Mission & Vision

Our Purpose

Campus Compact advances the public purposes of colleges and universities by deepening their ability to improve community life and to educate students for civic and social responsibility. Campus Compact envisions colleges and universities as vital agents and architects of a diverse democracy, committed to educating students for responsible citizenship in ways that both deepen their education and improve the quality of community life. We challenge all of higher education to make civic and community engagement an institutional priority.

Our Priorities

Because we are an organization of educational institutions, Campus Compact puts special emphasis on partnerships to support student success and civic learning across the education continuum. We help colleges and universities advance community goals in areas such as K-12 learning, college readiness, college access, and the development of student civic knowledge and skills at every level. Campus Compact’s work strengthens colleges and universities as contributors to educational improvement now while developing the next generation of citizens and leaders for our communities.

How We Work

Campus Compact:

  • Maintains the leading online collection of resources for community based teaching and scholarship
  • Provides professional development to administrators and faculty to enable them to build effective partnerships
  • Facilitates national partnerships connecting campuses with key issues in their local communities
  • Builds pilot programs to test and refine promising models in engaged teaching and scholarship
  • Convenes higher education institutions and organizations, along with partners beyond higher education, to share knowledge and develop collective capacity


Campus Compact was founded in 1985 by the presidents of Brown, Georgetown and Stanford Universities and the president of the Education Commission of the States. In the mid-1980s, the media portrayed college students as materialistic and self-absorbed, more interested in making money than in helping their neighbors. The founding presidents believed this public image was false; they noted many students on their campuses who were involved in community service and believed many others would follow suit with the proper encouragement and supportive structures. Campus Compact was created to help colleges and universities create such support structures. These include offices and staff to coordinate community engagement efforts, training to help faculty members integrate community work into their teaching and research, scholarships and other student incentives, and the institutional will to make civic and community engagement a priority. Today more than 98% of Campus Compact member campuses have one or more community partnerships, and more than 90% include service or civic engagement in their mission statements. These campuses are putting their knowledge and resources to work to help build strong communities and educate the next generation of responsible citizens.

Also see our 30th Anniversary Action Statement of Presidents and Chancellors,  Our Strategic Plan and read the 1999 Presidents’ Declaration on the Civic Responsibility of Higher Education