Center for Civic Engagement

Annual Report 2015–2016

Civic Engagement is central to the public purpose of higher education and essential to the student experience, empowering students to become active citizens in a democratic society. The WSU Center for Civic Engagement exists to forge community-campus partnerships that build community capacity, generate knowledge, and solve problems through service, leadership, and scholarship.


Featured Program: Palouse Fresh Food Project

Funded through AmeriCorps VISTA & Washington Campus Compact

Since August 2015, the Palouse Fresh Food Project has increased the availability of fresh food for community members who are food insecure through service learning opportunities and community collaboration. In 2017, the program was honored with the first annual Engaged Campus-Community Partnership Award by Western Region Campus Compact.

In 2015-16, this program:

  • Collected 6,521 lbs of food and $1,679.83 in donations, which is equivalent to 2,820 meals.
  • Developed the Whitman County Fresh Food Donation Guide, a single source for the public to use to donate or receive fresh, local food.
  • Worked directly with 18 community partners, two courses, and three student groups to improve fresh food access and develop public gardens throughout the county.
  • Created the WSU Food Recovery Club to combat food waste on campus. The club rescued 912 lbs of food at five events. Managed 941 volunteers who completed over 1,900 hours of service.
  • Collaborated with the Community Action Center to develop five cooking demonstrations for their food pantry patrons.
  • Coordinated Poverty Awareness Week events, which involved 40 groups who held 37 events. These events reached over 1,200 people and collected over 4,000 lbs of food and $725 in donations to support local food pantries.
Student pulling weeds in a community garden.

"This experience instilled in me a stronger sense of civic duty. I learned a lot about the demographics and needs of my local community." – Hannah Street, Recent WSU Graduate

Students buying honey at a farmers market.

Student Engagement

  • 9,636 students recorded 87,204 service hours in 2015-16
  • 3,343 students participated in 680 CCE-led projects
  • 390 group projects were organized for 48 student groups
  • 88.0% of students who completed the annual student survey recognize the importance of active citizenship
  • 85.4% of students felt they made a positive difference in the community

"I learned so much. It was incredible to be given the opportunity to apply the teachings of this course beyond the classroom to real life." – Hurst Kopp, Social Sciences General Studies Student

Academic Service Learning

  • 2,241 students in 82 academic courses completed 24,442 hours of service learning
  • 551 Global Campus students completed 7,768 hours of service for courses
  • 7 colleges and 16 departments offered service learning courses
  • 16 academic courses worked on projects related to food security
  • 76.8% of students in service learning courses felt their service helped them apply academic concepts in real life settings
  • 72.6% of students in courses felt their community-based experiences helped them develop their professional skills
Close up of a landscape architecture design.

Community member demonstrating cooking techniques with apples and granola.

Community Impact

  • 893 active community partners located in 35 Washington counties, 30 states, and 10 countries
  • 1,135 unique community engagement opportunities
  • 133 Palouse-based partners
  • 96 community partners focused on food security and nutrition
  • 27 food security related projects
  • 101 service learning internships