Community engagement, which includes community service, service-learning and field-experience programs and activities is the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national and global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity. The purpose of community engagement is the partnership of college and university knowledge and resources with those of the public and private sectors to enrich scholarship, research and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good. (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching)
Stewards of Place describes a publicly engaged institution that is fully committed to direct, two-way interaction with communities and other external constituencies through the development, exchange, and application of knowledge, information and expertise for mutual benefit. (American Association of State Colleges and Universities, www.aascu.org)
Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection to enrich the learning experience, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities. (Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching)
Community service is the engagement of students in volunteer activities that focus on providing services needed by different sectors of the community -- nonprofit, governmental, and community-based organizations -- as designed to improve the quality of life for local residents.
Field Experience entails the acquisition of skills and knowledge, both for personal development and for career advancement, and encompasses all types of facilitated learning opportunities. These experiences are required for some students’ majors, and are not open to everyone.