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What is Community Engagement?

At UC Merced, Community Engagement is students working with community organizations and agencies in reciprocal partnerships. Where together, we address community identified needs, and demonstrate responsible community participation. It is the creation of positive change.


"Working to make a difference in the civic life of our communities and developing the combination of knowledge, skills, values and motivation to make a 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)


Here are some ways students can be engaged in our community:
  • Community Service and Volunteerism - Addressing the immediate needs of our social and ecological communities (hands-on service).
  • Community Building - Building trusting relationships among individuals and groups around issues of common concern.
  • Public Education - Drawing attention to, and creating awareness of local, national and global issues.
  • Community Development - Identifying or increasing the human or economic assets of a community.
  • Voting and Political Participation - Mobilizing influence on public policy through formal political channels.
  • Public Scholarship (Community Engaged Scholarship) - Engaging in research that serves the public interest and has community or social benefits.
  • Social Entrepreneurship - Using entrepreneurial principles to organize, create and manage a venture to make social change.
Adapted from the SOCIAL CHANGE WHEEL, Minnesota Campus Compact