The Mission of the Ettling Center states: "In the spirit of Christian service, to develop leaders who promote social justice in partnership with diverse local and global communities.” This mission includes faculty, administration and staff, as well as, students. While having different roles, all are united in purpose.
The Vision Statement expands on the mission. The ECCL “is dedicated to promoting the common good by educating enlightened and concerned leaders committed to learning, research, advocacy, and service for those in most need. It promotes civically-engaged leaders collaborating in partnership with local and global community stakeholders to achieve individual/social transformation while respecting the dignity of each individual and all creation.”
The origins of Incarnate Word in 1869 were in response to the San Antonio mayor’s urgent plea for public health care. The first Incarnate Word sisters and the citizens of San Antonio worked together to heal and by 1881 the sisters received a charter from the state of Texas to also educate. Those educated whether in nursing or in elementary schools were reminded that the privilege of education invited them to community service.
About a hundred years later at Incarnate Word College, faculty and administrators were eager to institutionalize the tradition of service so that it might be carried into the future. Faculty in 1989 in laying out requirements of the Core Curriculum initiated 45 hours of service as an integral way of learning at Incarnate Word with an emphasis on cross-disciplinary integration. With this faculty developed guides for students’ written reflection which included five questions.
As Incarnate Word has grown the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership was developed in support of faculty who mandated service as an integral part of learning. While this certainly aligns with UIW mission values, this also parallels academic research that students learn more when engaged.
Ernest Boyer in Scholarship Reconsidered described the Scholarship of Application which came to be called the Scholarship of Engagement. Scholarship is applied to social problems and issues. Faculty are encouraged to focus on the Scholarship of Engagement.
Understanding the Academic Value of Community Service and Service Learning
Studies have demonstrated the value of service learning for student retention, engagement, and success and for faculty scholarship, satisfaction, and sense of meaning and belonging (For specific studies, see Carroll College Service-Learning Handbook http://www.carroll.edu/files/files/academics/hunthausen/Handbook%202015%20Final.pdf )
International Service Learning has been developing for many years at UIW. The ECCL wishes to document past trips and encourage future ones. You are invited to send the ECCL stories of your trips and to read a little of other trips here.
Mexico’s Mandate that Students Serve, an Example for the World
Alicia Cantón and Enrique Ramos explain Mexico’s requirement that university students serve the community as part of their education, usually doing over 400 hours of service after completing 75% of their course requirements. They explain some of the reasons for this, the benefits, and challenges that still need to be addressed. See Mandating Service: Mexico's National Requirement
Meet the Mission, an annual day with both students and faculty serving together http://www.uiw.edu/meetthemission/index.html
The UIW October Season of Peace and Justice with Peace Day http://www.uiw.edu/PeaceDay/ Faculty and others share and further develop scholarship.
Charter for Compassion https://charterforcompassion.org/ An international movement with potential to transform our world. Incarnate Word has been involved in efforts to have San Antonio be a “Compassionate City.” http://sacompassionnet.org/