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Office of Leadership, Service and Career

About Us

Our Commitment to Inclusivity

The students and staff within the Community Engagement Center (CEC) at UC Merced work to create an inclusive environment for all and prioritize creating opportunities to promote positive systemic change by collaborating with community organizations, students, and faculty.

We, the CEC Team, recognize:

  • The struggle and lived experience of under resourced communities in Merced.
  • The importance of UC Merced students, faculty, and staff being engaged in the Merced community as a community member, not as a guests
  • The need to acknowledge biases and challenge them through practices of inclusion and acceptance

We, the CEC Team, strive to:

  • Promote fairness and provide empowerment and advocacy for each individual and community to ensure that everyone has the right to civil liberties, equal opportunity, and a sense of safety and security.
  • Challenge existing frameworks of oppression including racism, heterosexism, ableism, classism, xenophobia, ageism, sexism, transphobia, microaggressions, and all other forms of discrimination
  • Maintain an environment in which all individuals receive respect and acceptance.

The Community Engagement Center embraces the following definition of Community/Civic Engagement:

"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.”

Thomas Ehrlich Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching

Our Purpose and Mission

Community engagement is core to the purpose of higher education and essential to the student experience, teaching, and empowering students to become active and responsible civic participants, and central to the theme of UC Merced's Principles of Community.

The Community Engagement Center brings together UC Merced students, staff, faculty, and Merced community members, agencies, and organizations to create and develop reciprocal partnerships that generate student learning, build capacity, and solve problems through service, scholarship, and leadership. These actions contribute to building a healthy and sustainable community (local to global) and creating positive change. 

Community Engagement Center Goals

  • Facilitate equitable, effective, and reciprocal partnerships and opportunities for students, faculty, and community partners in educational and co-curricular service and research experiences.
  • Provide opportunities to, and facilitate connections between, campus and community entities.
  • Support positive community engagement outcomes through educational workshops, trainings, and program implementation.

Community Engagement Center Student Learning Outcomes

  • Civic Responsibility:  Capacity to express an understanding of issues within the community and the responsibility to participate in democratic processes to work toward positive changes.
  • Consciousness of Self: Ability to identify individual values and interests, to gain the confidence to act consistently with values, and to respect and appreciate the perspectives, values, and life situations of others. 
  • Academic Success: Ability to apply academic concepts to community issues and concepts of community issues to academic learning, alongside the development of professional skills.