Public engagement and the classroom need not operate independently — in fact, we believe that community engagement enhances academic experiences and contributes to creating the active citizens and principled leaders of today and tomorrow. That's why the McKeen Center works with faculty and students to identify public engagement themes in the curriculum and to translate these into community-based teaching and research. Through discipline-specific discussions about civic responsibility or the roots of complex societal problems, to courses that involve students directly in partnerships with community organizations, students learn to analyze and understand public issues and to place their commitments to service in context. As lines between the classroom and community become blurred, students see that learning is not static and that knowledge is the key to creating thoughtful change.
Student and faculty questions about the center's work in relation to the academic program can be addressed to Janice Jaffe, associate director for community-based courses and research.