Faculty Engagement

The mission of the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability (ECCLS) states that in the spirit of Christian service, the ECCLS strives to develop leaders who promote social justice in partnership with diverse local and global communities. This mission includes faculty, administration, staff and students. While having different roles, all are united in purpose.

The vision statement expands on the mission. The ECCLS 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 healthcare. The first Incarnate Word Sisters and the citizens of San Antonio worked together to heal. 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 established the requirements of the core curriculum and initiated 45 hours of service as an integral way of learning at Incarnate Word College. With this, faculty developed guides for students’ written reflection, which included five questions.

As the University of the Incarnate Word has grown, the Ettling Center for Civic Leadership and Sustainability 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.

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 (PDF)).

International Service Learning

International Service Learning has been developing for many years at UIW. The ECCLS wishes to document past trips and encourage future ones. You are invited to send the ECCLS stories of your trips and to read a little of other trips here.

Read more about International Service Learning.

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 the challenges that still need to be addressed. See Mandating Service: Mexico's National Requirement

Additional Resources and Information