What is Civic Engagement?
Civic Engagement is a phrase that encompasses a wide range of activities—service, service-learning, advocacy and activism among them. These activities have two things in common. First, they serve the public interest. Second, they are carried out by people acting as citizens or community-members. While this means that civic engagement largely focuses on responding to community problems or strengthening public, non-profit organizations, the key to civic engagement is not activity but intent. A person reading alone might be civically engaged if the purpose of that reading is to help him develop as a citizen. A business owner might be civically engaged if she is, but building her business, purposefully improving the community. Conversely, students providing volunteer service might not be civically engaged if they are serving simply to fulfill an assignment.
The Center for Civic Engagement exists to improve student learning through service, service-learning, and other civic engagement activities. These activities may take place as part of courses or as part of the co-curriculum of the college. By investing in civic engagement, Westminster College expects that its students will develop better collaboration and leadership skills, deeper empathy, and a sense that they can contribute to the well-being of their homes, communities, and nation. The College, in turn, will become more deeply connected to its constituent communities and be more widely recognized for its commitment to active, hands-on education that serves the common good.
We are located in the Bassis Center,