Welcome to the Center for Service-Learning
and Civic Engagement!

As part of the new division in Student and Academic Life (SAL), service-learning and civic engagement have a new home in the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement, one of six programs housed in SAL’s Academic Enrichment unit. The Center exemplifies the merger of academic and student life and the university’s commitment to community engagement. Other programs within Academic Enrichment are Student Leadership, Gaines Center, Chellgren Center, and UK 101.  

The creation of the Center for Service-Learning and Civic Engagement reflects the paradigm shift in teaching and learning that has occurred over the last two decades in academia. Higher education is shifting to active, collaborative, experiential modes of teaching and learning that engage students with diverse perspectives, focus on purposeful tasks, and build connections between the classroom and the rest of their lives. Colleges and universities across the country are becoming more intentional and systematic in their use of such pedagogies, driven in part by linkages to retention and academic achievement. 

Universities across the country are re-examining and strengthening their connections to communities, including how they educate and support undergraduate and graduate students as scholars and citizens; how they define and reward scholarship in the policies that guide faculty work; how they provide technical assistance, consultation, and life-long learning experiences for members of the community; and how they collaborate with individuals and organizations beyond the academy in generating and disseminating knowledge.

The Center reflects UK’s strong commitment to civically-engaged teaching, learning, and scholarship. We have dedicated faculty and professional staff, engaged students, and an array of curricular and co-curricular opportunities for collaboration with community members. UK has integrated civic engagement and service-learning throughout its new Strategic Plan (2015-2020) (link), and has made Outreach and Community Engagement one of its 5 strategic objectives.  

UK Strategic Vision – As Kentucky’s indispensable institution, we transform the lives of our students and advance the Commonwealth we serve – and beyond – through our teaching and learning, diversity and inclusion, discovery, research and creativity, promotion of health, and deep community engagement.

UK Strategic Objective – Outreach and Community Engagement:  Leverage leading-edge technology, scholarship, and research in innovative ways to advance the public good and to foster the development of citizen-scholars.

By advancing an institutional culture and infrastructure that embraces and enables civically-engaged teaching, learning, and scholarship, UK can advance and integrate multiple dimensions of our mission to the benefit of students, faculty and staff, the broader communities of which we are a part, and the academy. Civically-engaged teaching, learning, and scholarship can contribute toward the fulfillment of the Kentucky Promise—the commitment of our university to our state and to the possibility of an ever-brighter future for all.