Engaged College Initiative
Five years into our mission to make community-engaged learning a hallmark of the Cornell undergraduate experience – and building on the passion and commitment of faculty, staff and students across the university – we’ve launched an Engaged College Initiative to complement our existing programs and grants.
In fall 2020, OEI started collaborating with undergraduate colleges and schools that want to make community-engaged learning (CEL) a central part of their curricular, co-curricular and research programs. Each collaboration is co-designed by OEI and stakeholders across the college. Using a wealth of institutional CEL data and expert insights from the OEI and college teams, the partnerships are customized to build on each college’s unique strengths and priorities.
Through the initiative, OEI provides three-year foundational block grants, consultations and training — with the ultimate goal of building a long-term collaborative relationship that advances and sustains CEL within the college.
“OEI’s engaged college initiative builds on the unique characteristics of each college,” said Katherine McComas, vice provost for engagement and land-grant affairs. “It also draws on the strengths of the OEI staff and programs. By working together, we’re poised to make community-engaged learning a distinguishing feature within the individual colleges and across Cornell University.”
Read more about the initiative: Community-engaged learning to build on colleges’ strengths (Cornell Chronicle, Sept. 28, 2020)
College of Architecture, Art and Planning
Launched – Fall 2020
College coordinator: Victoria Beard, professor, associate dean of research, Department of City and Regional Planning
The College of Architecture, Art and Planning will use the block grant to support new and existing opportunities for undergraduate students to work directly with faculty on engaged research, design initiatives and creative work. The grant will strengthen the college’s ability to advance timely, innovative work that is relevant to cities, communities and other stakeholders. To support this effort, the college has formed an Engaged AAP Advisory Committee with members representing faculty in each of the three departments.
College of Human Ecology
Launched – Fall 2020
College coordinator: Kristen Elmore, Research Associate, Assistant Director of Program for Research on Youth Development and Engagement, Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research
CHE is using the block grant to expand and support coursework providing community-engaged learning opportunities as well as community-engaged projects for students outside the classroom. The funding will also be used to increase opportunities for students to collaborate with faculty on engaged research.
Cornell SC Johnson College of Business
Launched – Fall 2020
College coordinator: Candace Maxian, Associate Director, Public Engagement and Experiential Learning, Office of External Relations
The Cornell SC Johnson College of Business has formed an Engaged College Advisory Committee to steward the initiative and build on established curricular and co-curricular CEL activities across its three schools.
Read more: Cornell SC Johnson College of Business awarded grant for community-engaged learning – (Cornell BusinessFeed, Sept. 28, 2020)
Faculty, staff and students from participating colleges have many options for getting involved in community-engaged learning. To learn more about college-specific programs, funding and resources, contact the coordinator listed above.
Remember, OEI is still here for you, too! If you’re from a collaborating college and you’re looking for cross-college workshops, programs, events, networking opportunities, contact us. Our team is available to brainstorm about projects, share best practices, provide collaboration advice, discuss external grant opportunities and help connect you to additional resources. Reach out to our staff for more information.
OEI also continues to offer grants to faculty and staff from colleges outside the Engaged College Initiative.
Each college voluntarily opts in to the initiative and is added in phases, beginning with a partnership agreement between OEI and the college dean. To learn more about the engaged college initiative, email Richard Kiely, OEI’s senior fellow.