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What is Civic Engagement?

Students at FoodLink


Nazareth College is one of 190 colleges and universities in the country to be selected by the Carnegie Foundation for its community engagement classification.

Civic engagement means 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.

- Preface, page vi
Excerpts from Civic Responsibility and Higher Education, edited by Thomas Ehrlich, published by Oryx Press, 2000.


Civic Engagement at Nazareth

Civic engagement is based on partnerships that are reciprocal and mutually beneficial where all involved share resources and responsibilities as co-educators, co-learners, and co-generators of knowledge through the achievement of mutually determined interdependent outcomes.

Civic engagement is pervasive across the college involving curricular and co-curricular pathways of engagement including service learning, internships, practicum, clinical experiences, student teaching,  study abroad, research, service and leadership experiences, etc.

Characteristics of Civic Engagement

  • collaborative partnerships built on a sense of mutuality that respects the strengths/resources and issues/challenges of all partners
  • a variety of models/approaches (curricular and co-curricular) direct and indirect, one-time and sustained
  • a process of self-reflection as well as critical analysis of the world around us
  • the pursuit of cultural competency and an understanding of and respect for diversity
  • a pedagogy that links theory to practice
  • the development of professional competencies

Examples of Civic Engagement at Nazareth

  • Course-based service/outreach experiences
  • Service Learning courses
  • Co-curricular community service programs, such as Nazareth’s Partners for Learning and Partners for Service programs, along with student clubs that incorporate service
  • Internships
  • Field Placements
  • Clinics
  • Community-based research
  • Political involvement


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