Office of General Education

2nd Annal Place-based Community Engagement Symposium a success

The 2nd Annual Place-based Community Engagement Symposium was a success last week. Participants engaged around the theme of “Listening, Learning, and Leading: A Place-based Approach to Promoting Public Responsibility and Community Engagement in a COVID-impacted World.” 114 registered for the two-day symposium.

The conference planning committee chose this theme due to their observation of the challenges posed by COVID-19; our community engagement landscape has evolved significantly, from decreased volunteer participation to heightened community needs.

Conference registrants helped shape this year’s symposium. The planning committee had over 60 questions submitted for our opening session and panel discussion. Plus, questions were arranged as discussion topics at the networking event on Thursday evening.

Audryanna Reed, Associate Director for High-Impact Practices, Co-initiative Manager of Engage Dallas, and Chair of the conference planning committee, shared, “Engage Dallas is grateful for the opportunity to bring together non-profit and civic leaders in Dallas as well as staff and faculty across SMU and Dallas College. Such inspiring words, cultural context, and critical challenges posed by our keynotes Latosha Bruff and Jerry L. Hawkins, M.Ed., as well as our panelists and workshop hosts!”

A copy of the program booklet is included below.

Reed and the conference planning committee are underway with year three planning. Building off the dialogue from this year’s conference, the theme will likely incorporate the concept of “under-championed communities,” which was prevalent in this year’s sessions. Reed says to expect a save the date soon for the November 2024 symposium.

This Engage Dallas symposium collaborated with Residence Life & Student Housing, The Budd CenterThe Office of General Education, the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, and The Center for Teaching Excellence.

Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success

Approved meeting minutes from the Council on General Education on October 20, 2023

The Council on General Education met on October 20, 2023. The meeting minutes for September 29, 2023 were approved at this meeting. Below is the agenda, and the meeting minutes have now been posted on the General Education website.

  1. Approval of Agenda for the October 20, 2023, Council on General Education meeting.
  2. Approval of Minutes for the September 29, 2023, Council on General Education meeting.
  3. CoGE Secretary Election
  4. Course Proposal Update
    1. Courses tabled from Spring 2023
      1. WL 3311 (Food/ Identify in the SW) – TAS
    2. Courses approved still pending assessment meeting.
      1. ASIM 1300 (Introduction to Digital/Hybrid Media) – TAS
    3. Courses approved pending assessment meeting: CC tags added.
      1. RELI 3331 (Renewal: Roman Catholicism) – PREI
      2. ARHS 3355 (Exhibiting Cultures Curating and Interpreting the Arts of the Global South) – CA
      3. UHP 3301 (STEM Communications) –PREX-W
    4. Courses tabled pending revisions.
      1. ASCE 1310 (Ceramic Technology) – TAS
      2. ENGL 1363 (The Myth of the West) – PREX-HD
      3. APSM 3360 (Nutrition and Population Health) – PREX-CIE
  5. Course Proposal Form Feedback Discussion
  6. Common Curriculum Assessment Results
    1. CC Components Assessed
    2. Presentation at December 1st CoGE Meeting
  7. CoGE Working Groups (Spring/Summer)
    1. External Test Credit Review (AP, IB, CLEP)
    2. Re-Evaluation of Transfer Credit on Texas Common Course Numbering System (TCCNS)
  8. General Education Office Updates
    1. November 2/3 Engage Dallas Place-based Community Engagement Symposium
      1. November 2nd 4:30-7:00pm at SMU Indoor Performance Center
      2. November 3rd 9:00-1:00pm at Dallas College- West Dallas Campus

Please contact the Office of General Education for questions or proposal development support.

Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success

SAES shows up to support Engage Dallas’ #1Day4Dallas Residential Commons Fall Day of Service event

On Saturday, October 21st, Engage Dallas hosted its third annual #1Day4Dallas event. Student Academic Engagement and Success members showed up to serve with students over the weekend.

The Residential Commons fall service day, known as #1Day4Dallas, serves as an annual tradition where every Residential Commons participates in service around their community-identified need on the same day. This annual event is a student-led initiative supported by the Engage Dallas Student Directors and SMU Service House (SMUSH) liaisons.

Preliminary numbers revealed 151 volunteers attended, including 25 student leaders from Engage Dallas and SMUSH, who helped facilitate the service opportunities. Volunteers were sent to one of 13 service sites with West and South Dallas community partners. Sites included:

  • Greenspace
  • Our Saviour Community Garden
  • Sunny South Community Garden
  • Brother Bill’s Helping Hand
  • Genesis Women’s Shelter
  • Austin Street Center
  • The Bridge
  • Jubilee Park
  • Dallas Furniture Bank
  • After8toEducate
  • Voice of Hope
  • Empowering the Masses
  • Legacy Cares

Why is SAES all in with Engage Dallas? Engage Dallas is the most accessible co-curricular way for Common Curriculum students to receive their Community Engagement (CE) and/or Civics and Individual Ethics (CIE) Proficiency and Experience required for graduation. Students can learn more and get started with the service by following the instructions on the Engage Dallas website.

