Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement

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The Center for Civic Learning and Community Engagement promotes positive social change and healthier, more vibrant communities through innovative programming and partnerships that benefit our community and Mount Wachusett Community College.

The Center’s programs engage students, faculty, and staff with the community through service learning, volunteerism, internships/co-ops and civic outreach. With individuals, organizations, and businesses in north central Massachusetts as our partners, we achieve true impact and deliver tangible outcomes through programs and initiatives such as The Democracy Commitment and United Way Youth Venture.

MWCC Faculty and Staff have adopted the LEAP definition of civic engagement along with a portion of the definition noted in the MA Civic Learning and Engagement Assessment Framework. Collaboratively, with Fitchburg State University, this definition has been agreed on through the Quality Collaborative Dyad work over the past three years.

DEFINITIONS

From MA Civic Learning and Engagement Assessment Framework (CLEAF):
Engaging students in the knowledge, skills, and values they need to contribute as active and informed members of a democratic society in order to promote the growth of healthy communities, global economic vitality, social justice and the common good.

From LEAP VALUE Civic Engagement Rubric:
Civic engagement is “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.” (Excerpted from Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, edited by Thomas Ehrlich, published by Oryx Press, 2000, Preface, page vi.) In addition, civic engagement encompasses actions wherein individuals participate in activities of personal and public concern that are both individually life enriching and socially beneficial to the community.

  • Civic identity: When one sees her or himself as an active participant in society with a strong commitment and responsibility to work with others towards public purposes.
  • Civic/community contexts: Organizations, movements, campaigns, a place or locus where people and/or living creatures inhabit, which may be defined by a locality (school, national park, non-profit organization, town, state, nation) or defined by shared identity (i.e., African- Americans, North Carolinians, Americans, the Republican or Democratic Party, refugees, etc.). In addition, contexts for civic engagement may be defined by a variety of approaches intended to benefit a person, group, or community, including community service or volunteer work, academic work.