Community & Civic Engagement
Community Engagement and Civic Engagement are terms being used interchangeably at times, yet we think they are important distinctions.
Community engagement, as described by the Carnegie Foundation is “the collaboration between institutions of higher education and their larger communities (local, regional, state, national, and global) for the mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and resources in a context of partnership and reciprocity.”
Civic engagement can describe the activities and culture which promote the bridging of communities with socially conscious thought and action. In this way, community service, political activity, service-learning, activism and advocacy are all different faces of civic engagement that work together to enhance our society by improving our role as citizens. Thomas Ehrlich, in the preface to Civic Responsibility & Higher Education explained civic engagement as “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 . . . promoting the quality of life in a community, through both political and non-political processes” (Preface, p.vi).
Volume 16 (1) of the /Journal of Higher Education Outreach and Engagement/, and is available online at www.jheoe.uga.edu. This is a thematic issue that includes a section on the Community-Campus Partnerships for Health’s (CCPH’s) initiative, Faculty for the Engaged Campus, and a section for articles related to presentations made at a conference held in November 2010 sponsored by the University of Guelph and CCPH called “Critical Junctures in Research, Practice, and Policy.”