Civic engagement in higher education involves faculty, staff, and students in reciprocal partnerships with public, private and non-profit organizations in communities (local, regional, statewide, national, and global) to address critical social issues and align curriculum, scholarship, research and creative activity with the public good. Higher education institutions engender students’ civic learning— the knowledge, skills, values and competencies that citizens in a democracy need to carry out their civic responsibility—through participation in civic engagement, academic coursework, extracurricular activities and off-campus programming. The ultimate goal of civic learning and civic engagement is to prepare individuals for effective democratic participation, which in turn promotes growth of healthy communities, global economic vitality, social and political well being and democratic human interactions.History
The Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement was established in the spring of 2006 by a group of distinguished faculty at Worcester State University. Former Chair of the Sociology Department Dr. Corey Dolgon, was the first director of the Center. Carrie Rice, a graduate of WSU and a former member of MACC AmeriCorps, was the Center Coordinator for many years and developed many of the programs for the Center. Today, Dr. Mark Wagner is the director of the Center.
The mission of the Center is to challenge students and faculty to investigate social problems by examining their root causes in the classroom while simultaneously addressing them in the community. To accomplish this successfully, we encourage students and faculty to work collaboratively with community partners to design effective research and service projects.
Director of the Center for Service Learning and Civic Engagement Dr. Mark Wagner is grateful to be heading up an office that facilitates experiential learning, supports international service opportunities, and creates community-based collaboration. His goal is to continue to work with the excellent leadership teams and faculty at WSU to create opportunities that will aid students identify passions, help find jobs, and develop situations that keep student idealism and hope alive.
Dr. Wagner completed his higher education at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, Boston University, and the Melbourne Institute of Technology. He has studied abroad in Germany and Australia, is active in the Massachusetts arts community, and has recently published a work on classroom communication (The Immediate Field—Verlag, 2011). He lives with his wife and son on a micro-farm in South Central Massachusetts. They share their fields with 50,000 honey bees, 9 chickens and some lazy mousers.