Institute for Civic Engagement

About The Institute for Civic Engagement

The purpose of the Institute for Civic Engagement (ICE) is to encourage students to participate in meaningful civic actions, and to prepare our students for a lifetime of service to society as thoughtful, ethical and engaged citizens.  The concept of "meaningful civic actions" includes a wide range of activities by which students are engaged in the lives of their communities (including the college community, the community in which the College is embedded, and the national and international communities of which we are all a part).

Civic action includes service to the community, and it also includes participation in the political process through activities like voting, participation in traditional politics, and involvement in groups that advocate for change. 

What does the ICE have to offer you?

  • Mentoring Opportunities
  • Service Trips
  • Weekly and Monthly community service opportunities
  • A lengthy list of community partners that need help
  • Opportunities to gain leadership skills
  • The opportunity to work on issues that matter to you                 
  • Events designed to invigorate our participatory democratic system of governance

Why get involved?

  • Apply hands-on, practical experience that connects college learning with real life situations
  • Build your resume with experiences that will increase your employability
  • Explore career opportunities
  • See the world from different points of view
  • Gain life-long skills in citizenship and activism
  • Participate in helping the greater good

100 Hour Club

Great Bay Community College is proud to introduce the Institute for Civic Engagement’s 100 Hour Club. The Great Bay Community College Institute for Civic Engagement strives to increase outreach between the college and the greater seacoast community through voluntary civic engagement projects with people and places that need our help. The 100 Hour Club is an opportunity for Great Bay Community College students, faculty, and staff to complete 100 hours of community service during their time spent at GBCC. After you complete the 100 hours, you will be recognized at the Student Leadership Banquet in May of the year completed, and your name will be added to a plaque displayed in Student Life.

Here is how it works!

  • Find and attend community service events in the community (see below for approved activities)
  • Bring the ICE Tracking Sheet (located on the ICE bulletin board outside of Student Life) with you and have it signed by the person who is running the event before you leave
  • Continue volunteering at events over the course of your time at GBCC until you have completed 100 hours

It’s that simple! Open to all students, faculty, and staff: you’re free to choose which events to volunteer your time to, and the best part is there’s no deadline.

Community Service is volunteering time to:

  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Big Brothers/Big Sisters
  • Mentoring
  • Hospitals, hospice, nursing homes
  • Church activities
  • 4-H, animal shelters
  • Libraries
  • Environmental projects

And many more!

Community Service is not:

  • Making donations (clothing, food, blood, etc.)
  • Raising funds
  • Participating in walks/runs/triathlons·     
  • Receiving money for work completed (including tips)

ICE Volunteer Hours Tracking Sheet

Spring Break Service Trip

Each Spring Semester the Institute for Civic Engagement plans a service trip for students to further engage themselves as civically minded members of the community. The trip takes place during the week of Spring Break in the middle of the semester. Previous trips have included traveling to Texas, Florida, and Guatemala to assist in building and repairing houses for families in need. The yearly ICE Service Trip promotes community service, develops leadership skills, and creates strong bonds among its participants.

The service trip being currently being planned is a week-long Habitat for Humanity Collegiate Challenge trip to Monmouth County, New Jersey. The group that attends will be repairing homes that were destroyed from Superstorm Sandy that severely devastated the New Jersey shoreline. For more information contact the ICE at gbcivic@ccsnh.edu or Sara Poulin at spoulin@ccsnh.edu 

Institute for Civic Engagement Focus Weeks

The purpose of the Institute for Civic Engagement (ICE) is to encourage students to participate in meaningful civic actions, and to prepare our students for a lifetime of service to society as thoughtful, ethical and engaged citizens.  The concept of "meaningful civic actions" includes a wide range of activities by which students are engaged in the lives of their communities (including the college community, the community in which the College is embedded, and the national and international communities of which we are all a part).

During the first week of each month, the Institute for Civic Engagement takes students to different locations and does volunteer activities that tie-in to the focus for the month. Currently: February is healthcare month, March is homelessness month, and April is environment month. There are civic engagement opportunities for students each day of these “ICE Focus Weeks”.

February
During this week, students can sign up to go to Harmony Homes, an Assisted Living Facility in Durham, New Hampshire. The residents staying at Harmony Homes ages range from late 50s to 100. The activities available for volunteers include crafts, baking pies and other sweet desserts, playing board games, serving food, and/or just spending time with the residents. Sign-ups for events this week can be found on the ICE bulletin board outside of Student Life and the library on the first floor of the college.

March
During this week, students will have a large variety of opportunities to volunteer at food pantries and homeless shelters. Food Pantries and shelters that the Institute for Civic Engagement have worked with before include Crossroads House, Seacoast Family Promise, New Generation, Operation Blessing, and Seacoast Family Food Pantry of New Hampshire. And we are always looking to add to this list! Sign-ups for events this week can be found on the ICE bulletin board outside of Student Life and the library on the first floor of the college.

April
During this week, students will have a variety of volunteer opportunities to choose from that help the environment in some way. There will be clean-up opportunities available at Great Bay and at local beaches. More opportunities will be added as the month approaches. Check back for more information!

College Night- Monthly
Each month, the Great Bay Community College Institute for Civic Engagement holds a “College Night”. The purpose of GBCC College night is to introduce the idea of college to middle school aged children in a fun and engaging manner.  GBCC students will serve as mentors for the night.  The event will include fun educational activities, pizza, and a tour of the building! For more information, contact the ICE at gbcivic@ccsnh.edu

Community Movie Night- Monthly
The first Friday of every month, a children’s movie will be shown in the Gateway Gallery (aka lobby) of the college. This movie is free to all members of the community. We are implementing a small food drive to our movie nights: bring one or more canned goods and be entered into a raffle to win a to-be-determined prize. All food items collected will be donated to the Seacoast Family Food Pantry of New Hampshire. Through doing this you get fun night out with the family and get to make a difference to a person in need. So bring the kids, grab a comfy blanket to lie on, and have some fun!! For more information, contact the ICE at gbcivic@ccsnh.edu