CU-Boulder has a long history of graduating civically engaged students. From building homes locally and introducing Colorado youngsters to the sciences, to working in far away places like Africa and Nepal, CU students are traveling near and far to use their knowledge and skills to help solve a wide array of problems.
"Civic engagement is reaching out and doing something for the common good, and it can be anything from helping your neighbor to volunteering at your local food bank, working on political issues or policy issues, or even going to another country to volunteer through a program such as the Peace Corps," said Peter Simons, director of the CU-Boulder's Institute for Ethical and Civic Engagement. "Our long-term goal is to have all of our 30,000 students civically engaged in one way or another."
More than 13,000 CU students participate in some form of community service and more than 3,500 are engaged in academic service learning, a teaching strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction.
With 117 undergraduate alumni currently serving in the Peace Corps, CU-Boulder is No. 1 in the 2011 ranking of large schools producing Peace Corps volunteers. Since the Peace Corps' inception, 2,369 CU-Boulder alumni have served in the Peace Corps, making it the No. 5 all-time producer of volunteers.
CU-Boulder's national reputation as a leader in civic engagement is growing. It was featured in the 2009 book "The Guide to Service Learning Colleges and Universities" that highlighted schools with significant track records of integrating community service with academic study to enrich learning, teach civic responsibility and strengthen communities. In 2008, CU-Boulder was one of three schools in the nation to receive a Presidential Award for General Community Service given by the corporation for National and Community Service.
The strong civic engagement commitment of CU and its students fits right in with CU-Boulder's Flagship 2030 Strategic Plan, which calls for the university to serve Colorado and be engaged in the world.
"Not only does the university have a civic mission to help the communities that it serves, but it has a mission to help graduate students who are civically and socially responsible, and who will do this civic engagement service as an ongoing activity throughout their lives," Simons said.
Two things set the University of Colorado Boulder's Public Achievement program apart from other service learning and civic engagement initiatives: mentorship and empowerment.
Sabrina Sideris, program director of CU-Boulder's INVST Community Studies, takes great pride in working with CU students to help them learn to become engaged citizens and leaders.
CU Law School student Jocelyn Jenks so enjoyed going out to teach state high school students about the Constitution in 2012 that she came back this year to participate as an alumna.
By Kathryn Quinn, Junior, Alternative Breaks Coordinator, Volunteer Resource Center
The University of Colorado Boulder will honor the nation’s veterans, including CU-Boulder’s own faculty, staff and student veterans, through Veterans Week, beginning with a Nov. 9 Veterans Day ceremony at 11 a.m.
CU-Boulder JILA Fellow David Nesbitt is used to working his way around chemistry laboratories, but working his way around the dance floor is a different story altogether.
Sean Wiese’s project for a computer science class last year has been developed into a software application now being used by a Boulder nonprofit, and also led to an internship for Wiese with the nonprofit.
For the second straight year, CU-Boulder is ranked No. 1 in the nation for graduates serving as Peace Corps volunteers with 112 undergraduate alumni currently serving around the world.
Fourteen graduate students from the Engineering for Developing Communities program at CU-Boulder traveled abroad this past summer to gain field experience in community development.
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