Students attending Illinois State University will receive a gift from State Farm Companies Foundation through the launch of a minor in an area that is important to both organizations—service-learning. The 21 hour minor, which is still in the proposal stage, will allow Illinois State students an opportunity to receive training in the fields of Civic Engagement and Social Leadership. Students enrolled in the new minor will be required to complete a course in Civic Responsibility, offered by shared faculty and staff across the academic board.
"Civic Engagement is one of Illinois State's core values under the University's strategic plan, Educating Illinois, and this new minor is another example of placing our values into action," said President Al Bowman. "It also represents another important partnership with State Farm, a company that has a long-standing commitment to global service-learning programs."
Civic Engagement and Social Leadership minors will choose from three main emphases; social responsibility, social entrepreneurship, and political engagement. The curriculum will also be aligned with State Farm's Semester of Service initiative to allow for service-learning to occur within normal coursework. With approval of the Illinois Board of Higher Education and the University's Board of Trustees, the new minor should be available for registration by the 2010-2011 school year.
"State Farm is proud to partner with Illinois State University," said CEO and Chairman of State Farm, Ed Rust Jr., "because we feel that integrating service-learning into the curriculum of teacher education, can change the future of education." Illinois State is the first public higher education institution in the State of Illinois to acknowledge service-learning as a minor.