What is Community Engagement?
Community engagement is a broad term for the process of creating and sustaining intentional partnerships that benefit members of the broader community while also meeting learning goals for students.
Avenues for Community Engagement
Here are examples of how students, faculty, staff, and institutions can practice community engagement:
Co-curricular service—Service projects (one-time or ongoing) that meet community needs and help students learn about direct work with a community agency or on a community issue/challenge. These projects are often conducted by individual students, residence hall floors, student organizations, or other groups of students.
Service-learning—A classroom experience that utilizes community engagement along with regular reflection to meet course goals and community needs.
Internships— An intensive dual mentorship experience involving an employment mentor who provides ongoing feedback to the student employee and a faculty mentor who provides opportunities for reflection and integration of academic work and employment experience.
Engaged research—Research that directly benefits the community by clarifying the causes of a community challenge, mapping a community’s assets, or contributing to solutions to current challenges and also fits a faculty member’s research agenda.
Institutional engagement—University resources intentionally offered without undue barriers to the community; institutional engagement ranges from library cards for the campus library to making campus events accessible to university faculty and staff choosing to use local businesses to supply services or goods needed to complete their work.