The mission of the Office of Engagement Initiatives is to build a culture of community-engaged learning, making it a hallmark of the Cornell undergraduate experience.
On July 1, 2021, Cornell launched the David M. Einhorn Center for Community Engagement, dedicated to advancing community-engaged learning and public service across the university. Combining OEI and the Public Service Center (PSC), the center will open new pathways for Cornellians to embrace the university’s land-grant mission to improve lives in New York state, across the nation and around the world. Read more.
- respect and empathy
- collaboration and reciprocity
- creativity and experimentation
- diversity, equity and inclusion
- reflection and growth
- multiple forms of knowledge
What We Do
We’re inspired by the university’s deep history of public engagement and by Cornellians’ desire to tackle society’s greatest challenges. And we know that community-engaged learning (CEL) is a powerful and effective way for faculty, staff, students and community members to learn with and from one another to make positive change.
Through workshops, consultations, grants, faculty fellowships, student leadership programs and more, we support Cornell’s growing ecosystem of high-quality CEL opportunities. Our overarching goal is for every undergraduate to have at least one meaningful CEL experience — an experience where they develop the skills, insight and humility they’ll use as lifelong learners and leaders with a public purpose.
It’s an ambitious objective, and, in 2020, we launched a five-year strategic plan to guide our work. Our five focus areas are:
- Support a variety of avenues for undergraduate involvement in CEL at Cornell — through courses, leadership development programs, internships, student group activities, research labs, living-learning environments and more
- Launch an Engaged College Initiative, where every undergraduate college can tailor CEL to its unique strengths and long-term goals
- Nurture impactful partnerships to maximize positive change in communities, measure the outcomes of CEL programs and share these results on and off campus
- Grow and support the network of people across Cornell who are passionate about CEL as a way to advance student learning, transform pedagogy and research and benefit communities
- Continue to serve as a central resource, capacity builder and knowledge hub for Cornell’s CEL initiative
Who We Are
The Office of Engagement Initiatives is home to 12 professional staff who work closely with the vice provost for engagement and land-grant affairs, two provost’s fellows for public engagement, five graduate student program coordinators and 10+ undergraduate Engaged Ambassadors.
But our team extends well beyond the walls of the Engaged Cornell Hub, where you’ll find our desks and coffee mugs.
What We Offer
Through our grants and programs, the OEI team aims to build the capacity of faculty, staff and students so they can design, implement and reflect upon CEL activities. We’re also committed to growing the number of community partners and alumni who engage with faculty, staff and students; improving systems for logistical support; and sharing and celebrating CEL across the university.
For students, we support or offer curricular (for credit) and co-curricular (non-credit) programming, including
- community-engaged learning courses,
- a Certificate in Community-Engaged Leadership,
- workshops and trainings and
- funding for projects.
We work with faculty and staff members to incorporate community-engaged learning into their work through
- community-engaged learning resources,
- various forms of funding and
- consultations and workshops.
What Happened to “Engaged Cornell”?
As of fall 2020, the university is using Engaged Cornell as a call to action for all public engagement activities. Community-engaged learning is a type of public engagement, so we are still part of Engaged Cornell. But the term has been broadened to include the many ways that Cornellian’s have a positive impact on the world. Learn more on the university’s public engagement webpage.