“UMass Dartmouth students are apathetic!” We hear this plaint so frequently that we almost believe it – but the truth is that UMass Dartmouth students care, and they understand that they have already taken a place in society - that University life is real life. Just have a look at the long, long list of student organizations on campus and you see just how un-apathetic your peers have proven to be. In recent exit essays written by graduating seniors, many students extolled their involvement in career-related internships or their participation in student organizations as pivotal in learning twenty-first century workplace skills and how to integrate themselves into society. They also derived a lot of satisfaction from getting outside of the classroom and focusing on a community or career topic that interested them.
What is Civic Engagement?
Civic engagement means acknowledging that none of us lives in a personal vacuum and that our quality of life is directly affected by our own involvement in the community. Sometimes, we do this through our work; sometimes, we do this through minute gestures in our daily lives. Whatever the engagement, striving to improve our communities or workplace skills through college internships or independent or directed study can be an exciting way to include hands-on learning in the curriculum. Formally, you may do primary or secondary research in the course of an independent study or work as an intern; or, informally, you may simply keep your eyes and ears open around campus and the local area, attending university and community events or you may volunteer to work a few hours a week for a local nonprofit organization.
We urge you to get involved through one, or both, of your concentration areas. You will find that you learn course material better when you apply it to real situations; that you are more interested in your education; that you will meet fantastic, like-minded people, making friends; and that you’re likely to have fun. And who knows, you may discover a career route while you’re at it.
The following concentrations offer internship programs: Political Science, Sociology/Anthropology/Crime & Justice Studies, and Women’s Studies.
Talk to your advisor for ideas or visit Career Resources.