I imagine that my university enables me to actively participate in shaping the world that surrounds me. It encourages me to have experiences in which I can understand with all my senses what it means to take responsibility for myself, others and society.
SENSE Center for Civic Engagement and Responsible Management Education
My university brings me into contact with actors in civil society whom I can meet at eye level - here and in the world. I learn from their valuable work and give back something valuable: my knowledge, my experiences, my enthusiasm. In this way I prepare myself for future challenges. In this way, university and society enrich each other. In this way, it all makes sense.
The SENSE Center for Civic Engagement and Responsible Management Education makes the social and ethical aspects of social and economic action directly tangible for students at the Karlshochschule.
The SENSE Center enables students and civil society organizations as well as schools to jointly implement a practical project. In this way, students get to know the work in civil society and the educational system and experience what it means to take responsibility for society. The students get to know the common good oriented practice and its social importance. In doing so, they sharpen their ability to work in a team, solution orientation and social skills. They gain a better understanding of social contexts and reflect on their own role and ethical issues. In doing so, they bring their diverse perspectives and experiences, exciting approaches from science and business and their enthusiasm to the organizations. In this way, university and society enrich each other.
Through this service learning offer, the SENSE Center realizes the claim of the Karlshochschule to train responsible decision makers for a sustainable society. It also contributes to the implementation of the UN Sustainability Goals (SDGs).
The project consists of three elements that build on each other and a cross-sectional component:
Local community projects: Shaping the world around us
Optionally in the 3rd or 4th semester, students work in teams with civil society organizations from Karlsruhe and the surrounding area. They work over a semester on a task developed with the partner organization. In the ideal case, it is a real problem of the organization for which it wishes to receive support. The students are prepared for their assignment in workshops, are accompanied by experienced coaches and continuously reflect on their experiences.
International community projects: Engagement without borders
During their semester abroad in the 4th or 5th semester, students have the opportunity to work on a project in their host country. They individually search for a partner organization that matches their interests. They make contact on their own and finally get involved regularly in the project work over a period of 3 to 4 months.
We accompany the students through the entire process. Before they leave, the students attend a preparatory workshop. Online learning modules encourage them to reflect during their stay abroad. After their return, a follow-up workshop helps them to take the experiences back into their everyday lives.
School projects: Learning through teaching
In the 6th semester, students have the opportunity for a completely different change of perspective: in cooperation with Karlsruhe high schools, they pass on their experience and knowledge. Together with students, they develop projects for a sustainable future. In advance they receive a workshop on didactics, which prepares them for the challenges in the classroom. Afterwards the students reflect on their teaching and learning experience.
Ethics in Digitalization: #digitalskills
One of the core competencies of future managers in times of digitalization will be to make informed decisions and to assess the influence of automated decision systems. We address these challenges and challenge students to reflect on how ethical decision-making can take place in the digital world - in the context of civil society involvement and our coexistence as a whole.
Digital ethical competencies are reflected as a cross-cutting theme in all our project components.
Service Learning is a way of teaching and learning that combines the teaching of academic content with a practical experience of civic engagement. Within a university module, students support the work of a civil society organization. In doing so, they put their theoretical and methodological knowledge into practice oriented towards the common good. Together with the lecturers, the students reflect on their experiences. In this way, knowledge and action are combined and something new is created – critical thinking and professional skills, for example, but also the experience of what it means to take responsibility for society.
We believe that the service learning experience enables students to develop an ethical awareness that they will eventually internalize. Thus, they not only improve their teamwork and communication skills, but also experience democratic and participatory practice first-hand and are directly confronted with issues of global justice and sustainability. In this way, the links between individual and professional action and local and global inequality, discrimination and environmental degradation become tangible. The students experience both their responsibility and their scope of action for social change.
By training responsible decision makers for a sustainable society, the SENSE Center at the Karlshochschule contributes to the implementation of the UN's sustainability goals (SDGs).