Community Engagement, which includes service-learning, community service and field experience programs and activities is the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, and global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good. (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching)
Stewards of Place describes a publicly engaged institution that is fully committed to direct, two-way interaction with communities and other external constituencies through the development, exchange, and application of knowledge, information and expertise for mutual benefit. (American Association of State Colleges and Universities, www.aascu.org)
Community engagement through service learning, community service and field experience programs is an exciting way to enhance student success and to systemically support communities in which we live. Community engagement offers our students unique experiential opportunities to gain outstanding academic preparation that translates theory to practice and to offer their knowledge to respond to economically, socially and environmentally sustainable challenges.
– Provost Jane Gates