Community Engagement Cooperative

At Lewis, students and faculty engage in dedicated service to the community through volunteering, community service, and academic service-learning. In keeping with our mission, several university offices collaborate to support the growth of community engagement at Lewis University. 

To coordinate community engagement efforts and events, the Community Engagement Cooperative (CEC) addresses specific topics such as assessment, risk management, identifying community sites, developing related databases, mutual events, faculty development. Through the cooperation of these offices CEC strengthens experiential learning, promotes effective and efficient partnerships with community sites, reduces duplication of efforts, and fosters enhanced communication.

Clarifying Forms of Community Engagement
  • Volunteerism:  “I”- Offering to perform a service/act of one’s own free will.  A person can offer to volunteer to provide assistance in multiple ways- feed the hungry, raise funds, help a neighbor, participate in class, or respond to various other opportunities.

  • Community Service:  “We”- To serve a cause/group/individual/society that is larger than one’s self.  There is a sense of being “called” to serve by something that is greater than us. 
  • Academic Community Engagement (Office of Community Engaged Learning): With the emphasis on pedagogy, community service becomes an opportunity for intellectual inquiry and self-reflection. Service, academic study, and structured reflection are deliberately linked with a conscious effort to create a co-determined relationship with community partners.
  • Internship: Engaging in time-intensive work related to a student’s field of study. The internship may be a paid or unpaid position with an emphasis on achieving the intern’s career goals while meeting a real community need of the community organization.