Community Engagement Action Plans: How to Set Realistic Goals & Make Things Happen (Examples from My Students)

As mentioned in my most recent post, I was incredibly moved and inspired by my students’ final submissions of the term.  In fact, I was so inspired that I asked for permission to share some of their work here.  The first round of sharing of student work will showcase student community engagement action plans. The instructions were as follows:

Option 3: Continuing the Work (Your Plan for Continued Volunteer
Work in the Community…Goal Setting)

Research shows that we are more likely to accomplish things if we set very specific goals and
write them down for reference. We become even more likely to accomplish our goals when
we state them publicly.

This option allows you to take some time for creating a plan for your future community
engagement in the next 3 months, 6 months, or 12 months (you choose the size of your goal).

1. Think about what kind of community work is most important to you and how it relates
to your bigger values. You may be interested in continuing work to support kids and
schools OR you might have realized that you’re interested in working in the areas of
juvenile justice, the environment, libraries, hunger, transportation, animal rights, etc.
Focus in.
2. Decide on a timeline. Being specific about your goals within a specific timeframe
makes you more likely to achieve them. You can choose 3 months, 6 months, or 12
months for the purposes of this assignment.
3. Go outside of your comfort zone and establish some action steps. 

Your submission should include the following:

a. A brief introduction that details the kind of community work you want to do,
the ways this community work connects to bigger values or social justice
issues, and any connections to the themes/discussions we’ve been having in
class and how our course work has contributed to your vision of staying
actively engaged (if it has).
b. A section dedicated to laying out your timeline and specific goals. You must
choose at least THREE of the themes/categories listed under #3 above. The
more detailed and specific you are about how you will meet each goal or
theme, the better.
c. A conclusion that discusses your own system of accountability, barriers to
success, and resources that will keep you on track. Discuss the following:

i. How will you stay on track with your goals?
ii. Do you want me to email you to check in as a way of supporting your
iii. Would you be open to posting your action plan on the PDXEAN blog
as a way of inspiring other students and community members?

This was one option out of three for the final piece of the course.  Students who chose this plan appear to be particularly ready to become more active in the community in a variety of areas OR are hoping to sustain their current level of commitment.  Check back here for actual action plans…and think about ways to set your own 3-, 6-, or 12-month plans for deeper engagement on the issues that are important to you.


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