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Center for Civic Engagement

Get Engaged in Your Community

Civic Engagement Defined

According to Thomas Ehrlich of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, "Civic engagement means working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference. It means promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and nonpolitical processes."

Student and child color together.
Student and senior citizen socializing.

The CCE divides civic engagement into five types:

  • Direct Service: Hands-on community service, primarily off campus (e.g. tutoring, environmental restoration)
  • Capacity Building: Enhancing the organizational capacity of a community agency, school, or non-profit organization (e.g. research, web design, strategic planning)
  • Advocacy: Raising awareness of issues; political participation; influencing public opinion and/or policy (e.g. public forums, voter registration, campaigns)
  • Community Based Research: Research that is done in collaboration with the community to benefit underserved populations and/or the public good
  • Philanthropy: Organizing and coordinating fundraising activities¬†for causes and community organizations

The CCE can help connect students with any form of civic engagement in which they are interested. The CCE offers a variety of daily community service projects and holds events all year to help students participate in capacity building, advocacy, and philanthropy activities.