ABCD Underpinning Campus Experiential Learning Initiative

Alan Bloomgarden
Alan Bloomgarden
@alan-bloomgarden
last year
1 posts

Hello colleagues! For over a decade, I built and taught a student social action leadership program curriculum constructed around ABCD principles at Mount Holyoke College called the "Community Fellows" program. With some like minded colleagues across the Five College Consortium, I collaborated with other campuses and community organizations to instill ABCD principles into our preparation and reflection work with students and faculty in community-engaged learning, service, and research partnerships in the region, especially in cities of Springfield and Holyoke. I taught a gazillion classes and workshops on asset-mapping and worked pretty consistently to introduce ABCD principles - especially those connected to sustainability, ethics and reciprocity in campus-community partnership - to students, faculty, and colleagues in the field through this work.

Now, I have taken a new position as Elms College's first Director of Experiential Learning, where I am to lead campus-community collaboration to extend opportunities for experiential learning to Elms students. I am excited by the compelling demographics of Elms (open admission, many commuters and many interested in pre-professional education mean a more local, connected, working and working class community of learners) and by a curriculum for which partnerships with local nonprofits, public agencies, community organizing initiatives, etc. will have great promise. 

However, I'm finding I'm starting from a place where few if any colleagues have been exposed to or considered the conceptual frameworks offered by ABCD, and my challenge will be to undertake a massive program of educational outreach to build conceptions of reciprocity, critical lenses upon dependencies and colonial histories, sustainability, etc., as I also work to build out the very programs and possibilities for experiential learning (what I'd like to advance as community-engaged learning to build in attention to the partnership development necessities). I'm excited and up for it, but there it is - my ABCD challenges!

ABCD in Action
ABCD in Action
@abcd-in-action
last year
35 posts

Hi Alan - such a wonderful place to be....starting with such a wonderful challenge. I'm the admin/moderator/facilitator for ABCD in Action and I think we need a separate category for discussions about higher ed. So I'm going to move your conversation there and then include it in the newsletter I'm working on right now. I think there are other folks that would be interested in chatting with you.

Deb Wisniewski

Elizabeth Kimball
Elizabeth Kimball
@elizabeth-kimball
last year
1 posts

Hi Alan,

I am really interested in what you are doing.  I have not used ABCD in my community partnership work  --I am familiar with it from other parts of my life. I teach at Drexel in Philadelphia; also did a lot of CBL/experiential teaching in my former institution, Drew U.  I am very interested in how ABCD or any other framework for action gets successfully integrated in these kinds of partnerships. It does seem that the openness of ABCD means that we can honor where people are, and worry less about whether or not they have the critical lenses we hope they have. That comes in the doing.  As a scholar of rhetoric I am constantly aware of the never-ending creative and strategic acuity that it takes to do this kind of work. 

I am sure your allies are emerging!

Reach out if you would like; I'm interested in what you're learning about ABCD in higher ed.

Liz Kimball

John Hamerlinck
John Hamerlinck
@john-hamerlinck
last year
47 posts

Hi Alan,

I have spent countless hours pondering the intersection of ABCD and educational civic engagement. A number of years ago a colleague and I wrote a book called, "Asset-Based Community Engagement in Higher Education." If you'd like, you can email me through my website https://leadingdifferently.com/ and I'll send you a pdf version of that book. You can also ask me questions on the topic at any time.

John Hamerlinck

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