DEFINING COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
Community Engagement is defined as the extent to which college and university students serve the unmet human needs of people in their communities (i.e. Housing, Health Issues, Hunger , etc.). The term community engagement includes community service and civic engagement activities consistent with Putnam’s concept of social capital that require the time and effort of the participant, with the ultimate goal of bettering the community. In the context of the NASCE, community engagement incorporates all community service activities participated in by students through individual efforts, clubs or organizations, work or internships and classes.
The NASCE instrument asks students about their participation in community service across 9 areas of human need. Definitions are as follows:
Any activity, including internships and work study, in which you participate with the goal of providing, generating and/or sustaining help for individuals and groups who have unmet human needs in areas like shelter, health, nutrition, education, and opportunity.
9 AREAS OF NEED
- Civic Participation/Promoting public awareness (e.g. voter awareness, human rights, refugees & immigration, public safety)
- Economic Opportunity, Access, and Development (e.g., tax assistance, job training, fair trade)
- Environmental (e.g. local clean-up, environmental advocacy)
- Working to promote Health or Fitness (e.g. donating blood, visiting the sick, raising money to combat a disease)
- Youth (e.g. tutoring, coaching, working on a toy drive)
- Addressing Homelessness or Housing (e.g. Habitat for Humanity, Affordable Housing)
- Elder Care (e.g. adopt a grandparent, nursing home)
- Addressing Hunger or Nutrition issues (e.g. soup kitchen, food drive)
- Religious or Spiritual service (e.g. teaching a Sunday School class, mission work)