William Paterson University Civic Action Plan

A University Commitment to Civic Engagement

As part of the Strategic Plan 2012-2022, the William Paterson University community pledged to provide students with exceptional opportunities beyond the classroom. Specifically, the University encouraged and supported faculty to develop experiences for students linked directly to coursework and emphasized civic engagement opportunities for students, including opportunities through the American Democracy Project, Campus Compact and community service projects developed and implemented by William Paterson faculty and staff. Civic engagement is a cornerstone of the University Core Curriculum (UCC) through the Area 5: Community and Civic Engagement; William Paterson University was the first public university in New Jersey to establish a civic engagement course requirement. All new first-year students and most transfer students who come to William Paterson without having completed an associate degree now complete one or more civic engagement courses before they graduate.

Throughout 2014-2015, at the request of the Provost and Vice President for Student Development, a committee worked to help define long-term civic engagement goals for the University.  Starting in the 2015-2016 academic year, President Waldron appointed Associate Provost Jonathan Lincoln and Director of Campus Activities, Service and Leadership, Donna Minnich Spuhler to share responsibility for leading William Paterson University’s Student Civic Engagement Strategy and Programs.  Their charge was to better support the next phase of developing and expanding civic engagement opportunities to all students inside and outside the classroom.  A comprehensive web site was developed (http://www.wpunj.edu/civic-engagement/) and a cross-divisional advisory body that provides faculty and staff input for civic engagement was established (http://wpunj.edu/civic-engagement/commitment/internal-advisory-group.html)

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