Educating Students To Change Our World
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“Being a part of California Campus Compact’s Social Innovation Generation Initiative is providing our community service learning office with the opportunity to partner with the School of Business and incorporate service-learning into disciplines, such as economics and finance, in which service-learning is not widely used. With funding from California Campus Compact, we are developing a service-learning model that focuses on microfinance as a tool for poverty alleviation. It is a model that makes sense for the business disciplines, provides very tangible results in real time for our community partners and connects with other programs and disciplines on our campus and other campuses in the region to grow the civic engagement field.”

Chris Nayve
Center for Community Service Learning
University of San Diego

Social Innovation Generation: California Recovery and Renewal Initiative (SIG:CARE) is part of California Campus Compact’s three-year initiative that is catalyzing and mobilizing colleges and universities to aid in the state’s recovery and renewal through service, service-learning and inventive solutions embedded in social entrepreneurship, microfinance and social investment.

SIG:CARE focuses on three key areas:
• Revitalizing communities through green-collar job training
• Creating a culture of inner-city entrepreneurs through microfinance
• Investing in communities and the nonprofit and social service sectors through social entrepreneurship

The seven campuses that are serving as lead collaborators in SIG: CARE include public, independent and faith-based campuses, ranging in location from the southern Pacific Coast to the greater Los Angeles basin through the Central Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area to the rural far north along California’s Redwood Coast.

They are:

California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, which is partnering with local non-profit organizations and colleges and universities in the region to address the surrounding community’s economic needs through a unique social and technological mix of sustainability, organic farming, computing and civic engagement.

California State University, Fresno, which is designing and implementing a team-centered, case-management, civic engagement approach to enhancing the capacity and sustainability of Central Valley non-profit organizations while providing students with experience in nonprofit management consulting. The approach involves alumni and local consultants and includes workshops, assessments and customized implementation plans to provide nonprofit organizations with the capacity to fully meet the needs of the community.

California State University, Fullerton, which is engaging graduate students as service-learning mentors to community college students working with after-school programs serving at-risk youth.  The project will result in a newly trained workforce of community college students receiving an After-School Certification while relieving economically-related staffing pressures on the after-school service providers.

Humboldt State University, which is involving multiple disciplines in a food security/community development and outreach program as well as green initiatives.

San Francisco State University, which is working with coalitions of neighborhood groups to build localized capacity to create safe, green and economically viable communities.

University of California, Berkeley, which is supporting low-income communities in the region by placing students as volunteer managers at local non-profit organizations, training students to provide tax assistance to underserved individuals and offering professional development and networking opportunities for local non-profit staff.

University of San Diego, which is creating the San Diego Microenterprise Project (SDMP) in partnership with five non-profit organizations and two other higher education institutions in the region. SDMP is working with 20-plus inner-city social entrepreneurs to form lending groups and provide assistance from student “social enterprise advisors” in conjunction with experienced micro-business consultants to develop business plans, marketing plans and finance systems.

For more information about SIG:CARE, please contact Piper McGinley.

Learn and Serve logoCalifornia Campus Compact gratefully acknowledges the Corporation for National and Community Service, Learn and Serve America Higher Education for its significant support in making the Social Innovation Generation grant initiative possible.