Civic Innovation


Scott Sikes, Chair

Talmage A. Stanley

Megan Hamilton

Degrees and Certificates


CVIN 100: Introduction to Civic Innovation

Semester Hours 4.0

Students understand the distinguishing characteristics of innovation and innovative practice, and work with peers building effective collaborations that address a community need. Students identify and analyze the root causes of the need they are addressing, propose creative outcomes, and outline the innovative practices to achieve those outcomes. Civic Project: Entry level project work.

CVIN 124: Skills Seminar: Project Design and Management

Semester Hours 1.0

Students develop skills for implementing major projects, focusing on innovation and prototyping social entrepreneurial ideas. Students will acquire skills for identifying results and articulating their work in terms of results achieved in projects and other settings.

CVIN 125: Skills Seminar: Public Presentation

Semester Hours 1.0
Students make public presentations, engage in public debate on current civic issues and questions, and facilitate collaborative planning process focused on bringing innovative solutions to a local problem. Students develop a personal results eportfolio to be utilized in project based work across the Emory & Henry curriculum.

CVIN 126: Skills Seminar: Interviewing and Collaborative Research

Semester Hours 1.0

Students acquire skills for organizing and implementing collaborative research to find innovative responses to community needs. Students learn how to deploy interviewing, transcription, and reporting skills, and social media skills for effective collaborative innovation and project implementation.

CVIN 200: Public Movements, Social and Cultural Change

Semester Hours 3.0

Drawing from efforts for social and cultural change across regional, national, and international contexts, students apply key lessons and strategies to specific contemporary issues and questions, emphasizing the development of innovative ideas and building support for them. Students understand the difference between policy driven innovation and change and citizen driven innovation and change, particularly in the Appalachian context, and assess the effectiveness of those change efforts based on outcomes.

CVIN 205: Skills Seminar: Building Collaboratives and Alliances for Innovation

Semester Hours 4.0

As part of an ongoing major project, student teams effectively organize and mobilize citizens to take on collaborative work that innovatively addresses community needs to achieve tangible results. Teams develop result leaders, recruit participants, negotiate instances of conflict, and identify and learn from mistakes. Civic Project: Organizing Collaborative Work.

CVIN 224: Skills Seminar: Innovative Leadership

Semester Hours 1.0
Students apply best practices of innovative leadership to nonprofit organizational issues, including governance, board structure and effectiveness, staff development, volunteer recruitment. Students use GIS technology to support prototyping and programming.

CVIN 225: Skills Seminar: Funding Innovation

Semester Hours 1.0
Students understand the difference between conventional funding such as grants from foundations and funders who act as investors in innovative responses to problems, questions, and issues, looking for a return on the investment. Students accommodate and address both opportunities.

CVIN 226: Skills Seminar: Program Development

Semester Hours 1.0
Students will learn how to prototype innovative responses to community needs and issues, and acquire skills for assessing those efforts by learning from successes, failures, and mistakes with an emphasis on knowledge creation for further innovation.

CVIN 250: Appalachia

Semester Hours 3.0
By examining the interface between politics, public policy, private sector business, citizen activism, and the complex dynamics of place, students articulate an understanding of the history, culture, and status of the people Appalachia. Students apply the understanding to contemporary public issues in Appalachia and develop innovative responses, creative strategies, and outcomes. May have a travel component.

CVIN 255: Place and the Built Environment - NYC

Semester Hours 3.0

In the contexts of the five boroughs of New York, students examine and articulate the relationship between urban society and the built environment, with particular focus on the effects of that relationship on civic innovation for social justice. Students apply their understanding to contemporary urban contexts, including New York, and to local rural communities. Has a travel component.

CVIN 260: Ireland

Semester Hours 3.0
Students explore and articulate social and cultural contradictions in contemporary Irish society, the role of place in Irish cultural and political identities, and the interplay of the Irish diaspora and homeland in Irish politics and culture. Students apply their understanding of these factors in contemporary Ireland to issues and questions in the American national and Appalachian regional contexts, looking for innovative, cross cultural, and international solutions. Has a travel component.

CVIN 312: Politics and Public Policy

Semester Hours 3.0
Based on identified community issues, student teams write a public policy to address the issue. Students articulate the role of citizens in policy formation and the political process. Students equip persons and groups to be active participants in the processes of policy formation and enforcement. Students demonstrate understandings of the ways that public policy is formulated and implemented in the United States; the role of elected officials, bureaucrats, interest groups, and social movements in setting policy priorities and writing law; and the differences between the policy process at the national, state, and local levels of government.

CVIN 345: Innovative Capacity and Community Development

Semester Hours 4.0

From examining contemporary situations, students understand the distinctions between asset based and need based community development, as well as the role of spark plugs in communities and how to build the innovative capacity of communities and leaders. Students use quantitative data to analyze community issues, applying these in a major ongoing community development project.

CVIN 350: Special Topics

Semester Hours 3.0
Selected topics in civic life, civic innovation, leadership, cultural studies, place, community development. Topics chosen by instructors in consultation with students. May be repeated for different topics.

CVIN 400: Senior Project

Semester Hours 6.0

While engaged in a significant leadership on a major collaborative project, drawing on the work already accomplished in the CVIN program, students deploy entrepreneurial leadership skills, developing innovative solutions to identified problems and opportunities, to achieve tangible outcomes on the project. This serves as one part of the two part capstone experience. 


Senior status and instructor permission.

CVIN 450: Capstone Seminar and Thesis

Semester Hours 3.0

Students produce a major interdisciplinary paper in which they explore an issue or question they have confronted over their time in the program. Students apply concepts of innovation, citizenship, and place, articulating a statement of purpose or identity of themselves as innovative civic leaders. Both the paper and the results portfolio are a part of the student's capstone presentation. Public presentation of Four Year Results Portfolio.

CVIN 470: Civic Project

Semester Hours 6.0
Civic innovative work focused on achieving identified outcomes for an organization, agency, or community, jointly supervised by department and a proven civic innovator. A Civic Project, depending on scope of work and ambition of outcomes, may carry between two and six hours credit with the permission of the program director. Credit hours will be determined before the launch of the civic project and will reflect the scope of work required to achieve the identified outcomes.