If you’re not familiar with the world of higher education, the terms and jargon can be practically a whole new language to learn and contend with.

Engage Dallas is no different. We use terms consistently due to their significance. Learn our key terms.

#1Day4Dallas – An annual fall service event that gathers every Residential Commons to serve South and West Dallas. This fall day of service strives to meet the need of each Residential Commons associated Community Partners.

Advisory Board – A formal group comprised of representative students, faculty, staff, community partners, and administrators which meets quarterly and advises the Engage Dallas initiative. The Advisory Board is facilitated by the Associate Director for High-Impact Practices or the Initiative Manager.

Advocacy - Service that impacts community needs from a political or structural perspective.

Annual Service - A campus-wide service program taking place once a year. For Engage Dallas, these include #1Day4Dallas and Alternative Breaks.

Campus Partners – SMU organizations which support the Engage Dallas program.

Checkpoints 1, 2, and 3 – Pre-mid-post assessments housed in the Engage Dallas Canvas Course and the Engage Dallas: Community Engagement Proficiency Canvas Course measuring student learning and development as a result of participation in Engage Dallas.

Common Curriculum (CC): The general education framework, which outlines the curricular requirements for students to achieve their undergraduate degrees at SMU.

Community Engagement Proficiency and Experience (CEPE) - One of eight graduation requirements through the Common Curriculum at SMU.

Community Partner – Official organizations (e.g., non-profit, government) vetted by Engage Dallas who primarily benefit South and West Dallas residents. Community Partners support volunteer opportunities (e.g., monthly, individual or annual service) around specific community-identified needs.

Community-Identified Need – While Social Problems are a scholarly term (see Sociology), it is less appropriate when doing community engagement work. Therefore, for more public facing and community work we reference each Residential Commons social problem as a community-identified need. For Engage Dallas, these terms are interchangeable based on the audience.

Direct Service - Service that enhances student learning through direct engagement with South and West Dallas residents. 

Engage Dallas Canvas Course – Primary onboarding, training, and communication mechanism for the Engage Dallas initiative. All SMU students on the Common Curriculum are auto enrolled in the canvas course. Students on the University Curriculum must request access via a webform.

Engage Dallas Community Engagement Proficiency and Experience Intent Quiz – An assignment within the Engage Dallas Canvas Course that allows students to declare their intent (yes, no, maybe) in pursuing the CEPE via Engage Dallas. The quiz is a Qualtrics form that triggers OIT to add the interested student to the Engage Dallas: Community Engagement Proficiency Canvas Course if they answer “yes” in the quiz. Students can change their response at any point.

Engage Dallas Continued Opportunities Database- A website that pairs students continued service interests with other service-learning opportunities on the SMU campus post CEPE attainment through Engage Dallas. 

Engage Dallas Service Continuum: Four types of service which contribute to community engagement:

Engage Dallas Student Director – An SMU student employee who represents and coordinates Monthly Service opportunities for Engage Dallas for their designated Residential Commons. They serve as an ambassador between SMU students, Engage Dallas, and the Community Partner.

Engage Dallas Student Director Reflections – Quarterly reflections administered to Engage Dallas Student Directors to assess their leadership development and civic learning.

Engage Dallas: Community Engagement Proficiency Canvas Course – The repository for all assignments required for CEPE attainment via Engage Dallas.

Engagement Hours Log – Template for tracking all direct and general engagement hours for CEPE attainment via Engage Dallas.  Students can access and submit the form in the Engage Dallas: Community Engagement Proficiency Canvas Course.

General Engagement- Service that enhances student learning through a contextual framework of Engage Dallas social problems, principles of good civic engagement, or other knowledge which enhances the impact of direct service. General Engagement must be pre-approved via the webform, submitted by the event organizer, for the event or program to count toward Engage Dallas hours.

Implementation Team – Group of SMU faculty, staff, and students who are operationalizing the original Engage Dallas initiative grant proposal. The Implementation Team is further organized by four sub-teams: assessment, research, and CEPE attainment; education and training; off-site and risk management; and marketing and communications. The Implementation Team is co-led by the Associate Director for High-Impact Practices and the Assistant Director of Community Engagement.

Indirect - Service that addresses the needs of community members without interacting with them directly.

Individual Pathway- Skill-based individual service that students can seek through a Community Partner on a short team basis; students will leverage their personal skills, knowledge, and talents to support the Community Partner. Individual Pathways can be proposed by a Community Partner and posted for students to express interest or a student may propose a project that meets the needs of an official Engage Dallas Community Partner.

Individual Service - Community engagement experiences that students can sign up or propose individually; individual service opportunities umbrella three types called solo service, individual pathways, and internships.

Internship- Compensated individual service that students can complete with an official Engage Dallas Community Partner for a determined number of hours (e.g., 75, 150, 300) in a semester (fall, summer, or spring).

Key Office - A formal SMU department collaborator charged with leadership of specific Engage Dallas program components

Monthly Service- A group service experience for SMU students, faculty, and staff via the Residential Commons on a monthly cadence. Monthly service experiences are posted in SMU Connect by Residential Commons and on the Engage Dallas website under events.

One Night for Dallas – An annual recognition and networking event in the late spring semester facilitated by the Office of Social Change and Intercultural Engagement. The Community Partner Reception invites all Engage Dallas Community Partners, Student Directors, Key Office Representatives, and exemplar student volunteers.

Philanthropy - Service that impacts community needs from a financial perspective.

Place-Based Community Engagement (PBCE) – is a contemporary form of community engagement gaining popularity throughout the United States. PBCE provides a comprehensive strategy for universities and communities to more democratically partner with each other through long-term efforts focused on distinct geographic areas. This framework is behind the Engage Dallas initiative.

Project Group – Small working groups of faculty, staff, and students charged by the advisory board to achieve a specific goal.

Residential Commons (RC) – A network of 11, SMU-specific residential colleges and housing for students.

Resource Libraries – Source of content (e.g., articles, podcasts, videos, and interactive media) to improve students, faculty, and staff member understanding of the community-identified needs of Engage Dallas. Resource libraries also exist to provide historical events and timelines of South and West Dallas.

Social Problem – is any condition or behavior that has negative consequences for large numbers of people and that is generally recognized as a condition or behavior that needs to be addressed. For Engage Dallas, social problems are tied to each Residential Commons. For instance, Armstrong Commons focuses on homelessness while Ware Commons focus is community rebuilding. Selected social problems were originally community-identified needs of the South and West Dallas communities highlighted in City of Dallas publications and reports such as Resilient Dallas.

Solo Service - Individual service that students can seek from a community partner on a consistent (e.g., Mondays from 6 -7pm for two months) or occasional basis (three full-days of service). To count toward the Engage Dallas Community Engagement Proficiency, students must register for solo service using the provided web form and complete the necessary steps outlined in the confirmation email directly with the Community Partner.

Supplemental Training – Online, asynchronous educational modules contained within the Engage Dallas Canvas Course. Supplemental trainings count toward Engage Dallas general engagement hours if a satisfactory reflection or quiz score is achieved at the end of the training module. Supplemental training modules are outlined within a course catalogue under the Find Opportunities Module in the Engage Dallas Canvas Course.

Tableau Dashboard – Data visualization of student progress (assignment/module completion) within the Engage Dallas Canvas Course, as well as student learning reported in Checkpoints 1, 2, and 3. Accessible via di.smu.edu.