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Community Engagement & Service

USC Coordinating Office for Community Engagement and Service (COCES)

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The Nature-Based Inquiry (NBI) professional development model centers around the design and use of outdoor "classrooms" that take advantage of natural educational assets on school campuses.

The Impact of Incarceration on Families project utilizes SC’s powerful, statewide integrated data system to examine impacts of incarceration in a novel way, tapping administrative data from corrections, juvenile justice, mental health, social services, substance use services, healthcare, and education.

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The USC Coordinating Office for Community Engagement and Service (COCES) has been established as a central coordinating portal through which faculty, staff, students, and those external to the campus can enhance their current community engagement and service activities as well as provide guidance and assistance in initiating new activities.

The University describes community engagement as opportunities to partner with our various communities for the mutual benefit of both. This benefit typically involves a reciprocal exchange of knowledge and resources, and leads to activities and initiatives that can address significant societal issues that ultimately contribute to the public good.

Various types of community-engaged activities serve integrally-related functions, including the enhancement of teaching and learning, research, scholarship, and creative activities. There are a number of USC offices and programs that work with the COCES to help enhance the university’s engagement and service efforts. 

COCES is responsible for: 

  • Facilitating the scope and depth of university engagement and service efforts
  • Serving as an initial point of contact for faculty, staff, and external parties who wish to either enhance their current engagement and service initiatives or develop new partnerships.
  • Documenting and making available to the university’s various publics the impact of its community engagement and service efforts. 
  • Assisting in developing reward and recognition structures and standards for faculty, staff, and student participation in community engagement and service, including such for departmental criteria for promotion and tenure

News from the COCES

Check out the COCES Facebook page for weekly updates from COCES!"

COCES Knowledge Maps
Community engagement and service programs have been clustered into 16 areas, each representing a significant area of emphasis.  These Knowledge Maps provide useful information to our various constituents as well as enable our faculty and staff to enhance current and initiate new interdisciplinary engagement initiatives. 

Statewide Community Engagement
COCES wishes to thank Wm. Lynn Shirley from the Department of Geography who used data from the 2013-2014 Faculty Community Engagement Survey to develop an interactive map that provides a visual accounting of the extent of our community engagement activities in the State of South Carolina. 

Carolina Nexus
The 2013 Carolina Nexus Bus Tour took place between May 13th and May 16th with stops at a number of places of interest in the Low Low County, Low Country, and the Midlands. Nexus participants visited USC-Salkehatchie with its Topper Geological Site Exhibit, met with Mayor Billy Keyserling in Historic Beaufort, toured the Penn Center school, heard a presentation by Mayor Joe Riley at the Charleston City Hall Chambers, visited Boeing in North Charleston, dialogued with Dr. Cleveland Sellers and author Jack Webb at the site of the Orangeburg Massacre, interacted with faculty and students at Horrell Hill Professional Development School in Hopkins, and participated in a tour of Shaw Air Force Base and Third Army Central Command.

A select number of photographs from the tour serve to highlight some of the participantsí experiences.

  • photo Dean Ann Carmichael welcoming the crew to USC-Salkehatchie
  • photoLearning about Clovis Man from Professor Al Goodyear.
  • photo: A favorite stop for education folk.
  • photoMayor Keyserling extolling the virtues of Beaufort.
  • photoSitting in the lap of luxury.
  • photoHistorian Rick Hatcher provides a briefing at Fort Sumter.
  • photoMayor Riley in the historic Charleston City Hall Chambers.
  • photoIf only we could REALLY take off.
  • photoMeat and three sides at the Brown Derby.
  • photoCleveland Sellers and Jack Bass at the site of the Orangeburg Massacre.
  • photo: When I pull on this green bag, all of the oxygen goes out of this test chamber!

COCES Community Engagement Surveys
The COCES annually administers a faculty/staff survey to obtain information about university community engagement and service initiatives.

COCES Leadership Council
The 2011-2012 COCES Leadership Council, comprising a number of USC faculty members and staff, was charged with helping to address a number of questions related to an operational plan of action for the Coordinating Office for Community Engagement and Service. Two concept papers were submitted: one focusing on proposed functions and structure of the Office and the other on recognition and reward structures for faculty involved in community-engaged scholarship initiatives.

Questions? Please contact:

Dr. Les Sternberg
Special Advisor to the Provost