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Civic Engagement is a movement across higher education that combines student learning with meaningful community work. It seeks to deepen learning and respond to real needs through campus-community partnerships. We're committed to making civic engagement a USM hallmark, helping us fulfill our promise of engaged learning that transforms lives and communities.
Since occupying the former Alumni House at 23 Brighton Avenue in October 2006, the Office of Community Engagement has added a part-time Student Coordinator and three full time VISTAs (Volunteers in Service to America) to student staff, Americorps Service Leaders, and this Director. Our ability to make a difference, promoting and facilitating USM's participation in the civic engagement movement has increased dramatically: reported student community service and service learning increased over 440% since we began, with 9,927 hours of student service and service learning in 2005-06 and 43,775 in 2007-2008.
Students will find opportunities ranging from one time projects to deeper, sustained involvements and leadership. Faculty will find theoretical and logistical support for civic engagement and service learning as powerful pedagogical approaches. Organizations that serve greater Portland will find skilled participants to engage in their work. All of us will find growing partnerships for learning and service that will help us fulfill the civic promise of higher education and of USM.
- David Cimato
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