Skip to Main Content

Academic Community and Civic Engagement: Home

A guide for faculty who are interested in learning more about teaching community and civic engagement courses and conducting community-engaged research.

Center for the Common Good

University of St. Thomas Center for the Common Good promotes collaborative curricular, co-curricular, and research initiatives that address civic and community challenges.

This guide provides links to research and information around curricular civic engagement and community-based research.


Academic Community Engagement (ACE) is an initiative that supports and promotes enhancing academic learning within the context of curricular / course-based learning while also addressing societal and/or organizational challenges through one or both of the following:

  • Course materials and classroom discussions that address societal and/or organizational challenges.
  • Collaborative, mutually beneficial activities with community partner organizations and the communities the organizations accompany.

Research demonstrates that community engagement opportunities benefit students by increasing retention and understanding of course content, and deepens their understanding of complex social issues. Faculty benefit by presenting new teaching and research opportunities, and allowing instructors to engage in deeper, more meaningful relationships with their students. (Source: Barbara Jacoby, 2015, Service-learning essentials: Questions, answers, and lessons learned. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass, available via InterLibrary Loan)