Quest III is the final course in the Quest series and is taken in a student’s second year on campus. Quest III courses are unlike almost any other on campus because they engage every student with the campus or the wider community.
Quest III courses present students with a Signature Question through the use of community-based learning. In Quest III, students are encouraged to become contributors to their community by taking courses that not only give them disciplinary knowledge, but also hands-on experience with community partners throughout Oshkosh. These community partners enjoy a reciprocal relationship with our students: while the students gain from the activities they engage in at the community partner site, the community partner also gains from having students assist them in their various missions. This experience allows the student to apply their classroom learning to a real world, practical experience, and then return to the classroom with a higher proficiency.
The goals of the Community Experience include the following:
- Develop students’ teamwork and leadership skills
- Connect students more to the University and the local community through a community-engagement project
- Engage students in action that has benefits in real time and makes academic knowledge relevant and meaningful
- Enhance students’ ability to reflect on the relationship between their educational experiences and their actions within communities
- Promote students’ ability to engage in dialogue with and have empathy for community members.
Quest III Course Design Resources
- Follow this link for the Quest III handbook.
- Follow this link for Quest III sample syllabi.
- Follow this link for the Quest III syllabus checklist.
- Follow this link for Quest III syllabus sample language.
- Quest III courses are Explore Courses. Follow this link to find out more about Explore Courses.
Community Experience Components of a Quest III Course
Through the Community Experience and the associated assignments, students will address a significant need of the local community as determined through collaboration with community members. Developing students’ respect for the expertise and local knowledge of the community partners is central to all Quest III Community Experiences.
In order to facilitate assessment, the Community Experience and associated assignments must have a clear connection to course curriculum. The Quest III instructor will assess learning through students’ ability to connect the course content, its core concepts and theories, with the action and practice involved in the Community Experience. This assessment can happen in multiple ways, including student blogs, media presentations, journal writing, or research papers. A central component of such assessment would be students’ reflection on their Community Experience.
Examples of Community Experiences
- Collecting Oral Histories;
- Working with children at a domestic violence shelter;
- Interviewing high school administrator to assess community and school relationships;
- Volunteering at a local food pantry;
- Volunteering at a local homeless shelter;
- Working with an equine therapy program;
- Collecting and sharing stories of local veterans and sharing them with the community;
- Creating memorials for local veterans groups;
- Partnering with local sustainable business on their programs;
- Working with an afterschool program to help children celebrate culture through arts;
- Partner with neighborhood associations to assist them with community development;
- Work with children on providing leadership training through recreation;
- Partner with college level international students on writing programs;
- Connect and participate with local city government;
- Riding and observing the local transit system and making recommendations about how to improve service.
To ensure maximum flexibility for instructors in Quest III, the Community Experience can be organized in a variety of ways. The project can take many different forms, including:
- One community experience with either one Community Partner or multiple Community Partners;
- multiple projects with one Community Partner or multiple Community Partners; or
- a study away or study abroad experience with Community Partners in other locations, either domestic or international.
As a rule of thumb, each student is expected to spend 14-20 hours of the semester working with the Community Partner. The structure of the Community Experience is based on agreements between the instructor, the Community Partner, and the Civic Engagement Coordinator. There are many different arrangements possible: students could participate in the Community Experience during class time or outside of it; the entire class may work with one Community Partner or the class can be split into groups working with multiple Community Partners; the class can interact with the Community Partner on-site or on-campus; and the instructor can offer the course in Oshkosh or as a study abroad/study away experience with international Community Partners.