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Civic Engagement & Service-Learning

Engaging students, faculty, and community members in sustained partnerships that foster collaborative learning and civic participation in a diverse, democratic society

The programs of the The Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Institute for Civic Engagement strengthen the community and promote academic learning, personal growth and civic responsibility among our students. Some course-based service-learning projects only occur during a 10-week quarter; most projects are ongoing and take place within the context of reciprocal partnerships with not-for-profit agencies, public schools, government entities and grassroots efforts. Many partnership endeavors span both academic service-learning and co-curricular work in order to provide continuity and cohesiveness.

“Be not simply good; be good for something."
~ Henry David Thoreau
More than 600 Kalamazoo College students work in the community every year, most through service-learning courses. But each year approximately 200 students are engaged in ongoing projects outside of courses. They earn minimum wage through federal work study placements or work as “volunteers,” committing to at least three hours per week throughout the term. Most work the full academic year.  These ongoing co-curricular programs are coordinated (and frequently designed) by K student leaders, who hold Civic Engagement Scholarships .   Many others also hold Americorps scholarships.  All students who participate in service-learning programs are required to attend structured reflection sessions and workshops in order to learn from their community experiences and connect them to issues of social justice.  

Civic Engagement News

NAACP Cites Work of College, President

resEWO On any given day you can find a Kalamazoo College student playing ping pong, shooting baskets or serving up a hot meal at the Douglass Community Association. A center for social, recreational and community development activities in the city’s Northside … Continue reading

Bridging Borders

obinPicture If you are walking through the Hicks Center or across the Quad on a sunny weekday afternoon, you may run into senior Rosie Tobin with groups of campus visitors. These visitors are not prospective students, and Tobin is not a … Continue reading

A Stories Story

toriesThumb “Tacos for Dragons” is just one of the many books featured in filmmaker Danny Kim’s new documentary “The Stories They Tell.” The saga of the unlikely pairing of dragons and tacos is the labor of two seemingly unlikely co-authors, one … Continue reading

Commitment, Heart and Soul

essicaAn Eight Kalamazoo College seniors–each of them Civic Engagement Scholars in K’s Center for Civic Engagement–will receive Michigan Campus Compact (MiCC) Awards for their dedication to community service. Kacey Cook and Mele Makalo earned the MiCC Commitment to Service Award, recognizes … Continue reading

Campus Symposium Will Focus on Ebola Epidemic

bolaThumb As is often true with epidemics of highly lethal diseases, the response to the ongoing outbreak of the Ebola virus in West Africa reveals much about matters human and humane. These matters include fear and courage, stigmatization, power, poverty, inequity, … Continue reading