At Anoka Ramsey Community College, Professor Mo Janzen uses civic engagement projects in her Introduction to Ethics class (Phil: 1110). Civic engagement projects serve a central role in this class, as it helps student unite their theoretical understanding of ethical theories with the practical challenges of how to live better lives in the world. Civic engagement projects ask students to think of others, in addition to themselves. As they write about the project, they grapple with important concepts from our class discussions. There are five required sections to their project write ups:
- An introduction section asks them to describe their project and explain its relation to ethics and ethical values.
- An investigations section requires students to research the topic, find how others may have conducted similar work, and think of effective ways to carry out their work.
- A theoretical applications section asks students to apply an ethical theory learned in class to their work on their project. This allows students to “test out” a theory and see how it helps provide moral justification for their work, allows them to see where the theory may have limitations, and gives them a context in which to measure whether they themselves can live up to the requirements of the ethical theory.
- A section where they describe the actions they took as part of their projects and whether these actions fall into the category of justice, charity, or both.
- A final section of their writing where they describe their accomplishments, the practical skills they have gained, and directions for future students who might want to pick up where they left off.
Mission of Anoka Ramsey Community College: Anoka-Ramsey is an open door; comprehensive higher education institution committed to excellence in teaching and learning. Anoka-Ramsey is committed to responding to the educational needs of its changing communities and to providing opportunities for enhancing knowledge, skills, and values in a supportive learning environment.