Special thanks to the University Advising Center (Vivian Fowler, Michelle Gaunt, Jacob Trevino), Student Academic Success Programs (Gracy Herrera, Makenzie Moriarty), and the Office of General Education (Dustin Grabsch) for joining in this annual service offering.

Engage Dallas is a partnership between Residence Life & Student Housing, the Office of General Education, the Office of Social Change & Intercultural Engagement, the Office of Engaged Learning, and the Hegi Family Career Development Center.

Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success

Registration open: 2nd Annual Place-Based Community Engagement Symposium

Hosted by Engage Dallas, in collaboration with Residence Life & Student Housing, The Budd Center, The Office of General Education, the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, and The Center for Teaching Excellence, this two-day event will take place on November 2nd and 3rd.

About the Place-Based Community Engagement Symposium

The Place-Based Community Engagement Symposium is a gathering of thought leaders, academics, community leaders, and nonprofit professionals from SMU and the DFW area.

This event is designed to explore the transformative potential of community engagement within specific geographic contexts.

Our goal is to delve into the strategies and innovations that have the power to catalyze positive change within communities, with emphasis on campus and community collaboration and sustainable, mutually beneficial relationships.


Seats are limited, so please RSVP by October 20, 2023. You will be able to opt to register for one or both days.

Office of General Education

Think big, do good with Engage Dallas, and satisfy two Common Curriculum requirements

The Office of General Education and Engage Dallas requests your assistance amplifying the following community engagement opportunities with students.

On Wednesday, September 13, from the Office of General Education email, the following message was sent to all undergraduate students. Students can satisfy two Common Curriculum requirements via service with this pre-approved opportunity.

——— [ Begin Message ] ———-

From: Office of General Education (

Subject: Think big, do good with Engage Dallas, and satisfy two Common Curriculum requirements

Engage Dallas is a place-based community engagement initiative via SMU’s Residential Commons to address community needs focusing on South and West Dallas. The initiative is a long-term, university-wide commitment led by students to partner with local residents, organizations, and other leaders to positively impact the community. There is equal emphasis on campus and community impact stemming from the initiative.

2-in-2 Campaign

Engage Dallas is a free and easy way for students to earn two of their required proficiencies for graduation, the Community Engagement Proficiency and Experience (CEPE) and Civics & Individual Ethics proficiency (CIE) through sustained engagement with Engage Dallas. Below is a suggested path for completion of your proficiencies:

Monthly Service

To earn service hours and get connected to the Dallas community, connect with your Commons to participate in Engage Dallas monthly service events. All Engage Dallas upcoming events can be found on the Engage Dallas SMU360 page and your Residential Commons SMU360 page.

Solo Service

Engage Dallas offers solo service as a way for students to serve independently with our community partners. There are over 20 solo service opportunities ranging from art class volunteer to kennel companion to reading tutor for kids. All solo service opportunities can be found on the “Find Opportunities” page in the Engage Dallas Canvas Course under “Individual Service.” All students have a Residential Commons affiliation—Commuter students are affiliated with Boaz Commons, and Transfer Students are affiliated with Ware Commons.


Engage Dallas will host the 3rd annual #1Day4Dallas service event on Saturday, October 21. Breakfast, lunch, and 4 hours of direct service are included—spots are limited, so students are encouraged to register today!

Please direct any questions about Engage Dallas to

Office of Engaged Learning Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success University Advising Center

Engage Dallas launches 2-in-2 campaign to encourage more students to complete Common Curriculum graduation requirements

Engage Dallas launched a new 2-in-2 campaign with postcard mailings to all incoming first-year and transfer students this week.

The campaign encourages undergraduate students to complete their Community Engagement and Civics & Individual Ethics Common Curriculum graduation requirements through their Residential Commons during their first two years at SMU.

All incoming students were encouraged to start the Engage Dallas Canvas Course in the Campus Life Online Orientation Modules in Mustang StartUp orientation experience.

Students can sign up today to begin earning service hours through Engage Dallas by registering to participate in the following fall events–

Engage Dallas is a place-based community engagement initiative via SMU’s Residential Commons to address community needs focusing on South and West Dallas.

For questions about Engage Dallas, please email or visit their website.

Office of General Education

Engage Dallas interns help community partners address community-identified needs in West and South Dallas

As a key office of SMU Engage Dallas initiative, the Office of General Education encourages you to support interns who help community partners address community-identified needs in West and South Dallas.

SMU Giving Day is the University’s one-day giving challenge. This fundraising initiative seeks to drive support for every area of the University and yield as many donations as possible within 24 hours.

This year Giving Day will be hosted on March 7, 2023, and one of the projects available for support is the Engage Dallas Internship Program.

