In 2000, Central College created a new academic program dedicated to developing community partnerships to support the integration of service-learning and civic engagement into the core curriculum.
Over the past 20+ years, Central’s community-based learning program has grown from a mere idea into a robust, holistic, nationally recognized and award-winning program benefiting thousands of students. In fact, more than 80% of all recent Central graduates have engaged in service-learning at least once during their Central career.
Cheri Trout Doane ’98, director of civic engagement, has been the driving force behind this program. If you’ve spent any time with Cheri, you’ve likely heard her talk about a “Copernican shift,” and how her approach to civic engagement always puts community at the center. She’s remained steadfast in this approach. Through the years, her leadership has resulted in authentic, mutually beneficial engagement with well over 150 community partners in our local and regional communities.
In addition to direct work with students and partners, this program would not be successful without effective collaboration with Central’s faculty.
"One of Cheri’s greatest contributions to service-learning and civic engagement at Central has been through faculty development. Generations of faculty have been supported to develop courses and learned how to design reflection assignments that truly enhance students’ learning from their service experiences."
~ Peggy Fitch, professor emeritus of psychology and Title IX coordinator and equity officer
At the heart of this work is Central’s mission to develop “values essential to responsible citizenship, empowering graduates for effective service in local, national and international communities.”
As Cheri prepares to pass the torch with her retirement this year, Central seeks to honor her and aid the service-learning program. Generations of faculty, staff and students have become more effective and engaged citizens thanks to Cheri’s contributions — and will continue to do so with your support.
If you would like to celebrate Cheri's many years of service with a gift in her honor, please choose one of the buttons to make your gift today.
Thank you for your consideration.
Jess Klyn de Novelo ’05
Associate Dean for Career Development and Civic Engagement
(And Cheri’s colleague of 16 years.)