ICR Requirement Guidelines

Students must take one course in any part of the University that involves active engagement with the Indianapolis community.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will engage in learning that integrates academic content with significant activities alongside Indianapolis community partners
  • Students will connect the active learning experience to enlarge their understanding of community and public good in a pluralistic society
  • Students will demonstrate a commitment to ongoing community involvement and citizenship

The ICR is conceptualized as a pedagogical approach used to teach the content of an existing course including core, major, or elective classes. The following criteria delineate the experiences and engagements with the community that satisfy the ICR. Courses and or course components that satisfy this requirement may involve diverse topics, content, and approaches.

Guidelines and Definition of Terms

  • Active Engagement:  Engagement with the community must be sustained, substantive and reciprocal in the sense that students engage with community members in an ongoing and dialogic way. The Indianapolis community requirement is not satisfied with “one touch” encounters, electronically mediated encounters, or similar relationships where there is no opportunity for dialog and development of relationship and deepening understanding of community and community members (whether this dialog is with an individual or series of individuals).
  • The Indianapolis Community: The community with which the students engage must be external to the traditional university classroom, provide an experience that brings the students into relationship with individuals and communities that differ from the university environment, and be representative of the broader populations, networks, and communities that comprise Indianapolis.
  • Active Learning Experience:An ICR course should involve one or more of the forms of experiential education (as defined by the USC) as the underlying pedagogy for the component of the course that satisfies the ICR.
  • ICR courses and/or course components should be designed with a logical and functional connection between community engagement and the learning outcomes of the course. Engagement with the Indianapolis Community may be appropriate at all levels of a student’s education, so no restriction is placed on when this requirement may be taken. Implementation of the ICR related component, however, must be appropriate to the developmental level and knowledge of the students served by a given course.
  • The course should involve a direct strategy for furthering students’ understandings of the nature of community and the relation to self, whether through class exercises, discussions, or reflection assignments that directly focus attention and dialog on students’ emergent understanding of this learning objective.
  • Student experiences should involve direct contact with community members for a minimum of 20 hours over the course of the semester.

Course Proposal Process
Individual faculty, departments, programs or colleges seeking approval for courses and course components to satisfy the ICR should submit the core curriculum proposal form and the ICR course approval form to the Core Curriculum Committee (CCC) for consideration. The Core Curriculum Committee, in turn, will seek advice and consent from the ICR Implementing Committee. Where this proposal involves a new course, the course or course pilot must be approved by the UCC or Core Curriculum Committee along with of the ICR approval request.

Faculty, departments, programs or colleges may also request that course models or course guidelines be approved for satisfying the ICR. This strategy may be most appropriate where existing courses/programs are being adapted such that they align with ICR learning outcomes and guidelines. For example, a college may develop internship or practicum guidelines to satisfy the learning objectives of the ICR. Once approved by the Core Curriculum Committee specific internships or practice that satisfy the guidelines will automatically satisfy the ICR.

Assessment tools and processes to monitor both the success of ICR courses in achieving stated learning outcome and providing viable outreach components have been developed and implemented by the Center for Citizenship and Community.

Notes on Student Grading and Course Requirements 
While the ICR might be satisfied at any stage of a student’s educational career, we recognize that there may be great value in a student taking ICR courses early and taking them often. No restriction is therefore placed on how often or when ICR-designated courses may be taken. Given the time commitment needed for ICR courses, however, advisors should caution students against taking more than one ICR course in a given semester.

Since students do not receive a grade for the ICR independently of the course grade, students must pass the course to receive credit for the ICR. Where students in partnership with faculty mentors wish to propose these experiences to satisfy the ICR, they must petition the USC or Core Curriculum Coordinator through the regular approval process described below.