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Civic Engagement & Service-Learning

Engaging students, faculty, and community members in sustained partnerships that foster collaborative learning and civic participation in a diverse, democratic society



The programs of the The Mary Jane Underwood Stryker Institute for Civic Engagement strengthen the community and promote academic learning, personal growth and civic responsibility among our students. Some course-based service-learning projects only occur during a 10-week quarter; most projects are ongoing and take place within the context of reciprocal partnerships with not-for-profit agencies, public schools, government entities and grassroots efforts. Many partnership endeavors span both academic service-learning and co-curricular work in order to provide continuity and cohesiveness.

“Be not simply good; be good for something."
~ Henry David Thoreau
More than 600 Kalamazoo College students work in the community every year, most through service-learning courses. But each year approximately 200 students are engaged in ongoing projects outside of courses. They earn minimum wage through federal work study placements or work as “volunteers,” committing to at least three hours per week throughout the term. Most work the full academic year.  These ongoing co-curricular programs are coordinated (and frequently designed) by K student leaders, who hold Civic Engagement Scholarships .   Many others also hold Americorps scholarships.  All students who participate in service-learning programs are required to attend structured reflection sessions and workshops in order to learn from their community experiences and connect them to issues of social justice.  

Civic Engagement News

Kalamazoo College grad Raven Fisher hopes to change children’s futures, one math problem at a time

Raven Fisher ''14 Raven Fisher ’14 is the subject of a June 13, 2014 profile in the Kalamazoo Gazette/MLive. The Detroit native and University Liggett High School graduate was a math major at K. She has now begun her studies at Western Michigan … Continue reading

Hong Kong Professors Visit K for Civic Engagement

Though the two institutions are 8,000 miles apart, Hong Kong’s only liberal arts school, Lingnan University, might not be all that different from Kalamazoo College. President Leonard Cheng said Lingnan aims to create students who can tackle human issues from … Continue reading

Outstanding Community Advocates

Roxann Lawrence (left) and a CAPS student Seniors Roxann Lawrence and Raven Fisher have integrated community service into their undergraduate academic learning in ways that are unmatched by most college students in the state of Michigan. And it hasn’t gone unnoticed. Roxann and Raven are co-recipients of … Continue reading

Art Professor Honored for Civic Engagement

Associate Professor of Art Sarah Lindley received the Michigan Campus Compact Faculty/Staff Service Learning Award Michigan Campus Compact (MiCC) honored Associate Professor of Art Sarah Lindley with its biennial MiCC Faculty/Staff Community Service-Learning Award, the highest honor that MiCC bestows on faculty and staff in the state of Michigan. Lindley has made outstanding contributions in … Continue reading

Countless Malalas

Dr. Purnima Mane,  President and Chief Executive Officer of Pathfinder International “Empowering girls with information and giving them a voice enables them to say ’no’ to early marriage, ’no’ to dropping out of school, and ’no’ to an early pregnancy or unsafe sex that might cost them their future.” So wrote … Continue reading