Community and Civic Engagement: Institutionalizing Public Engagement

University of Northern Colorado has at the very core of its mission and identity a commitment to shaping educational change (Larson, 1989) and to education innovation in the public interest. UNC has grown from a teacher preparation and normal school at the turn of last century, into a doctoral intensive university preparing education professionals, nurses, community health experts, graduates, researchers and citizens in a broad spectrum of disciplines. Moreover, UNC’s distinctive role and its investment in public education centers on the notion of transformative education by being an “exemplary teaching and learning community,” as envisioned in UNC’s Academic Plan (2012). 

Never before has the need for UNC to reaffirm our commitment as a public institution, educating and serving in the public good, been more pressing. Higher Education is experiencing an identity crisis in the face of public concerns about its relevance and efficacy (Beere et al., 2011; Furco, 2010; The Economist, 2012), rapid declines in state funding of public institutions, and political pressure to limit indicators of success to alignment with the current job market and graduates’ income data. Notwithstanding this predicament, UNC is well positioned to reassert our purpose and place as a distinctive university that values community engagement as meaningful and relevant to transformational education, translational research, innovation, and the public good.

Community and Civic Engagement (CCE) is one of the nine strategic plans, outlined in our university’s planning process. A growing body of research and practice shows that teaching, research and service learning activities engaged in local or global communities are high-impact practices. As a result of work undertaken in 2012-2013, by the CCE Committee and members of our campus community who contributed their voices to the planning process, we are now working to meet our goals.

The CCE plan is informed by our UNC institutional history and distinctive identity, by other ongoing campus wide initiatives, by feedback gathered from prior data, a campus listening tour, and by the experiences of other institutions of higher education as they have infused public engagement into all aspects of their campuses. The plan for the next three years is intended to enhance and guide the infusion of engagement on our campus and in our communities.

News & Events

Community Engaged Scholarship Symposium

The Provost's Office reminds faculty and staff to save Tuesday, Nov. 11, for the eighth annual Community Engaged Scholarship Symposium from 11:15 a.m.-2:30 p.m. in the University Center ballrooms. The symposium is an excellent opportunity for members of the university community to share information about community issues and community engaged teaching, learning and research.

Community Fest

Saturday, October 4, 2014, 10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.
UNC campus west of Michener Library and adjacent to Nottingham Field

Campus Compact of the Mountain West Request for Proposals

CCMW will award three ESG grants for the Spring 2015 semester. Applications are due to the CCMW office on September 26, 2014. Applicants will be notified of their award status on October 10, 2014. Additionally, CCMW will award two ECT grants of $1,500 each for the 2014-2015 academic year. Applications are due to the CCMW office on September 26, 2014. Applicants will be notified of their award status on October 10, 2014. Click here for more information.