As demonstrated in our mission, vision and current strategic plan, Drake University has a long-standing commitment to community engagement & service-learning. The depth and breadth of Drake’s community engagement efforts are deep and encompass the entire width of the institution spanning from a 95 year old collaboration with the city of Des Moines for a science education program with the Drake Municipal Observatory to a six county Drake University Head Start Program serving over 900 children and families.

Community engagement & service-learning not only fulfills the institution's historic mission, but faculty and student involvement in the community enhances teaching and advising, research and scholarship, outreach, and the university community as a whole.

As a result of feedback received from the Community Engagement Audit conducted fall 2013, we have learned that Faculty, staff and students are regularly engaged with the Drake Neighborhood, in the Des Moines Metro and internationally through both their personal and professional endeavors.
Over 80% of Drake students participate in a community service or service-learning experience before they graduate.
More than a quarter of our courses include service-learning as tool for teaching.
70% of Faculty and Staff serve in the community with nonprofits, boards, professional organizations, and schools.
Collectively, the nine members of cabinet serve as board members with more than 40 different nonprofit organizations.

Together, we are achieving Strategic Plan goal IV of engaging with Drake’s key constituents to advance the University and to fulfill our commitments to the communities of which we are a part.

Resources for Faculty

  • Provide small funds for community engagement & service-learning supplies and logistical support
  • Identify sites for community engagement & service-learning components
  • Establish contact with community partners
  • Distribute brochures or forms about procedures for community engagement & service-learning to your students e.g. community partner agreements, service-learning site background checks, liability waivers
  • Present the topic of community engagement & service-learning to your class during the first few weeks of the semester
  • Provide descriptive information about the sites
  • Make a mid-semester e-mail contact with your students and their service site supervisors
  • Offer general or course-specific pre, mid, and / or post community engagement & service-learning reflection sessions
  • Conduct community partner, student, and faculty assessment for your community engagement & service-learning component
  • Provide resources to you or your students to insure the best experience possible
  • Showcase your project in various community engagement & service-learning events and publications
  • Provide faculty and staff development opportunities regarding community engagement & service-learning and related topics

Resources for Students

  • Community Advisory Board - A student-run organization that engages students in meaningful service and collaborative initiatives that inspire them to strengthen relationships with the communities of which they are a part.
  • Volunteer Local – An online database of local community volunteer opportunities.
  • Mini Grants – Service-Learning Mini Grants are available on a first come first serve basis to students designing and participating in service-learning projects.
  • Post-Graduate Opportunities – CESL staff are knowledable about and can provide infomration on programs like AmeriCorps and the Peace Corps.
University News
October 23, 2014
"everyday abstraction: contemporary abstract painting" is on view November 7 through January 23 in the Anderson Gallery.