Civic Responsibility Definitions

A morally and civically responsible individual recognizes himself or herself as a member of a larger social fabric and therefore considers social problems to be at least partly his or her own; such an individual is willing to see the moral and civic dimensions of issues, to make and justify informed moral and civic judgments, and to take action when appropriate.

Civic Engagement

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.

– Ehrlich, T. (2000). Civic responsibility and higher education. Phoenix, AZ: Oryx.

Community Engagement

Community engagement describes the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional/state, national, 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

Service-Learning

Service-learning is a form of experiential education in which students engage in activities that address human and community needs together with structured opportunities intentionally designed to promote student learning and development. Reflection and reciprocity are key concepts of service-learning.

– Jacoby, B. (1996).┬áService-Learning in Higher Education: Concepts and Practices. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

Social Innovation

Social innovation is the process of developing and deploying effective solutions to challenging and often systemic social and environmental issues in support of social progress.

Social innovation is not the prerogative or privilege of any organizational form or legal structure. Solutions often require the active collaboration of constituents across government, business, and the nonprofit world.

– Stanford Center for Social Innovation (Soule, Malhotra, and Clavier)

Community-Based Research

Community-Based Research (CBR) is a powerful model of engaged scholarship in which students, faculty, and community members collaborate on research to solve pressing community problems or effect social change. CBR attributes include:

  • Cooperation and communication between all research partners
  • Multiple sources of knowledge
  • Multiple methods of discovery
  • Diverse means for disseminating research finding
  • A commitment to some level of social action

-Stanford University- Haas Center

Community-Based Participatory Research

Community-based participatory research is a collaborative approach to research that equitably involves all partners in the research process and recognizes the unique strengths that each brings. CBPR begins with a research topic of importance to the community, has the aim of combining knowledge with action and achieving social change to improve health outcomes and eliminate health disparities.

– W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Health Scholars Program