Building Commitment Through Outreach/ Engagement Centers

Many campuses have established offices of service-learning or civic engagement in the last 25 years. Separately, many campuses participate in college access programs of the federal government (through a TRiO program), a state program (such as Liberty Partnerships Program in New York) or locally on campus. This section of the guide encourages campuses to consider strong partnerships between the existing outreach and engagement of service-learning offices with the missions of pre-college and pipeline programs.

Often, these initiatives are separated in college and university campuses: TRiO and other college access programs might be located in enrollment management while service-learning initiatives are often housed in either student affairs or academic affairs. Determining what relationship these initiatives will have is a campus decision. This section of the guide provides recommendations for intentionally linking two complementary efforts.

1. Guide to Institutionalizing College Access, Engagement, and Outreach


As recommended in A Promising Connection:

  • Begin with the mission. Institutional missions, vision, and strategy should align the civic purpose of higher education with the access imperative.
  • Collect resources to inform approach and alignment. Campuses can begin conversations about the challenges of, resources need for, and relevant literatures of college access, success, and civic engagement.
  • Involve those impacted. The staff and students involved in (or beneficiaries of) college access programs can offer advice on how to better engage these programs as part of the existing service-learning or civic engagement programs on campus.
  • Collect information about the landscape of existing resources. Staff and faculty deeply involved in service-learning and civic engagement programs can identify within their existing network of partnerships organizations focused on college access.
  • Create shared goals for impact. Evaluate college access, success, and civic engagement initiatives by setting relevant and achievable goals for campus compact commitments to these parallel initiatives.

2. Exemplary Programs

Making College Happen – Chester Higher Education Council and the College Access Center of Delaware County (CACDC)

Making College Happen – Chester ...

This multi-campus collaboration for college access among Widener University, Delaware County Community College, Penn State University-Brandywine, Chey…

Making College Happen – Macalester College Civic Engagement Center

Making College Happen – Macalest...

At Macalester College, college access is a clear priority within the engagement work of the campus. Macalester’s program website highlights collaborat…

Making College Happen – University of New Mexico ENLACE: ENgaging LAtino Communities for Education

Making College Happen – Universi...

This multi-campus collaboration for college access among Widener University, Delaware County Community College, Penn State University-Brandywine, Chey…

3. Further Reading

Carole Beere, James C. Votruba, Gail W. Wells. (2011). Becoming an Engaged Campus: A Practical Guide for Institutionalizing Public Engagement. Jossey Bass. ISBN: 978-0-470-53226-3

Lee Ward, Michael Siegel, Zebulun Davenport (2012). First Generation College Students: Understanding and Improving the Experience from Recruitment to Commencement. Jossey Bass. ISBN: 978-0-470-47444-0

Robert T. Palmer, J. Luke Wood, T. Elon Dancy, Terrell Strayhorn (Eds.) (2014). Black Male Collegians: Increasing Access, Retention, and Persistence in Higher Education. ASHE Higher Education report, 40, 3.

Leonard A. Valverde (Ed.) (2007). Latino Change Agents in Higher Education: Shipping a System that Works for All. Jossey Bass. ISBN: 978-0-7879-9595-9

4. Link to Additional Resources

Campus Compact’s Presidents Leadership Summit 2010

Summit of Presidents and Chancellors 2016

National College Access Network “Executive Toolbox”

Council on Opportunity in Education

Lumina Goal 2025

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