Institutional Engagement

Defined by the Kellogg Commission: “An engaged institution is responsive to the needs of today’s students and tomorrow’s. It enriches the student experience by bringing research into the curriculum and offering practical experience in the world they will enter. It forms partnerships of faculty, students and communities to put knowledge and skills to work on today’s most critical problems.” — From Returning to Our Roots: The Engaged Institution, Kellogg Commission Report, 1999).

Engagement is catalyzed by the institution, not the individual. For more, read this article by Lorilee Sandmann and William Plater (2009) that describes characteristics of leaders of engaged institutions.

How does UM-Dearborn institutionalize engagement?

As a whole, we are committed to "valuing the experiences, knowledge, needs and voices of our business and community partners," and "forging mutually beneficial partnerships with businesses, community-based organizations, educational institutions and government agencies" - actions informed by national best practices for engagement.

The campus-wide initiative, Urban Futures, is an effort to develop and expand community-based teaching and scholarship related to the future of human settlements.

UM-Dearborn has maintained accreditation by the Higher Learning Commission by continually meeting strategic goals about academic excellence, student success, enrollment, and metropolitan impact. Since the last site visit in 2013, UM-Dearborn has deepened local impact by opening the Business Engagement Center, the Office of Community-Engaged Learning, and increasing academic service learning opportunities.

UM-Dearborn proudly attained the Elective Classification for Community Engagement by the Carnegie Foundation in 2015 and we are currently seeking reclassification. We have achieved this recognition by continually gathering engagement data and incorporating best practices for engagement across campus.

UM-Dearborn is ranked the #1 regional public university for social mobility and was recognized as a top master's degree university based on the university's contribution to the public good.

The Mardigian Library is home to an entire Community Engagement Collection with books about leadership, policy, civic engagement, and more. It is right next to our office, the Ford Collaboratory, on the first floor. We are also developing a community engagement lib guide in partnership with Mardigian librarians. Come visit!

How does "Urban Futures" intersect with Community Engagement?

a venn diagram explaining the similarities and differences between urban futures and community engagement
(Muzzin, 2023)

OCEL is looking forward to supporting the campus-wide initiative, "Urban Futures". This venn diagram shows how Urban Futures work can align with OCEL's charge to institutionalize community engagement on campus. 

Office of Community-Engaged Learning

Suite 1100, First Floor - Ford Collaboratory - Mardigian Library
4901 Evergreen Rd
Dearborn, MI 48128
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