Project Title: Civic Engagement Project Mapping

Faculty Sponsor: Jacob Blumner

Department: University Outreach



Project Description: University Outreach has begun a mapping exercise using Google Maps to demonstrate the locations and type of community engagement work it participates in. This project will serve to analyze the geographic distribution of community engaged work: including service learning courses, commitment to service host sites, and externally funded projects. This data will then be compared to socio-economic parameters available from the U.S. Census including income, age, and race.

Research questions for the project are:

  1. How do other higher education institutions track their community engaged work?
  2. Do other institutions look at geography to determine potential projects?
  3. Are there areas where Outreach could grow programs (opportunities)?
  4. Does Outreach programming serving populations that represent similar demographics of the community?

Student Tasks & Responsibilities:  

  1. Perform literature searches regarding tracking of civic engagement projects
  2. Gather data from University Outreach staff regarding names, locations, and scope of community engaged projects
  3. Use geographic information systems (GIS) to map projects by type and scope
  4. Draw conclusions from geographic distribution of projects: identify gaps and density of projects if applicable
  5. Compare geographic distribution of projects to socio-economic data
  6. Write brief summary and conclusions of mapping project for Outreach staff to develop further 

Minimum Student Qualifications:  

  1. Curious nature and critical thinker
  2. Self-motivated and directed
  3. Must have completed or be currently enrolled in RPL 370: Geographic Information Systems

Proposed Starting Date: 01/28/2014

Proposed Ending Date: 12/23/2014