Our internship program allows us to select and pair SMU students with one of our Engage Dallas community partners for a summer work experience. Engage Dallas compensates the intern so the community partner (e.g., one of 35 non-profit partners) does not have to.

Listen to Damondre Lynn’s experience in our inaugural intern cohort.

Engage Dallas is excited to launch our second cohort of interns this summer; however, additional funding would allow us to support more SMU students and community partners.

This year’s goal is $4,500 to support two additional interns this summer. Consider supporting this critical service and professional development experience with a gift. 

Office of General Education

Engage Dallas recaps the fall 2022 semester

Engage Dallas hosted 50 events resulting in over 1,400 hours of community service during the fall 2022 semester.

Engage Dallas is one pre-approved activity for undergraduate students to complete their Community Engagement Proficiency and Experience, and the Office of General Education is one of five key partner offices empowering this place-based community engagement initiative for West and South Dallas.

Read more about Engage Dallas’ fall impact and hear from students about their experience. 


Office of Engaged Learning Office of General Education Student Academic Engagement & Success

General Education reminisces on the inaugural Place-Based Community Engagement Symposium

On October 3 and 4, Engage Dallas, in partnership with the Dedman College Interdisciplinary InstituteCenter for Teaching Excellence (CTE)Office of General Education, and Residence Life and Student Housing, hosted the first Place-Based Community Engagement Symposium.

Participants were energized by the authors of the book Place-Based Community Engagement (PBCE) in Higher Education: A Strategy to Transform Universities and Communities, Dr. Erica Yamamura and Kent Koth. In the keynote, the authors highlighted place-based community engagement as a strategy that prioritizes a campus-wide and education-centered approach in comparison to other individual or office-level (e.g., service learning pedagogy) and economic (e.g., anchor institution) strategies. They underlined the importance and impact of equal emphasis on campus and community for the development and sustainability of the Engage Dallas initiative in moving forward with the program.

During the Place-Based Community Engagement Symposium, over 60 attendees were invited to a luncheon while they learned how faculty, staff, community partners, and students can connect to Engage Dallas and collectively build capacity for community engagement on the Hilltop.

Afterward, the authors met with faculty for the Place-Based Community Engagement Symposium Post-Keynote Faculty Workshop. This session was designed as an opportunity for faculty to follow up with the authors and learn more about PBCE and how the model may be implemented into courses, as well as more about the Engage Dallas initiative. Opportunities for faculty participation with Engage Dallas were explored, and the importance of faculty engagement for the development and sustainability of such initiatives was emphasized during the session.

The initiatives managers for Engage Dallas, Audryanna Reed, and Lauren Anne Cove, reflected on the overall symposium.

“The PBCE Symposium was a great opportunity for students, staff, faculty, and community partners to engage in the same space to exchange ideas and establish new synergies. I am grateful for the new ideas that Erica and Kent shared, particularly related to sustaining Engage Dallas and maintaining its long-term commitment to South and West Dallas. The keynote address was challenging, inspiring, and affirming. I am excited to see how the Engage Dallas team collaborates to implement some of the critical feedback and timely suggestions we received.”  – Audryanna Reed, Associate Director for High-Impact Practices, Academic Initiatives

“I appreciated that our keynote speakers, Dr. Erica Yamamura and Kent Koth, focused on the work of changing hearts and minds. I have been reflecting on the quote that Kent Koth shared from Father Peter Hans Kolvenbach: “When the heart is touched by direct experience, the mind may be challenged to change.”  My heart and mind were touched and challenged by the collective learning during the Place-Based Community Engagement Symposium. I look forward to exploring how the Engage Dallas team can achieve an equal impact on campus and in the Dallas community.” – Lauren Anne Cove, Associate Director for Social Change and Intercultural Engagement

So, where do we go from here? The Engage Dallas team has mapped out strategies to ensure the continuity of promoting Engage Dallas.

Offering regular faculty sessions with the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) on Engage Dallas, PBCE, and launching a book club in spring 2023 are among the strategies moving forward. Co-founder of the Engage Dallas initiative and organizer of the PBCE symposium, Dr. Dustin Grabsch, shared:

“It was wonderful to bring together so many in the SMU community as well as our Engage Dallas Community partners to this first symposium. We have come a long way in a short time, but there is room for more folks at the table. Our hope is to share leadership with the community in planning further professional development experiences. Thanks again to all who attended and collaborated to make this community dialogue a success.“ – Dr. Dustin Grabsch, Assistant Provost for Undergraduate Education and Academic Success

In 2020, SMU adopted the PBCE model to launch and sustain the Engage Dallas initiative. We are honored by the opportunity to engage and learn from the authors of the book that operationalized this university-wide, and community-embedded initiative we call Engage Dallas. A special thanks to SMU staff, faculty, and community partners for attending this successful event. Our gratitude extends to Engage Dallas staff members and sponsor offices who made this event possible!

Please follow our Instagram @smu.engage.dallas to stay updated with our upcoming events. To learn more about the initiative, visit the Engage Dallas website.