The Political Engagement Project at Heartland Community College is a collaborative effort to promote civic learning and democratic practice on our campus and beyond.
Heartland Community College is rooted deeply in our local communities, serving as a gateway to higher education for many who might not otherwise have access to a postsecondary education. For that reason, HCC's PEP team is committed to delivering political information, resources and services to community residents who want to have in impact in their communities and in Central Illinois.
The HCC PEP team promotes a campus environment conducive to the development of civic knowledge, skills and motivation. As such, HCC's PEP team:
Plans and organizes campus events relating to civic and political engagement, such as Constitution Week activities, campus speakers and roundtable discussions, campaign debates and Town Hall meetings, voter information and registration drives, and the annual Pledge of Service Week in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s commitment to community service.
Spearheads curricular development, such as the Civic Engagement Curriculum Sequence, and course- and program-level civic and political engagement learning outcomes.
Fosters professional development for faculty, in collaboration with the Instructional Development Center, in the areas of political and civic engagement and service learning.
Seeks out and administers grant and collaboration opportunities, including our own INSPiRE (Implementing Novel Service Projects in Responsible Engagement) grant program for faculty, as well as our collaborative efforts in Global Youth Service Day activities.
The Civic Engagement Sequence is designed for students interested in civic/political engagement who wish to supplement their plan of study at HCC with an emphasis in these areas. All courses in the sequence are transferrable to most four-year colleges and universities. The sequence is recognized by Heartland Community College at graduation, and will appear on a student's official transcript.
The INSPiRE grant program is a faculty development initiative designed to emphasize service learning and civic and community engagement at Heartland Community College. This grant program was established to encourage interested faculty to enhance their service learning or civic/community/political engagement efforts within a course through projects or initiatives inside and outside the classroom. Grant applications for summer salary stipends and project supplies are due in December and are awarded in January for the following fiscal year. The number of awards given each year is subject to available funds. To date, INSPiRE Grants have been awarded to 14 different projects to further our goal of promoting civic and service learning to HCC students.
HCC's PEP team consists of campus employees from across the College, including Instruction, Information Technology, Alumni and Outreach, Human Resources, Student Services, and Continuing Education. Current HCC students also serve on the College's PEP team.
HCC's Political Engagement Project began as a partnership with Illinois State University’s Political Engagement Project, and is now aligned with The Democracy Commitment, an American community college initiative.
If you are interested in learning more about PEP activities, joining our team, or collaborating with us, email PEP@heartland.edu or call (309) 268-8593.