ATU Creates Plan for Community Engagement

Arkansas Tech University has joined Campus Compact, a group of more than 1,100 colleges and universities dedicated to civic education and community development, by creating its first civic action plan.

The civic action plan provides a framework through which ATU will coordinate its community and civic engagement initiatives, both in and out of the traditional classroom, in support of student success.

“Our goal is to improve the educational opportunities of our students, while engaging with and supporting our community,” said Dr. Julie Mikles-Schluterman, associate professor of sociology at ATU and co-chair of the institution’s civic action planning committee. “We want to create a mutually beneficial relationship that encourages a sense of civic and social responsibility in our students. We already have a large number of faculty, staff and students who are involved and serve others. Campus Compact and our new civic action plan provide a university-wide structure for those who want to improve our local communities and beyond.”

Megan Toland, assistant professor of journalism at ATU, co-chaired the civic action planning committee with Mikles-Schluterman. Additional committee members included Dr. Douglas Barron, assistant professor of biology; Aubrey Holt, interim associate dean and director for campus life; Kara Johnson, coordinator of leadership and service; Dr. Michael Rogers, associate professor of political science; Dr. Kim Troboy, professor of management information systems; and Dr. Jessica Young, assistant professor of physics.

The new ATU Center for Community Engagement and Academic Outreach will be charged with implementing the university’s civic action plan. Mikles-Schluterman will serve as the initial director of the center.

In addition to creating the ATU Center for Community Engagement and Academic Outreach, other cornerstones of the civic action plan include an annual community engagement symposium, an on-campus living and learning community for students interested in community engagement and interdisciplinary, project-based academic courses.

According to the document drafted by the civic action planning committee, the implementation of the civic action plan will draw upon several ongoing initiatives, including academic courses that incorporate service learning hours, classes that employ the $100 Solution program, LEAD Academy, Alternative Spring Break, study abroad opportunities and the work of service-oriented student organizations such as Because We Can.

For more information about Arkansas Tech’s Campus Compact civic action plan, send e-mail to

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