Civic Engagement Directors

The Civic Engagement Directors Constituency Group meets at the Summer Institute.

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What is civic engagement?

“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 non-political processes.” — Definition of civic engagement as defined by Thomas Ehrlich in his book Civic Responsibility and Higher Education published by Oryx Press, 2000.

What is civic engagement at a NAC&U institution?

  • Civic Engagement is a practical means – a catalyst – to advance and fulfill civic responsibility, and improve liberal arts and pre-professional education.
  • Civic engagement is one goal that is EQUAL to liberal arts and pre-professional studies.
  • Civic engagement is the core means by which to integrate and bring the campus together, creating one college, one university.
  • NAC&U is the only group of institutions that has civic engagement as the primary means of achieving institutional goals
    • Civic engagement has tremendous resonance with work done by AAC&U, Campus Compact, Democracy Project, National Society of Experiential Education, NASPA etc.

Engaged learning produces engaged learners and engaged institutions that are working with their communities to improve society and the human condition.

“Doing good and doing well. We must first do good in life in order to do well in life.” — quote from Ira Harkavy at the 2015 NAC&U Summer Institute…

What is NAC&U’s Civic Engagement Collaborative?

Through the Civic Engagement Collaborative, NAC&U is establishing an intentional community of practice for all those involved in our many community-campus partnerships. The mission of the NAC&U Civic Engagement Collaborative is to bring campus, community, and student leaders together through reciprocal community based partnerships that deepen the participants’ commitment to civic engagement and encourage opportunities for social innovation. Highlighting just one of these partnerships, participating NAC&U institutions will work together with their community partners to develop sustainable, action-based civic engagement partnerships that address pre-K – 12 education issues that are important to that community (e.g. literacy, graduation rates, youth empowerment, etc.). The goals of the Civic Engagement Collaborative are to:

  • Increase impact on student learning
  • Strengthen community impact
  • Create positive change in our community
  • Publication Opportunity for faculty/staff
  • Elevate the reputation of NAC&U

If you are interested in being a part of this community of practice and this intercollegiate endeavor to collect impact data, please submit your information using this form.

CEC Resource Page

CE Directors are encouraged to use the email list and directory found on this site to correspond with one another about programming ideas, questions, and concerns and to share best practices.

Current Officers:
Nuala Boyle
Director, Center for Civic Engagement
Nazareth College


Sarah Donovan
Interim Dean, Integrated Learning
Wagner College


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