The ideals of Hendrix
College’s Statement of
Purpose are fostered from the moment
students arrive on campus to the moment they graduate. With core support
from a recently established Office for Community Partnerships, Hendrix College
has a decentralized model of community engagement which allows for the organic
development and implementation of a diverse array of partnerships, curricular
and co-curricular, that serve both the public and our students. A series of
longstanding programs also foster civic engagement work during students’ time
at Hendrix and prepare them for a life of public service.
Students’ opportunities for
“engagement that links the classroom with the world” for the promotion of
“diversity, inclusion, justice, and sustainable living” begin with the
College’s distinctive first semester course The Engaged Citizen. This seminar course seeks to illuminate the
multiplicity of possible interpretations of engaging as a citizen through
interdisciplinary team teaching, in which pairs of faculty from across the
institution come together to explore a sub-topic from different methodological
"ways of knowing." The course includes an engaged learning component,
involving an introductory, hands‑on activity that engages academic material in
or outside the classroom and is tied to the content of the course. The Engaged Citizen course sets the
stage for Hendrix students to pursue their own pathways for civic engagement
across their time at Hendrix.
Community Engaged Courses
Beyond the first-year-required
The Engaged Citizen courses, some
faculty incorporate community engaged learning opportunities into their regular
courses. For example, a computer science professor uses his upper-level Databases and Web Systems course as a
way for students to apply their knowledge and skills to real challenges. By
pairing small groups of students with local nonprofits, the course gives students
a chance to practice working as a team and interacting with a client by
preparing a technological solution to a practical need of the organization.
Each year, students complete
civic engagement-related projects through the Odyssey program. From internships with elected officials in
Washington or Little Rock, to the publication of undergraduate research
projects on public policies, to examination of education systems in other
nations, to periods of service with advocacy groups, Hendrix students dedicate
innumerable hours of their lives each year to civic engagement. Through this
work, our students come to better understand themselves and their communities.
Odyssey Professorships, an extension of the Hendrix Odyssey Program,
carry an endowment to support faculty projects that create new engaged learning
opportunities for students. Individual faculty members or small groups of
faculty members may apply on a competitive basis for the professorships. Many
Odyssey Professorships include a community partnership element.
the student body president in 1949, Campus Kitty is a student-run philanthropic organization that
raises money and awareness through campus events for charitable organizations
in central Arkansas. Members of the organization gain management experience through
reviewing proposals from community organizations, making funding decisions,
communicating with nonprofit partners, promoting those partners across campus,
and organizing events. Campus Kitty has raised more than $118,000 over the past
five years for a variety of community organizations.
Volunteer Action Committee
The Volunteer Action Committee is a
student-led organization that organizes and leads volunteer and service
projects throughout central Arkansas. Projects range from weekly Service
Saturdays with various organizations to monthly dinner preparation at Bethlehem
House, a transitional housing shelter, to regular one-on-one mentoring with 4th
graders at Ida Burns Elementary School. VAC also takes the lead on special
projects as need arises such as organizing a relief effort following a tornado
that hit the nearby communities of Vilonia and Mayflower in 2014.
extracurricular scholarship program of the Miller Center for Ethics, Vocation,
and Calling, Service Scholars are students who
have worked effectively and enthusiastically with volunteer projects during
their junior and senior years in high school, commit to volunteering regularly
while in college, and demonstrate a resolve to make leadership through service
a part of their future. Service Scholars participate in a program with two
components: community service and vocational reflection.
Through the Arkansas Policy Program, a new
undergraduate “think tank,” students conduct research and provide nonpartisan,
original analyses of key public policy issues in the state. For example, students
have partnered with the Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families, Disability
Rights Arkansas, and the Arkansas Public Policy Panel with research and
reporting citizens’ perspectives on teacher recruitment and retention, reforms
to the state’s Families in Need of Services program, and protecting safe
drinking water in the state.
Talk Business and Politics is a Little
Rock-based multi-media news outlet that covers business, politics, and culture
across Arkansas. Since 2010, Talk Business and Politics founder Roby Brock and
Hendrix politics professor Jay Barth have partnered on a polling project that surveys Arkansans’ views on candidates and
issues. This partnership offers students the chance to contribute to the
design, implementation, and analysis of surveys and offers Talk Business and Politics insightful, relevant, and expanded
content for the public.
The Hendrix-in-Washington program is a partnership between Hendrix and the
nonprofit Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars. Students in
the program live and take classes in the Washington Center’s residential and
learning complex. Students earn three academic credits for completing a 32-hour
a week internship, a three-hour a week evening course organized by the
Washington Center, and a weekly leadership seminar.
As a Project
Pericles institution, the College’s
commitment to active learning and civil dialogue is furthered through weekly
forums on controversial issues. Pericles at Hendrix also engages alumni with current
students through the Hendrix Alumni Doing Democracy project.
Hendrix is also one of 60
colleges and universities nationwide to offer the Peace Corps
Prep certificate program. The
program helps undergraduate students determine whether Peace Corps service is a
suitable path for them and also prepares them for the Peace Corps application.
information on Civic Engagement at Hendrix, contact Dr. Jay Barth at firstname.lastname@example.org or Sarah
Donaghy (Coordinator of Community Partnerships) at email@example.com.