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  • Relevance of community engagement in higher education
  • Posted By:
  • Chris J
  • Posted On:
  • 05-Jul-2014
  • Today there is immense pressure on all to reduce college cost and make our education as relevant as possible. When it comes to justifying relevance, we are often defensive. When students are offered a variety of community engagement activities and programs, there is a deeper significance to the value of higher education.

    Higher education cost cannot effectively be validated just with knowledge. Through application of learning and teaching and through adaptation of practices that can connect theory to practice, institutions must strive to transform students and communities.

    Faculty, administrators and students of the CACC or California Campus Compact have been constantly motivated and inspired for the past 25 years by community engagement reward and support through co-creation of learning and teaching environments.

    All CACC activities and co-curricular programs are integrated seamlessly into community engagement through development of effective educational model. Gap between student affairs and academics have been effectively bridged by this effort from CACC. This in turn has immensely benefited faculty, students and student affairs professionals.

    Community engagement initiatives have also enhanced social responsibility, civic virtue and common purpose renewal on campuses making higher education worth the cost and relevant. Keeping in mind long term sustainability of our higher education system, it has become imperative for us to devise way to reduce college costs. Including community engagement in our education is a wonderful way to ensure progress and health of our nation as a whole.

    CACC has played a pivotal role in helping CIIS or California Institute of Integral Studies develop the CBC or Center for Beloved Community initiative. Drawing inspiration from Martin Luther King’s advocacy and spirit, this initiative focuses also on the San Francisco Bay Area apart from CIIS.

    A lot of strategic challenges and opportunities are presented by the rapid expansion dynamics especially because of the fact that CIIS is located in one of San Francisco’s fast changing areas. Backed by the flourishing arts and high tech around, CIIS has been offering a lot of necessary attention and support for the underserved to enable them to stay sustained.

    CIIS is an excellent example of what should happen at universities and colleges all over our country. As compared to any other university, most number of counselling psychologists is being educated at six counselling centers by CIIS School of Professional Psychology.

    Many students today are unable to complete their undergraduate degrees. Such students are very effectively served by the School of Undergraduate Studies. Honouring past achievement and education, these students are offered a cohort education model. Thus, a diverse student body is served by the BAC or Bachelor of Arts Completion Program.

    Through the BAC program, students are prepared through collaborative, multidisciplinary and integrative approaches. In order to advance their community service opportunities, BAC graduates enter various CIIS graduate programs.

    CIIS continues to focus on its Beloved Community vision backed by the credibility, support and inspiration offered by CACC. This organization is committed to improving community life, advancing public purpose and offered education on social responsibility.


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