Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Community Engagement Division
In 2011, the City of Rapid City, South Dakota established the Rapid City Sustainability Committee (RCSC) whose mission is to encourage education, stewardship, and policy leadership to increase the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of the community. The 12-member committee is a volunteer-based committee that has awarded projects, hosted conferences, and supported policies; however, the committee has not historically been able to make a significant impact in the community. One significant issue in the community is that a 2017 American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) scorecard on state efficiency policies ranked South Dakota at 49th in the nation. Following the concern of the RSCS over this report, in the fall semester of 2017, an official partnership between the RSCS and the Engineering and Science Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology (SDSMT) was created, allowing students to earn course credits for partnering with the committee to investigate, monitor, and plan an initiative for improving the energy efficiency of city buildings to meet Energy Star Building Certification. The creation of the student design team has had an unexpected, positive impact on the RCSC and its potential impact through the development of unanticipated partnerships in the community. Members of the RSCS have offered professional advising to team representing several local industries, included Black Hills Energy, Xanterra Parks and Resorts (managers of concessions at Mount Rushmore National Monument), and the Rapid City National Guard Camp. It suggests that community engagement by the institution, and in particular by the EPICS service-learning program, has the potential to have a substantively greater impact on the community than the impact of any single project through increased engagement by community partners. This paper will discuss the partnership development, methods, and preliminary results for this case study.
Benning, J. L., & Surovek, A. E., & Shearer, C. R. (2018, June), Engagement in Practice: A Case Study on Improving Community Sustainability through Service Learning Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30378
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