Active community-based engagement provides the University of San Diego community an opportunity to intentionally engage in partnerships that link the learning in the classroom to the wisdom of the community. The goal is to help students become “active learners, bringing skills and information from community work and integrating them with the theory and curriculum of the classroom to produce new knowledge.” (Mitchell, 2008).
As a practice of engaged pedagogy and scholarship, community engagement encompasses both curricular and co-curricular activities. While this is done through the integration of courses and community experiences, it is critical that “students, faculty, staff, and community members are all co-educators, co-learners, co-servers, and co-generators of knowledge.” (Clayton, 2012). When the value and practice of engagement is combined, the public purpose of USD strives to “make a difference in the civic life of our communities” by “developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make that difference.” (Excerpt from Civic Engagement Value Rubric, AAC&U).
Community engagement describes the 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. (Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement).