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Community Engagement


The Office of Community Engagement fosters connections between the university and the communities we serve throughout Michigan and beyond. These connections support Imperative III of the CMU Strategic Plan: Strengthening Partnerships in Michigan and Beyond through collaboration with local, national, and global partners to enhance cultural awareness, the natural environment, health and wellness and local economies. The Office of Community Engagement accomplishes this goal by facilitating a culture where students, faculty, staff, and community organizations work together collaboratively in an effort to bridge the gap between academic knowledge and active civic responsibility resulting in positive social change. 


The goal of the Central Michigan University Office of Community Engagement is to create a culture that encourages exceptional community engagement among students, faculty, staff, and community members in purposeful and reciprocal activities. Partnerships are intended to enrich scholarship, research, and creative activity; enhance curriculum, teaching and learning; prepare educated, engaged citizens; strengthen democratic values and civic responsibility; address critical societal issues; and contribute to the public good (Carnegie Foundation, 2018).



Community Engagement at Central Michigan University emphasizes partnerships with alumni, communities, corporations, government agencies, and nonprofit organizations that lead to mutual growth and enhancement, starting with those in Michigan and going beyond to our country and the world. Advancing Excellence: CMU's Strategic Plan, 2017-2022

Central Michigan University will be the preeminent partner for communities that include business and industry, health care providers, educators at all levels, government, citizen groups, and communities in Michigan with the goal of adding value, enhancing the quality of life, and furthering the economic and cultural vitality of Michigan. Partners will be drawn to CMU by our desire to benefit all parties through mutual collaboration. CMU graduates will be engaged community and global citizens.

This commitment to supporting the greater good through community engagement is clearly reflected in the CMU mission statement:

At Central Michigan University, we are a community committed to the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom, discovery, and creativity. We provide student-centered education and foster personal and intellectual growth to prepare students for productive careers, meaningful lives, and responsible citizenship in a global society.

-Adopted by the Board of Trustees, December 2, 2010

While CMU values its partners from around the world, the immediate focus will be high-impact partnerships throughout Michigan, extending from metro Detroit to the Upper Peninsula, and including the Great Lakes Bay Region, surrounding rural areas, and the Great Lakes. CMU is a major research-intensive university north of Lansing with a wide range of disciplines including health professions, education and human services, business, and the liberal arts. CMU will be the hub for community engagement in Michigan.

Central Michigan University values community and public engagement as it strengthens our academic, research, and service imperatives and pledges to apply its institutional resources to address and solve challenges facing northern Michigan communities.
Our engagement includes not only service-learning, purposeful community service, clinical and field experiences, and social and civic engagement, but also a drive to improve the economy and welfare of our citizens.

CMU has the resources needed to advance education, business and industry, health care, and community development. The region brings strengths in healthcare education and providers, social services, and innovative technologies from the many global and
regional businesses. By maximizing the synergies of all community partners already present in the region, together, we can dramatically improve the quality of life and advance the economic prosperity of the residents of Michigan.


To be engaged in community partnerships, CMU must integrate a commitment to excellence in teaching, research, and service into the academic fabric of the university to grow the economy of Michigan and improve the quality of life of all Michigan citizens.

To that end, CMU has the following goals:  

  • Create an institutional infrastructure that promotes community engagement.
  • Foster academically focused partnerships and alliances with business, government, education, arts, and other groups that are productive and mutually benefit the university and community.
  • Develop academic program opportunities that provide meaningful and distinctive educational and cultural experiences.
  • Encourage sustained community engagement in and across all disciplines.
  • Develop community-centered research and scholarship that creates knowledge through engaging with the community around relevant opportunities.
  • Foster a mindset of leadership and participation in community engagement.
  • Assess the impact of CMU's community engagement.