Center for Community Engagement

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The Center supports robust community partnerships, involving students, faculty, and staff that positively transform our University and communities through a continuum of community engagement opportunities and public scholarship.

Dominican holds the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching in recognition of exemplary institutional focus on community engagement.

Modes of Community Engagement

Community engagement is a key part of every student’s Dominican Experience.

Our Center for Community Engagement assures that all students have meaningful opportunities to collaborate with community partners to enrich their education and contribute to the public good.

There are many ways to engage with your community and Dominican offers several methods to give options to learn, grow, and make a significant impact within the community:

  • Service-Learning integrates meaningful community engagement with the academic curriculum, emphasizing critical reflection, and analysis. With community organizations and schools, students learn about the lives of others and the larger contexts and root causes of issues that impact us all.
  • Global learning encompasses academic programs that further intercultural understanding and comfort with difference. Through coursework, internships, and research, both in the United States and abroad, students explore the interconnectivity of global systems and their own global responsibility.
  • Internships provide a structured experience related to the student's major or career goal where students gain practical experience related to their field of study and enhance their academic, career, and personal development.
  • Fieldwork provides opportunities for students to gain hands-on experience working with clients and/or programs under the supervision of a qualified practitioner.
  • Community-based projects are embedded in academic courses, designed to serve "client" community organizations and businesses. Through structured, faculty-guided initiatives, students hone leadership and team skills while applying disciplinary knowledge and engaging local experts.
  • Community-based research is student and faculty research conducted with established partners in diverse fields. Partner organizations benefit from students' work gathering and analyzing data for select projects, and students build critical skills.

Civic Action Plan

Through the implementation of the Civic Action Plan, The Center for Community and Engagement can be a national model for equitable and effective practices in community engagement. The goals and actions of this plan are designed to institutionalize civic and community engagement as central to the Dominican Experience and the mission of the university. 

Read the Civic Action Plan

Mission

Our mission is to connect classroom, campus, and community through reciprocal partnerships contributing to a just, equitable and healthy world. The Center supports the Dominican campus community and the community at large in developing projects and partnerships that further the Center’s mission and align with the following principles:

  1. Relevance, academic rigor, and connection with Dominican's Institutional Learning Outcomes: Community engagement is germane to course content, required by all students enrolled in the course, and integrated into course goals and student learning outcomes. Course goals respond to one or more of Dominican’s Institutional Learning Outcomes.
  2. Community voice and interest: Community engagement activities address community-identified issues and meet course goals. This includes determining a timeframe, a required skill-set for students, and training requirements.
  3. Reciprocity between all stakeholders: Dominican and Community Partners develop a shared vision and joint strategies; learn from and teach each other; and, are accountable to each other. Community Partners, as co-educators, participate in evaluating student engagement.
  4. Critical reflection: Students continuously analyze their understanding of larger contexts, societal and organizational structures, and civic responsibility.
  5. Assessment: Evaluation of student, faculty, and community work is embedded in the course or project to measure the progress made towards student learning outcomes and community goals.6. Dissemination and celebration: All stakeholders are recognized for their contributions. Findings from the course or project are shared with Dominican and the larger community.

Center for Community Engagement Leadership

Julia van der Ryn headshot

Julia van der Ryn, MA

Executive Director, Center for Community Engagement Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Social Justice

Contact Information

Meet Our Advisory Council

Kati Bell

Kati Bell, EdD

Senior International Officer and GEO Director
Patti Culross headshot

Patti L. Culross, MD, MPH

Assistant Professor Director, Global Public Health Program
Perry Guevara headshot

Perry Guevara, PhD

Assistant Professor of English
Katherine Lewis headshot

Katie Lewis, PhD

Assistant Professor and Director of Multiple Subject Credential Program
Jennifer Lucko headshots

Jennifer Lucko, PhD

Program Director, Master of Science in Education
Denise Lucy headshot

Denise Lucy, EdD

Executive Director, Institute of Leadership Studies Professor, Business and Organizational Studies
Marly Norris headshot

Marly Norris, MBA

Vice President, Advancement and Public Affairs
Leah Ozeroff headshot

Leah Ozeroff, EdD, MA

Director of Educational Effectiveness
Mary Soher headshot

Sister Mary Soher, OP, DM

Director of Campus Ministry
Laura Stivers headshot

Laura Stivers, PhD

Professor
Gina Tucker-Roghi headshot

Gina Tucker-Roghi, OTD

Assistant Professor
Julia van der Ryn headshot

Julia van der Ryn, MA

Executive Director, Center for Community Engagement Assistant Professor, Philosophy and Social Justice
Giulia Welch headshot

Giulia Welch, MPA

Director of Career Development Integrative Coach
Emily Wu headshot

Emily S. Wu

Assistant Director of Community Outreach and Project Development, Service-Learning Program Social Justice Faculty