CU EngageCU Engage includes a number of civic engagement, democratic education, and dialogues programs on the CU Boulder campus.

CU Engage is also affiliated with a number of programs and research projects on campus, in our communities and across the state.


Aquetza Summer Program

Aquetza Summer Program

Aquetza is a free, one-week summer residential program on the Campus of CU Boulder that provides high school students with strong ties to Chicano/Latino communities from across Colorado with an interactive, academic enrichment experience focused on engaging Chican@/Latin@ youth in examining the history, literature, health science, and relevant social and political issues surrounding their cultural communities, through rigorous academic work in ethnic studies, writing, reading, and science. Through our programming, attendees will have opportunities to see themselves as scholars – as holders and producers of new and valuable knowledge – as well as a chance to develop the skills to become leaders in their communities.
Learn more about Aquetza Summer Program

CU Dialogues ProgramCU Dialogues Program

The CU Dialogues Program engages diverse groups within the University in honest conversation with one another through facilitated dialogues in CU classes and other campus settings that:

  • encourage open sharing of multiple perspectives;
  • create experiential learning opportunities that reinforce course content across a range of disciplines;
  • generate critical thinking as participants address complex issues;
  • provide simultaneous translation as needed.

A dialogue raises awareness of others’ viewpoints and prompts self-reflection, enabling participants to bridge differences and identify common ground.

  • “It was really interesting to be in a space where everyone was given equal respect and everyone’s perspectives were shared in a very honest way.  That’s a rare conversation to have.” 
  • “Amazing experience—I will never forget it and will follow a different path now when trying to understand different people’s situations.” 
  • “I learned how to open up and to broaden my thinking while listening to others.”

The CU Dialogues Program serves all sectors of the University community, including academic departments/units, RAPs and residence halls, student organizations, and Student Affairs.
Learn more about CU Dialogues

The Education Research Hub

The research hub's primary goal is to leverage the resources and potential of education researchers at CU Boulder to produce high quality and accessible research to inform education justice policy. "NEPC will do this by expanding the reach of our Closing the Opportunity Gap projects, and continuing to work with our more than 120 fellows." notes Michelle Renée Valladares, NEPC Associate Director. CU Engage will draw on its expertise and position working thoughtfully and equitably with community groups and educational justice advocates locally and globally.
Learn more about The Education Research Hub

Graduate Fellowship in Community-Based Research

This fellowship is designed for a cohort of 4-6 PhD students; students from all academic departments at CU Boulder are eligible to participate. The purpose is to train a generation of scholars in the practices and principles of community-based research (CBR). Applications are due by April 28, 2023.
Learn more about Graduate Fellowships in Community-Based Research

INVST Community StudiesINVST Community Studies Program

Since 1990, INVST has been developing CU Boulder students into engaged citizens and leaders who work for the benefit of humanity and the environment. In order to fulfill our mission, we offer three programs:

  • The INVST Community Leadership Program offers transformative service-learning for social and environmental justice. This intensive two-year training program develops community leaders who engage in compassionate action as a lifetime commitment. Through a combination of theory, skills and community service, CU Boulder students learn to be effective and responsible community leaders.
  • Our Community Studies Electives foster civic responsibility and leadership potential. Offered to any CU student and requiring no special application process, we offer courses such as "Another City is Possible" and "Nonviolent Social Movements."
  • Our Youth Council for Public Policy empowers students to use the democratic process as a tool for positive social change. It provides local high school students with the opportunity to attend classes on the CU Boulder campus alongside college students, earning CU credit.
    Learn more about INVST

Give to INVST Community Studies



Leadership Studies Minor (LSM)

The Leadership Studies Minor (LSM) enables you to develop as a leader. Whether you plan to lead a start-up, be a community organizer, found a non-profit, serve in the military, or run for office, one common ingredient is leadership. We in the LSM seek students from all walks of life and all majors.

We seek students who are curious about what the academic research says about leadership and who want to practice leadership as a CU student. You might not think of yourself as a “leader” right now, but by pursuing the LSM you will learn new ways to think about leadership and discover your own leadership strengths. If you already have a track record of leadership, this is a place to broaden your understanding and deepen your skills. Check us out!

The LSM, housed in the School of Education, is available to CU Boulder students from all majors and colleges. The LSM is a program of CU Engage: Center for Community-Based Learning and Research, working in partnership with the Newton Chair for Leadership.
Learn more about the Leadership Studies Minor (LSM)


Multicultural Leadership Scholars (MLS)


Open to all majors across campus, MLS is based on a social justice approach, with coursework that emphasizes the hallmarks of contemporary leadership practice: building community, collaboration, ethical reflection, respect, and valuing diversity. Classes are small, welcoming, and inclusive; students will develop a sense of belonging and a home on a large campus. Students form a community as a cohort of scholars and scholarship recipients.

Learn more about the Multicultural Leadership Scholars (MLS)


Public Achievement ProgramPublic Achievement Program

An international youth leadership program founded in 1990 at the Center for Democracy and Citizenship at the University of Minnesota, Public Achievement places young people in the center of public life. Rooted in cooperative team action, PA engages participants in solutions-based analysis and action to address youth-identified social issues, posit an alternative approach to politics, and provide experiential educational opportunities. PA students collaborate with CU Boulder student "coaches" to design, implement, and undertake community-based projects that address social issues that express their values and beliefs. In addition to its youth leadership and civic engagement goals for K-12 students, PA provides CU Boulder undergraduates with a meaningful and structured opportunity to develop facilitation and instruction skills and apply political theory to democratic projects in school-based settings.
Learn more about Public Achievement

Give to PA

Puksta Scholars Program

The Puksta Scholars Program is an academic scholarship program for undergraduate students who have a deep commitment to civic engagement. Puksta Scholars serve as a catalyst for bringing about positive change in the campus culture and in the local communities, while acquiring the knowledge, skills, attitudes, and experiences necessary for ethical, responsible citizenship upon graduation. The Puksta Scholars Program is one of CU Boulder's Special Enhancement Opportunities Programs.
Learn more about Puksta Scholars

Student Worker Alliance at CU BoulderStudent Worker Alliance Program (SWAP)

The Student Worker Alliance Program (SWAP) is a grassroots, student-run, and dynamic program that is committed to cross-cultural engagement, mutual empowerment, skills acquisition, and solidarity in addressing inequality. SWAP seeks to convene systematically divided campus sectors to share a common learning and cultural experience.

In practice, CU Boulder undergraduates provide free and convenient English language classes to predominantly immigrant University employees who hold under-appreciated yet indispensable positions on campus and in the community. Participating students receive interactive and culturally informative trainings volunteers, preparing them to teach one-on-one or small group English classes. SWAP operates through the support of an evolving organizing committee, part-time student staff positions and an expansive volunteer network. 
Learn more about the Student Worker Alliance Program

Past Programs and Initiatives