Types of Community Engagement

Community Engagement Models

The following community engagement models are supported by the Office of Community Engagement through community-engaged learning courses, student employment, or volunteer opportunities for groups or individuals.

Community Building

Projects that intentionally bring people together to simply get to know one another. Examples include the Morris Community Meal.

Community Education

Projects that provide instructional services or curricula, or serve to educate the public about a social issue (in a non-partisan way). Examples include the TREC program, Community ESL classes, and Gather in the Park.

Community Organizing

Projects that bring people together with the goal of solving a community issue. Please note that OCE cannot work on partisan issues, but can contribute to creating solutions for non-partisan, local issues. An example is assistance in establishing the Latino Parent Advisory Board for the local school.

Deliberative Dialogue

Projects that intentionally bring people together to build understanding across differences.

Direct Service

Projects that provide a service or product to an individual, group, or the community as a whole. Examples include filling a volunteer shift at a local organization, creating social media tools for an organization, or creating a community mural.

Economic Development

Projects that work on developing the regional economy in a sustainable way. Note that OCE does not partner with for-profit entities except when doing so would benefit the community as a whole and not the for-profit only organization. Examples include feasibility studies for new businesses and projects that attract people to small town business disricts.

Engaged Research

Research that directly benefits the community by clarifying the causes of a community challenge, mapping a community's assets, or contributing to solutions to current challenges and also fits a faculty member's research agenda. In the best case scenario, faculty with research expertise work alongside community members and students on such projects. An example would be the MIEI community needing assessment.

Institutional Engagement

University resources intentionally offered without undue barriers to the community. OCE can play a role in envisioning institutional engagement efforts. Examples include making Briggs library cards available for community members, making campus events accessible, and choosing to use local and sustainable businesses to supply services or goods.