The Office of Civic Engagement (OCE) collaborates with students, faculty, and community organizations to develop community-engaged projects. We encourage passion and action that promote social change and the public good.
Civic engagement encompasses both curricular and co-curricular work done by students as community-based learners, activists, interns and volunteer participants in community service. Community-engaged learning represents experiential learning work that deepens learning objectives in an academic course and/or discipline, and simultaneously benefits a community partner.
Our office encourages students to consider the role they play as individuals within larger social, public, and environmental systems, and to recognize that they will always be members of a community in which change can occur. We work to:
- Collaborate with students to help match their passions, talents, and academic work with their interests in social change;
- Support student’s individual efforts involving the community through networking, publicity, and action planning.
Civic engagement in higher education encompasses experiential pedagogies such as community-based learning and research. We are intent upon ensuring that the projects we recommend to faculty will result in desired learning outcomes, including experiencing one’s discipline in an out-of-class setting.
Our Office provides:
- Information on and connections to social and public service agencies in Central Texas;
- Discipline-specific models of community-based learning and research in higher education;
- Resources and guidance to facilitate the implementation of community-based learning in academic courses.
We hope to expand beyond traditional volunteering with community partners by:
- Connecting partners with students and faculty to promote student learning and benefit the community organization;
- Sharing best practices to enhance community-university partnerships;
- Collaborating through partnerships to address the community’s most pressing issues.