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Community Engagement

Carnegie Foundation defines community engagement as collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, 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.


Service-learning is a type of experiential education that combines and pursues both achieving academic learning and meeting a relevant community defined need with intentionally integrating the use of effective ongoing reflection and assessment (Drake Experiential Learning Council, 2011). 

Students engaged in service-learning:

  • Take ownership and responsibility for their own learning.
  • Apply knowledge and understanding to a new environment.
  • Reflect on the impact that engagement outside the classroom has on their understanding of a liberal education, academic discipline, or on the importance of societal and personal values.
  • Establish skills, knowledge, or dispositions that will lead them to be engaged citizens.
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