Call for Proposals

About the Conference

The ERCC conference aims to showcase practices advancing the field of community and civic engagement.  Through a mix of session topics and formats, networking opportunities, and a variety of speakers, ERCC conference participants will explore key topics related to community-engaged scholarship, learning that promotes civic & democratic engagement, and programs and partnerships that enhance both community & campus.

The 2019 conference theme is Education for Democracy Innovating in Complex TimesHigher Education is influenced by significant social, economic, and political factors within and beyond academe, and campuses are at the nexus of multiple social movements. The field of civic and community engagement is challenged to respond, contribute, and lead change-making efforts on and off campus that improve our communities and democracy. The rate of change is quickening, and we must ensure that our scholarship and practice is evolving to ensure student, institutional, and community impact. Innovation requires us to think and act differently. We are compelled to develop new educational opportunities and processes that provide solutions to complex problems and advance our common purposes of educating students for civic and social responsibility and improving communities. The conference will explore these framing questions:

– What are the key issues that are changing the field of higher education civic and community engagement? How is it impacting our scholarship and practice?
– How can we strengthen our network of scholars, practitioners, and partners so our collective work can be enhanced and amplified?
– What innovative ideas and promising practices are advancing higher education’s community and civic engagement practices?
– How can we create a more equitable field by recognizing diverse sources of knowledge,  epistemologies, as well as a set of scholars and practitioners?

Presentation Information

Through a lens of the conference theme and framing questions, proposals may cover a wide variety of topics including, but not limited to:

– Civic and democratic learning pedagogies and initiatives (e.g. dialogic practice, political learning, service-learning, etc.)
– Evidence based work including community engaged scholarship and/or research, assessment, and evaluation of service-learning and civic engagement
– Place-based initiatives such as anchor institution activities, community partnerships, and collective impact.
– Community engagement programs and practices, especially those positively impacting the priorities of student learning and success and/or equity, diversity, and inclusion.
– The role technology plays in communication, democratic expression, organizing, community development, and program management

Session Types

Moderated Panel Presentations (90 minutes) are designed to bring 2‐3 presenters together who share a common theme, practice, or research question. Panels will be moderated by a designated facilitator who will aim to compare, contrast, and synthesize presentations by each panelist in an effort to identify common themes and lessons. Each panelist will present for 15 minutes, and the remainder of the time will be used for questions, discussion, and synthesis. You may propose an individual 15-minute presentation, which will be considered for a conference‐organized panel; or you may propose a pre‐identified panel of 2‐3 participants.

Workshops (60 minutes) are designed to offer participants a short “lesson” on a practice, strategy, research method or other compelling topics such that they may replicate all or some of the method. A successful workshop proposal will: frame the topic, provide an overview of goals, and discuss how you will guide participants through exercises or activities (including small groups) that will help them advance efforts on campus. In order to make the conference as dynamic as possible, we may ask presenters to collaborate on workshops.

Poster Sessions (up to 90 minutes total) will have 1‐2 facilitators at a table presenting a poster board display (specific size to be provided upon acceptance of your proposal). Electrical access can be provided upon request. Poster sessions combine visual displays of information with written materials and small group interaction to create an interactive learning experience. Text, diagrams, pictures, and/or graphs that depict program components, findings, samples of student work, community testimony and evidence.

Selection Process

All proposals will be peer reviewed by a volunteer review committee consisting of member campus representatives and Compact staff.  All proposals must consist of a session title, a brief abstract, and a longer session description accompanied by presenter names, titles, and institutional/organizational affiliations. Reviewers will look favorably upon session proposals that demonstrate:

Clear session description, titles, and learning objectives: identifying and clearly stating learning objectives & outcomes for participants to easily choose sessions that are most interesting and applicable to their priorities.  Session titles should be easily understood by a common audience and directly linked to desired outcomes. Target audiences should be easily identified if applicable.
Evidence of impact: reflecting sound theory and/or design, highlighting examples where community and civic engagement has contributed to individual, organizational, and/or systems change.
Practical, actionable advice: presenting ideas that provide practical, actionable insights for participants that have been tested and are applicable beyond the boundary of a single campus or set of conditions.
Engaging session design: allowing attendees to hear from and interact with their peers with varied facilitation techniques (i.e., minimize traditional lecturing with no time for participant interaction
Diverse perspectives: bringing together diverse and sometimes divergent points of view and experiences on a topic. This is especially true for the inclusion of community and beneficiary perspectives.
Alignment with conference purpose: positioning the session topics and design to align with the overall conference theme and framing questions to help make for a cohesive conference experience for participants.

Please note: Note that sessions will take place at various points in the agenda from Monday (March 25) through Wednesday (March 27). The ERCC Conference Committee reserves the right to make adjustments or recommendations to final session designs, including speaker lineup, format, and description.

All selected presenters are expected to register for the conference by February 1, 2019 to ensure a place in the program.

All materials should be uploaded via Submittable by 11:59 pm ET on November 1, 2018.   Notification of proposal status will be communicated by December 6, 2018.

Speaker and Session Designer Responsibilities

Throughout the coming months, ERCC staff will provide support to selected session designers in developing high-quality sessions. Among other responsibilities, session designers and speakers will be expected to:

– Incorporate recommendations from ERCC staff into their sessions, such as strategies to make more engaging or diversifying speakers
– Plan and participate in one planning call with fellow session speakers as needed
– Make session resources and/or slides available on the conference website/app after the event
– Agree to have their sessions photographed or videotaped at the ERCC Conference Committee’s discretion.

Key Dates

Thursday, Sept 6, 2018: Call for session proposals are available online.
Thursday, November 1, 2018 (11:59 p.m. ET): All session proposals must be completed and submitted online.
November to early December 2018: Sessions under review.
December 6, 2018: Compact staff communicates session decisions. The point-of-contact for accepted proposals may receive session recommendations.
December 20, 2018: Session designers re-submit revised proposals if requested.
January 17, 2019: Final workshop modifications are confirmed.
February 1, 2019:  Registration deadline for presenters to ensure their place in the program is confirmed.
March 25-27, 2019: The 2019 ERCC Conference takes place Monday (March 25) to Wednesday (March 27) at The Omni Hotel in Providence, RI.