Community Engagement


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 address critical societal issues and contribute to the public good (Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement).

Active community-based engagement intentionally links learning in the classroom to the wisdom of the community. In both curricular and co curricular community engagements, 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). The goal is for students to 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).