for peer learning and supports among the project managers
  • Supporting emerging projects’ undergoing a theory of change process
  • Building increased opportunities for systematic higher education engagement in multi-sector partnerships
  • Committing efforts to sustaining the proven products of VISTA members’ work
  • Telling the story of impact, the positive changes to individual lives, to broader constituencies
  • Spreading awareness where large-scale and positive changes are taking place

For more information, please contact Project Manager, Afnan Rashid, at arashid@bonner.org

Key Initiative (planning phase): Commitment to Place - Building Career Pathways and a Competitive Workforce Through Multi-Year Purposeful Engagements with Local Community Partners and Businesses

NJCC Executive Director, Dr. Saul Petersen, is beginning discussions with members of the business sector and key community engagement professionals to outline a 3 year initiative that builds student graduates’ commitment to local communities, particularly as an outcome of connecting community engagement to student success and innovative, meaningful career pathways.

Their primary objective will be to collaboratively design experiences that build student skills, both hard and soft, as well as character, so as to improve employability, competitiveness, and a sense of purpose to students’ career focus.

If you wish to be involved, please contact Dr. Saul Petersen at njcc@stockton.edu